The first day at a new place can be overwhelming for both dog and parent. There a various things we as humans can do to help make boarding a more pleasant experience. If you are planning a long vacation and your pet has never been boarded before, it is best to plan a short day visit followed by an overnight visit a few weeks prior to the long vacation...
Older Dog's First Visit
For the more mature client who has never had a boarding experience we recommend beginning with a day visit. This first day visit will allow your dog to acclimate to the kennel environment. The night before your pet's day visit, place an old bath towel or old T-shirt under your pillow and bring that item in with your pet for their day visit. Your dog will spend the day in a suite, with your item so they have some scents from home. Depending on your dogs reaction and demeanor during this first visit, we may introduce them to the play yard and go on a short walk. We believe it is important to not overwhelm a dog on their first visit, so activities will vary.
Some dogs acclimate very quickly and further visits are not necessary. Some dogs will benefit from additional day visits, followed by short overnight visits prior to a long board. We will work with you to determine a schedule that fits the needs of your pet.
Puppies First Visit
Puppies should always begin with short visits. Depending on the age of the puppy, we may recommend beginning with 1/2 day visits (4 hours). An item from home should always accompany a small puppy as well as their snack or lunch. If you are crate training your puppy, you are more than welcome to bring their crate and we will place it in the suite just as you would use it at home. Below is our recommended Puppy Acclimation Schedule:
1. Schedule an appointment to stop by with your puppy to complete paperwork, puppy will not stay this visit.
2. Starting with a 1/2 day visit is ideal, we realize this is not always possible with families work schedules. We can begin with a full day visit if necessary. First visit please bring an item from home and your puppies lunch or snack item.
3. Several days visits (3-4 visits) scheduled one week apart.
4. First short overnight visit; a short overnight visit is ideally dropping off around 3 to 4 pm and picking the puppy up early the next morning. Items from home are encouraged for the first overnight.
5. Regular overnight visit: a regular overnight visit is dropping off earlier in the day and picking up by Noon the following day.
This scheduled has helped many puppies acclimate very well, it also serves to increase your puppies confidence. Socialization is an important aspect of puppy development, we want for your puppy to grow up to be a well-rounded, confident, happy dog. Taking the time to thoughtfully introduce your puppy to new experiences will reap huge benefits later.