Steps To Take In Reducing Pet Stress Before Pet Boarding
A boarding stay can be a stressful experience for any pet, even one who has been to stay in a boarding facility in the past. This also remains true if you use the same provider that you have previously as your pet is unlikely to remember the facility, and the people and certainly the animals are likely to be different. Nevertheless, there are times when it simply isn’t possible for you to care for your furbaby, such as a vacation, a work trip or a medical problem or hospital stay that puts you out of action while you recover.
If the thought of being apart from your pet wasn’t difficult enough, no caring owner likes the thought of their pet being anxious or stressed out by something that is out of their control. Fortunately, there are a few steps that you can take to reduce your pet’s stress before placing her in boarding and ensure she is healthy and as happy as possible while you are apart.
Choose a facility that you think she will be happy at
As her owner, you know your pet better than anyone else and this also means that you know what type of boarding environment is best for her. Boarding facilities can vary hugely, from small, intimate settings to larger premises. Some have fairly basic but comfortable accommodation, while others have invested in deluxe ‘apartments’ for pets complete with televisions and more. Would your pet prefer 1-1 attention for walks and playtime, or would she be happier being able to socialize with other animals? While you need to choose a facility that offers the services you need, by choosing one that she will also feel most comfortable at, you can help reduce the stress she will experience while she is there. In addition, you can relax knowing she is in a suitable environment.
See if she can visit before her stay
In addition to you making a trip to see the facilities for yourself when you are choosing the right place for your pet, many boarding services are very open to owners taking their animals along for a visit ahead of their stay. You may even be able to schedule for her to stay for half a day or one night so that she can get used to the sights, smells and sounds that she will experience when she goes there for a longer stay.
Ensure she has creature comforts from home
There really is no place like home, but most boarding facilities will allow pets to take a few items from home in with them to help them feel calm and settled. Some of the things that you could consider providing including your pet’s bed and favorite blanket, a preferred toy and an article of clothing that has your scent. It is also important to check what food our boarding service will provide. If it is a different brand to what your pet is used to, check and see if you are able to bring her food from home. This will help to reduce her anxiety and will prevent her stomach being upset by a sudden change in diet.
Don’t make a big deal at drop-off time
One of the biggest mistakes made by pet owners is making a big fuss when they drop their pet off at boarding. Our animals are extremely intuitive and can tell when we are upset and anxious and may reflect these emotions back at us. Instead of causing a scene and drawing out the drop-off process, you should ideally behave as though you were simply leaving her while you go to work or out shopping without her – the type of goodbye where she knows you are coming back. This will help ease any anxiety she feels.
Need more advice and support in making pet boarding less stressful for your furbaby? Feel free to contact our experienced veterinary team who will be happy to help.