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7 Tips for Boarding your Puppy the First Time

When you get a new puppy, or move to a new city, it can be difficult to navigate how best to integrate your dog into a boarding space when you need to, and how to do it with the least amount of stress possible.


Here are 7 simple tips for how to prepare your dog for boarding kennels. Your puppy's first time boarding can be a fun experience if it is handled properly.

1. Do your homework and make smart choices

If you're about to hand your puppy over to someone else, make sure you do your research. You can find reviews online and, if possible, book your puppy in boarding only if you get a recommendation from someone you respect.


You should look for boarding kennels that offer the following:

  • Regular exercise and daily walks

  • Clean, modern, and spacious kennels

  • Reputation online that is well-established

  • Fully licensed and insured

  • Registered with the local authorities

  • Outdoor play area for dogs

  • Both heating and air conditioning, when needed


Handy Tip: Use guide to suss out the right kennel for your dog and its' needs.



2. Your puppy should be microchipped, wormed and vaccinated

As a general rule, if you don't meet all the requirements, your dog might be refused entry to a boarding kennel.


Most puppies need to have all of their vaccinations in order to protect against distemper, parvovirus, hepatitis and hepatitis. Your puppy will not be accepted by kennels until at least 1 to 2 weeks after receiving all of the necessary vaccinations.

A kennel-cough vaccination is also a good option.


In some cases, apply a quick and painless spray that can be applied in their noses without the need for injections. Also, ensure that flea and worm treatments are up-to-date for all dogs being boarded in the kennels.



3. Before you book, visit the space in person

After you've settled on the best space for your dog, or perhaps you have a short list, go and visit each of them with your pup. This will allow you to gauge the level of knowledge and friendliness of the staff and give you a general impression about the facility itself.


You should also smell the place. Bad-smelling kennels can be due to poor cleaning, which could spread disease and bacteria. Your dog will also smell bad when he comes home. You should also take your puppy along to experience the sights and smells of a busy boarding facility.


It is also possible to observe how your dog interacts with and is treated by staff members. Dogs can sense people and their energy so it is important to see if your puppy feels at ease with the staff members.



4. Get started with crate and sleep training

If your dog isn't sleeping alone, it might be worth getting him used to being alone once you have everything booked. Otherwise, it will be much more difficult for puppies who sleep with their owners to adjust to boarding kennels.


Because sleep training can be potentially traumatizing, I recommend that you begin this process at least two weeks before you board. Sleep training can be hard but, it will help get your pup into a boarding kennel much more seamlessly.



5. If possible, book a brief overnight stay

Although it's understandable that this can't always happen, this is one of the best things you can do for your dog to prepare them for boarding. It would make for the best experience for your dog if they can stay over one night and then for you to come back and pick them up the next morning.



6. Socialization training is a must-have

When boarded, your puppy will be getting up close and personal with other dogs of all sizes and temperaments. You should socialize your puppy as soon as possible if he hasn't been already. Many vets offer classes in puppy socialization.


It's very likely that you will find socialization classes in your area, but depending on where you live, you might have trouble finding them. If that's the case, go outside and take a walk where you will meet other dogs or even take them to a dog park.



7. Dog calming chews can help

Although some may not give their dogs anything to calm him down, taking this route really can work well. However, in some cases, dogs are happy to go into the boarding kennels without any care and of course there are no guarantees, but calming chews can significantly reduce anxiety in your dog.

To ensure that your experience is as stress-free as possible, when you arrive at the kennels be sure to say goodbye to your dog. The staff will then take your dog away without any fuss. Dogs can pick up on your voice and body language, so it is important to keep the handover as calm as possible.



For more articles like this about how to best handle your pets in various situations click here - or for recommendations on great places to board your dog while you're away, give us a call at: (941) 896-9420


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