Things to do When Boarding Your Dog

What to do When Boarding Your Dog

Boarding a pet doesn’t have to be a stressful situation for either you or your dog.  You can make your pet’s stay a great one by following the guidelines listed below for things to do when boarding your dog.  

Do your Homework

Before leaving your pet anywhere overnight, always take the proper steps to ensure your dog is in good hands.  Tour the facility ahead of time, and ask all the necessary questions to make sure you will have complete peace of mind while you are away.  

Be Respectful of Staff Hours

When you drop off and pick up your pet, be mindful of the lobby hours.  Do not expect the staff to open early or stay late to accommodate your schedule.  Additionally, it is also helpful to call the kennel facility when you are on your way to pick up your dog so that they can have him or her ready to go home.  

Prevent Anxiety

As pet owners, it can be tempting to make a big deal out of telling our dogs goodbye or apologizing for not bringing them along on a Hawaiian vacation.  However, long, drawn out departures can make your dog anxious, especially if your pet senses your discomfort.  Instead, treat your departure the same as you would when leaving for work in the morning by keeping it short and sweet.  

Make Special Needs Treatment Easy

If your dog has special needs or behavioral issues, make sure the boarding staff is aware.  Write out clear and concise instructions for your dog’s care.  If he or she requires medication, pre-portion the pills into a daily medication organizer (along with any special treats that are provided with the pills) to simplify the process.  If your dog has anxiety, aggression, or allergy issues, make sure the kennel is aware.

Pre-Portion Your Dog’s Food

Most kennels will request that you bring your own food for boarding, since dogs can have a finicky stomach, especially in new environments.  You can make feeding time easier if you pre-portion your pet’s food into individual baggies with the day and time each meal should be provided (i.e. AM or PM) listed on the bag.  

Provide Comforts of Home

To keep your dog at ease, send along one or two simple items from home, such as a favorite blanket or toy.  This step is especially useful for dogs with separation anxiety.

Leave Emergency Contact Information

If something were to happen to your pet while you are away make sure that the kennel staff is able to contact you.  If you will be unreachable during your vacation, leave the contact information for someone who is authorized to make medical decisions for your dog.

Limit Check-Ins

While it is perfectly acceptable to call and check in on your pet if you are gone for an extended period of time, avoid the urge to make hourly phone calls inquiring about your pet’s well-being.  Remember, the more time you spend calling and checking in, the less time the staff can spend with your pet!

Expect an Adjustment Period

After you pick up your pet do not be alarmed if he or she is tired for a few days.  Your dog likely spent his or her time people- and pet-watching during your vacation, and will need a couple days to settle back into a normal routine.  

Thank the Staff

Finally, don’t forget to thank the staff for a job well done.  Caring for other people’s pets can be a stressful and thankless job, and a simple acknowledgement goes a long way!
Looking for Dog Boarding in the Northern Illinois area? Try Bull Valley Retrievers, they offer boarding in their kennel that is catered to your dog’s needs and is conveniently located for those boarding from Woodstock, Crystal Lake, McHenry and most of McHenry County, IL.


We feed a recommend Purina Pro Plan Sport All Life Stages Performance 30/20 Formula Dog Food to all our clients.

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