Getting dogs kennel ready
Many of our canine pals are sent to stay at kennels over the break, so here are some tips on how you can prepare your dog for the experience to make it as smooth and stress-free as possible.
You’ll want to know your fur child is going to be well looked after, so get to know your kennel operator and how they run their place. Go and check it out before you book - talk to management and staff, look at the dogs’ quarters, enquire about feeding and exercise routines and see how the people there interact with your dog.
Dogs don’t naturally like being away from their family, unless they’re well-adjusted to doing so. If your dog hasn’t yet been to kennels, take them for a visit before their stay so they can get to know the place and the people who work there. You may even want to initially organise a short stay of a night or two, so they become familiar before you leave for a longer period of time. anxious when separated from us - this is essential to solve before your dog goes to kennels. Addressing this issue involves building confidence and independence, by implementing a desensitisation training plan which involves graduated departure.
Take your dog out to socialise with new dogs regularly before your trip, rewarding them for good ‘‘meet and greets’’ and nice behaviour. The dog ‘‘handshake’’ involves both dogs sniffing each other’s groin areas so this should be encouraged, in turn encouraging your dog to meet and respond well to other dogs while at the kennel.
Dogs can lose weight while staying at kennels, so you may want to increase the amount you are feeding them the week before you go.
Remember to remain calm and positive when you drop your dog off. Some people find it very upsetting to leave their dog behind, but your dog will sense your emotions and react to them - so the calmer and happier you are, the calmer and happier your dog is likely to be!
Mark Vette is a leading animal psychologists and behaviourists.