Once you find a dog boarding facility in or around Saratoga Springs, NY where you feel comfortable leaving your beloved pup, it’s important to make the necessary preparations to make your vacation, and your dogs, as enjoyable and worry-free as possible!
1. Take Care of the Paperwork Beforehand
Drop off your vaccination records and fill out the health questionnaire, etc. before dropping your dog off. This way, you can say goodbye quickly.
2. On Drop-Off Day, Be Armed and Ready with Instructions
While it is important to communicate with kennel staff members before the big day about your dog’s special needs or anything extra you request, it makes it much easier for personnel if you give them a list of specific times for medications, allergies, etc. Try not to burden the staff with having to remember a Bacon Strip with peanut butter at 3:47pm…Your dog will be okay without this one daily tradition!
3. Don’t Make a Big Deal About “Goodbye!”
Goodbyes can be ruff (haha), but you will increase your dog’s anxiety if you get all emotional. Your dog can read you like a book (I know dogs can’t read…it’s just a metaphor!), so if you act stressed, you will stress them out as well.
4. Bring Your Dog’s Food
Yes, kennels will usually provide food, but it may not be up to your standard and it can upset a dog’s stomach to change their food suddenly. Definitely bring your own dog food and his favorite treats to keep your dog well and content…and remember to label the bag. Bringing your own food dishes will help to make him feel more at ease as well.
5. Nothing Comforts Like Familiar Scents!
Whenever I board my dog, I bring his bed, toys, and a couple of old t-shirts. If your dog doesn’t have a bed, bring a thick towel or blanket, just the smell will comfort them with thoughts of home. Be mindful that they will be in a cage for the majority of the day, so try to make it as much of a “home away from home” as possible.
6. Leave Good Numbers
And I’m not saying just your cell. There is nothing wrong with leaving many numbers, so in case you are in an area where you don’t have cell reception, or your phone is dead, staff should be able to reach your spouse, parents, friends, etc. Make sure you leave your vet’s phone number as well, in the event of a medical emergency.
7. Respect Kennel Policies!
I hate to say it, but if the kennel doesn’t like you, they probably won’t go out of their way to go above and beyond for your pup. Respect their drop off and pick up hours and if you get held up, call and let them know what’s up! Kennels often like to have your dog ready for pick-up by bathing them and making sure they smell good for you, so let them know when they can expect you.
8. Call Once or Twice, but Don’t Be a Pain in the…Neck
Calling and checking on your pet once or twice is not unusual, and the staff usually appreciate that because it gives them the opportunity to ask you a question that may not be an emergency. Just don’t make it a habit of calling once or twice each day if possible. The staff are busy feeding, playing and caring for the all of the dogs that are staying with them.
9. Don’t Make a Big Deal Out of Returning
Greet your dog warmly and happily, but don’t go overboard with excitement. This can lead to separation anxiety the next time you have to leave them behind.
10. Give Your Doggy Some Alone Time When You Get Home!
You may be tempted to want to throw the ball or wrestle with your dog when you get home, but they may be more inclined to take a very, very long nap. This is not unusual! While you were away, their sleeping habits were interrupted by other barking dogs and they may have been on edge, constantly observing the behaviors of other dogs. They will be so happy just to come home and relax where they are comfortable.
Finally, make sure you praise the kennel staff for a job well done! They are dog lovers as well and love to hear that you were happy with their care of your pooch. Looking for dog boarding near Saratoga Springs, NY? Browse our directory of dog kennels in Saratoga and the surrounding area!