Why it’s important to introduce your pet to boarding at an early age.
Dr. Dan Whitney of Jordan Creek Animal Hospital has had a boarding facility as part of his veterinary practice for his entire career. He has seen dogs who love boarding and dogs who find it stressful. Here are his recommendations in helping your pet be comfortable with boarding.
When people get a puppy, it is complete love and devotion. Many people will do whatever it takes not to board their pet, thinking they are doing their pet a favor. However, that often isn’t the case.
Often a situation arises where owners must board their adult pet for the first time. Since the pet was not introduced to boarding at an early age, it can be a stressful experience. Dr. Whitney says some dogs who are not familiar with boarding feel anxious, refuse to eat, and generally have a more difficult time adjusting to being away from their owners. At that point, there is no quick fix.
What’s the solution?
Dr. Whitney recommends that pet owners think through the entire life of their pet when getting a puppy. Owners should introduce their puppies to boarding, scheduling daycare, overnight or weekend visits at least a few times during the first year. This early socialization and positive experience will help make boarding a positive experience.
For those who have adult dogs that have never boarded, don’t wait for that first emergency where you may have to leave your pet for a week. We recommend starting with periodic daycare visits. Your dog can simply spend the day with us, allowing them time to adjust to their new surroundings and get to know our kennel staff. Our boarding style is very “hands on” with our kennel attendants spending one on one time with your pet at each walk.
We have pets who love to stay at our boarding facility and it shows. “They run through our door, so excited to see us,” said Dr. Whitney. Often these pets were introduced to boarding as young puppies or early in life and have had only positive experiences with boarding.
“Our boarding facility is their home away from home,” says Dr. Whitney. That’s our goal for every boarding client we have—to make boarding so comfortable that owners do not have to worry about their pet when left in our care.
Since the boarding facility is part of the animal hospital, it also creates a positive experience for these puppies when they visit the animal clinic. “Having a well socialized puppy makes for less stress for both pet and owner,” explains Dr. Whitney.
For clients only
Our boarding facility is unique in that it is available only to our clients. This was a decision made for the convenience of our clients and the health of the pets. First, we wanted clients to have the space available to board when they need it. Second, the pet’s medical records are onsite, giving our staff up to date information on the health of each pet in the event there is a medical issue while the pet is boarding.
What our boarding offers:
• Individualized attention. Each dog is walked individually. We believe this is important since most dogs are used to spending one-on-one time with their humans and enjoy this attention. Also, each dog’s daily habits and attitude can be monitored.
• Walks. We walk each dog three to five times a day with the first walk beginning at 6:30 a.m. and the last after 8 p.m.
• Climate controlled kennels. Our kennels are comfortable for your pet with heat and air conditioning.
• Veterinarians on staff. Our veterinarians are available to consult and examine pets should any medical issues arise during boarding. Any pets requiring regular medication while boarding can receive these under the supervision of our technicians and veterinarians.
• Baths and nail trims. We can give your pet the luxury spa treatment with a bath and nail trim while they are boarding.
• Convenient hours. We meet your schedule with check in and out available Monday through Saturday and release times on Sundays.
• Clean, comfortable kennels. Our team of trained professionals will provide a loving, safe home away from home for your pet.
More information or a tour
For more information or for a tour of our facility, please call us at 515-224-9500. We’ll be happy to answer your questions and give you and your pet a tour of our boarding facility.