If you’re planning on having a bit of time away from home and you’re leaving your furry friend behind, there are a few steps that should be taken to reduce your pet’s stress before pet boarding. These steps can help to make sure that your pet quickly acclimates to the new environment as quickly and easily as possible. Don’t worry if you have an especially needy pet. With the right care and preparation, even they can have a good overall experience.
What is Pet Stress?
Stress is part of the emotional landscape of all animals, your pets included. We’ve all felt stressed at some point and so can understand the impact that out-of-control stress can cause. We’ve all seen a pet that hides during a particularly loud thunderstorm or a particularly hand-shy pup.
There are good stressors and bad stressors in the world of pets. Good stress is the kind that informs behavioral changes that assist in relieving the causes of stress. This can be changing locations to find a warmer shelter, or fulfilling the need to eat when hungry.
Bad stress is when no behavioral changes occur to alleviate the issue. This is typically a longer-term scenario and can include situations like boarding, visiting new places, vehicle rides, and others. Insofar as pet boarding is concerned, let’s have a look at reducing the stress for a more enjoyable experience.
Pet Boarding – Some TLC Goes a Long Way
Much like people, pets have preferences insofar as food, bedding, toys, and companions are concerned. Because of this, changes to the environment they are used to and have come to prefer can be alarming and stressful. Taking the initiative to proactively provide your pet with a few of their creature comforts will help immensely in the process of acclimation to a new place. Here are a few steps to take prior to your journey.
Before you go, spend more time together – Every moment you spend with your pet, especially dogs, is appreciated. Go for an extra walk, play an extra time or two, or even some extra snuggle time can go a long way.
Meet the boarding staff in advance – If you allow your pet to meet the boarding staff before your trip a couple of times, it’s more likely they will look forward to the next visit. This can be helped along even more if they provide treats, physical affection, and kind words on the first visits.
Let them know about any anxiety – If your pet has an issue with separation anxiety, make sure to let the boarding staff know her symptoms. Be sure that your pet will not be left alone for long periods of time, if at all in serious cases. It takes time to train this out of pets, so don’t be afraid to inform them of this special need.
Provide creature comforts – Making sure your pet has a piece of home with them while you’re away will add an extra layer of comfort. Make sure she has her bedding, her normal food and treats, a special pet blanket, and even one of your t-shirts or a pair of socks.
Get lots of exercises before you depart – This is one of the simplest ways to make sure your pet feels great. It’s one of the best ways to make sure the transition between home and boarding is as relaxed as can be.
Calming considerations – In some cases, using a calming pheromone product or even CBD oils can help alleviate excess stress. Remember to always talk to your vet with new supplements.
Keep calm and emotionally confident – You pet will pick up on any changes in your emotions. If you appear stressed, they will not feel good about the changing situation. If you appear calm and confident, they will be better suited to the changes happening.
The Perfect Stay – Prepared and Ready
Now that you’ve found a place, introduced your pet to the people at the facility, and prepared your pet with the right items, food, and treats, you are ready to go. Now is the time to stay calm and collected and allow the process to unfold naturally. Your pet will never be 100% comfortable with you not around, but they will be well cared for.
When you make room for the steps that should be taken to reduce your pet’s stress before boarding, you pave the way for a relatively stress-free time away from home. Let us know if you have any questions and we can make recommendations. Also, make sure to keep up on all your shots, many boarders don’t allow pets without updated papers to stay in their facility.