5 Tips for Boarding a Dog with Separation Anxiety

Boarding your dog when you need to be away from home can be a stressful experience, especially if your furry friend struggles with separation anxiety. Pet boarding in San Rafael ensures your dog has a comfortable and safe stay. In this blog post, we’ll provide five valuable tips to help you make the boarding experience as smooth as possible for your dog with separation anxiety.

1. Choose the Right Boarding Facility

The first and arguably most crucial step in ensuring your dog’s comfort during their boarding stay is selecting a suitable pet boarding facility. San Rafael offers several options. Here are some key considerations when choosing a suitable facility.

a. Visit the Facility

Before making a decision, visit the facility in person. Observing the environment will give you a firsthand idea. Here’s what to look for during your visit:

Cleanliness: The facility should be clean and well-maintained. A tidy environment indicates good hygiene and the staff’s commitment to providing a comfortable space for the dogs.

Safety Measures: Ensure the facility has safety measures, such as secure fencing, proper ventilation, and fire safety precautions.

Staff Interaction: Observe how the staff interacts with the dogs. They should be caring, knowledgeable, and attentive to the needs of each dog.

Separation Areas: Check if the facility has separate areas or accommodations for dogs with separation anxiety. These areas should be designed to reduce stress and anxiety in anxious dogs.

b. Check Reviews

Reading online reviews from other pet owners who have used the facility can provide valuable insights into their experiences and the level of care provided. Look for reviews explicitly mentioning how the facility handles dogs with separation anxiety.

c. Ask About Individualized Care

Ensure that the facility can provide individualized care and attention for your dog. Dogs with separation anxiety often benefit from one-on-one interaction and a more personalized approach.

Ask if they can cater to your dog’s needs, including feeding schedules, exercise routines, and anxiety-reducing techniques.

d. Evaluate Staff Expertise

Speak with the staff to gauge their knowledge and experience handling dogs with separation anxiety. A team familiar with anxiety-related behaviors and techniques to alleviate stress can make a significant difference in your dog’s comfort.

2. Prepare Your Dog in Advance

Preparing your dog for their boarding experience is crucial, especially if they have separation anxiety. Gradually getting them used to the boarding facility can greatly enhance their comfort and overall well-being. Here are some steps to take before the actual boarding date:

a. Familiarize Your Dog

Take your dog to the boarding facility for a few short visits before the actual stay. This can help them become more familiar with the surroundings, the staff, and the routine. Familiarity can significantly reduce anxiety.

b. Pack Familiar Items

Dogs find comfort in familiar scents and objects. Bring your dog’s favorite toys, blanket, and even a piece of clothing with your smell to provide comfort and reassurance during their stay. These items in their kennel or designated space can help your dog feel more at ease.

c. Maintain Routine

Please stick to your dog’s regular feeding and exercise routine leading up to their stay. A consistent schedule can help reduce anxiety, providing a sense of predictability and security. This includes feeding them when you usually do and maintaining their exercise regimen.

3. Communicate Your Dog’s Needs

Clear and open communication with the boarding facility staff is essential. Be upfront about your dog’s separation anxiety and provide detailed information about their habits, triggers, and special requirements. This information will enable the staff to better cater to your dog’s needs and make their stay as comfortable as possible.

a. Medications

If your dog is on any medications for anxiety or other conditions, provide clear instructions and ensure that the facility is equipped to administer them. Share the dosage, timing, and any specific instructions regarding medication.

b. Behavioral Triggers

Inform the staff of any specific triggers that may exacerbate your dog’s anxiety. This could include loud noises, interactions with certain types of dogs, or any past traumatic experiences. The more information the staff has, the better they can avoid or manage these triggers.

c. Emergency Contacts

Leave multiple emergency contacts, including your veterinarian’s information, so the facility can reach out if necessary. Provide clear instructions on contacting you in case of an emergency or if they need to discuss your dog’s well-being.

4. Request Regular Updates

While your dog is boarding, worrying about their well-being is natural. Most reputable facilities for pet boarding in San Rafael offer the option to provide regular updates on your dog’s status. Request daily or periodic updates, including photos or videos, to ease your anxiety and stay connected with your furry friend. Here’s how you can stay informed:

a. Check-In Schedule

Discuss a check-in schedule with the boarding facility staff. Determine how often you’d like to receive updates and whether you prefer phone calls, emails, or text messages.

b. Photo and Video Updates

Many boarding facilities now offer photo and video updates through social media or email. These updates can provide visual reassurance that your dog is safe, happy, and well-cared for.

c. Communication Channel

Establish a clear communication channel with the facility. Ensure they have your up-to-date contact information and provide an alternative contact person in case they can’t reach you.

5. Positive Goodbye and Welcome Home

The moments of departure and return can significantly impact your dog’s emotional state. When dropping off your dog at the boarding facility, remaining calm and composed is essential. Dogs can pick up on your emotions, so a positive and reassuring goodbye can help reduce their anxiety. Here’s how to approach these crucial moments:

a. Stay Calm

Keep your emotions in check and avoid making a big fuss during the farewell. Feeling emotional about leaving your dog is natural, but it is imperative to maintain a calm demeanor. Dogs often mirror their owner’s emotions so a quiet goodbye can be reassuring.

b. Provide a Treat

Give your dog a special treat or toy as a distraction during the transition. This positive association can make saying goodbye less distressing for your dog.

c. Reunite With Joy

When you return to pick up your dog, greet them enthusiastically and love them. Dogs thrive on positive reinforcement; a joyful reunion can help them associate their boarding experience with a happy homecoming. Remember, they missed you as much as you missed them!

d. Gradual Transition

Plan some quiet, quality time with your dog when you return home. This can help ease the transition from the boarding facility to your routine.

Your Pet Deserves the Best Care: Secure Their Stay at Our San Rafael Boarding Facility!

Boarding a dog with separation anxiety can be a manageable and positive experience with the proper preparations. Following the above-mentioned tips can make the boarding experience less stressful for you and your beloved pet. Remember, with the appropriate care and attention, your dog can thrive even in your absence, allowing you peace of mind when you need to be away from home.

Give your furry friend the care they truly deserve! Pet boarding facility in San Rafael provides top-notch services tailored to your pet’s needs. Don’t wait any longer – secure their stay today! Call Bridewell Hilltop at 415-897-5471 to book your pet’s reservation and ensure they receive the best care while you’re away.

Bridewell Hilltop Boarding Kennels & Cattery is dedicated exclusively to the care of dogs, cats, and small animals other than reptiles. Bridewell specializes in dog boarding, cat boarding, pet grooming and more for the areas of Novato, San Rafael and Marin County.