It’s tough leaving your beloved dog at a kennel while you travel, but sometimes there’s no way around it. To ensure he remains healthy both mentally and physically, follow these suggestions:
Up to date on all vaccinations
Besides the normal vaccinations of Rabies, Distemper and Leptospirosis, make sure your dog is also current on Parvovirus, Coronovirus, Bordetella and Lymes vaccines. As all of these bacteria and viruses are very contagious, it is helpful to ensure your dog’s immunity. The kennel situation means very close contact with other dogs, some of which may be carriers of contagious diseases. It’s tough for kennel personnel to recognize a carrier. Young dogs, under 6 months of age, are highly susceptible to contagion. That is why they should receive all of their vaccinations according to the veterinarian’s suggested schedule.
One thing to consider, is that though your dog may receive the Bordetella vaccine, it does not prevent him from contracting a respiratory infection that is not covered by this vaccine. There are many types of respiratory infections, and the Bordetella vaccine covers only a few of them.
Take your dog’s food
Dogs have a tendency towards digestive and gastrointestinal distress when their food is suddenly changed. It is highly likely that the kennel does not feed the dogs what you feed your pet. Along with the stress of being in a strange environment, this sudden change can cause loose stool, vomiting, and lethargy.
As you cannot be certain that the kennel staff will feed exactly as you do, prepare the meals by placing them into separate baggies, complete with any supplements or medications. This will make it easy for the kennel staff to feed your dog with little chance of missing anything.
Apply topical flea preventative
A couple days before you board your dog, apply the monthly topical flea preventative. The topical treatment kills any bug that bites your dog. This product is most viable the first two weeks of application. As your dog will be in a place where other dogs can bring in parasites, this will prevent bringing home a dog who creates a flea infestation in your home. Once one flea arrives, thousands take hold within a few short weeks.
Check out the kennel
Before sending your dog to a kennel, check it out. Go preview, speak to the personnel, learn about feeding and exercise schedules, and ensure it is a good fit for your dog. Some dogs aren’t bothered by lots of noise or close quarters, whereas others are.
Smell the air. Does it smell like urine, feces or dirty dogs? Does it smell like disinfectant? Or, does it have a pleasant aroma, one you wouldn’t mind being around? Dogs have a heightened sense of smell; if the odor is pungent to your nostrils, you can bet it will also be so for your dog.
A good kennel will be spotless, the dog rooms clear of waste, and the kitchen area should be sanitary. The grounds will not have dog droppings everywhere, or be noisy. The more noise, the more the dogs are stressed. This stress transfers to other canine visitors.
If you can take your dog to a kennel that also offers doggie daycare, your dog will have more fun, as he can spend his days playing and socializing. This is something every dog desires.