When boarding your dog at Northwind for the first time

When boarding your dog at Northwind for the first time, you may feel uneasy, worried or even scared of what could occur. Your dog is away from home and in an unfamiliar place. Following these tips can help make your dog’s stay easier on the both of you, leading to a fun time away from home.

DO: Pack something that smells like you for your dog.
In addition to the usual items for a stay at the kennel, packing a familiar item of yours might help your dog feel more comfortable. An item of yours, such as a T-shirt or a pillowcase, brings in familiar smells and scents that can help relax your dog.

DO: Leave some of your dog’s favorite treats.
Every dog likes to be pampered, and leaving his or her favorite treat helps make your dog feel more comfortable while away. You can also provide a special treat to be given if your dog has food allergies and isn’t able to eat what the kennel provides.

DO: Bring food dishes for your dog.
Most facilities provide basic food and water dishes for your dog, but having your dog’s actual dish can entice him or her to be less nervous when eating and drinking. It also adds more familiarity and helps to “spruce up” the kennel.

DON’T: Forget to pack your dog’s food.
Boarding is already a stressful experience and may have a stressful effect on your dog’s digestive system. Making sure your dog is on a food that he or she is already used to eating can help minimize gastric discomfort. Many dogs are too nervous to eat when they first arrive at the kennel, so having a familiar food prevents this from happening.

DON’T: Forget to pack your dog’s medications.
Many medications need to be given at regular intervals, and forgetting to pack a medication can cause health issues to resurface. Make sure the kennel you are boarding at has a schedule of your dog’s medication times and dosages to ensure your dog gets the necessary care.

DON’T: Make a big fuss out of leaving your dog at the kennel.
Many owners have a hard time and tend to make a big deal out of leaving. This increases the excitement level for your dog and can increase anxiety about you leaving. The high anxiety and excitement may cause your dog to become destructive and make the stay less pleasant. Instead, calmly say good-bye, offer a treat, and make your exit as quietly as possible.

DON’T: Make a big fuss about returning to pick your dog up.
Just as with leaving, being too excited when you are picking up your dog can lead to separation anxiety down the road. You can certainly greet your dog in a happy voice and offer pets and treats, but try not to make too big of a deal until you get home.