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Ways to Prepare Your Dog For Boarding

 woman petting dog at kennel

While it’s always fun to travel with your dog, your furry friend can’t always come with you on every trip. In those instances, you’ll need to rely on a pet sitter or board your dog while you’re away. Boarding can be a convenient solution to keeping your dog safe while you’re away, but if your dog has never been boarded before, it can be a big and stressful change.  To avoid traumatizing yourself and your dog, it’s best to prepare him for a boarding stay and help to minimize the stress he feels. 

Take Your Dog For a Trial Run 

If your dog has never been boarded before, then staying in a new environment can beupsetting and stressful. You can help him to better deal with this change by introducing him to the boarding environment ahead of time. 

A toy or two can be reassuring to your dog, and the facility might let you bring along a blanket or bed that he loves to sleep on. 

Ask the boarding facility if they allow for visits and day-long stays for dogs that will later be boarded for a longer stretch. Many facilities are happy to help ease the transition into boarding, and some will let your dog stay for free for the day so he can meet the staff and get familiar with the facility ahead of a longer stay. 

If the facility doesn’t offer this, then look for other ways to introduce some separation and to prepare your dog to spend a few days away from you. Enrolling your dog in doggie daycare is a good way to accomplish this. Your dog will spend the day playing with other dogs and interacting with staff, but he’ll also learn that you come back and get him again. These daycare stays can make him more comfortable being away from you, which will help to prepare him for boarding. 

Use CBD to Promote a Calm Disposition

You can also support your dog with CBD to help him better cope with the stress of boarding.Zebra CBD Canine Stress & Calming Chews contain broad-spectrum hemp oil extract and potent natural ingredients to promote a calm, relaxed outlook in your dog. These vet-reviewed chews are designed to help reduce the effects of environmental stressors. 

With consistent daily use, you may see a more serene state, a more relaxed outlook and more balanced behavior in your dog. Feeding your dog these chews is one more way you can support him during a stressful situation like boarding. 

Bring Along Parts of Home

When it’s time for your dog to go into boarding, bring along some familiar items. A toy or two can be reassuring to your dog, and the facility might let you bring along a blanket or bed that he loves to sleep on. 

Many owners leave a sweatshirt with their dog, since it smells like them. If you do this, wear the shirt and don’t wash it, since this will make your scent stronger. 

Before you start packing up a big back of items from home, give the boarding facility a call to find out what they recommend and allow you to bring for your dog. Some facilities try to limit personal items, since they could get lost or damaged during the stay. 

Update Your Dog’s Vaccines

When your dog is in boarding, he’ll be in close quarters with lots of other dogs, which means disease could spread easily. The stress of the boarding stay can also strain his immune system, leaving him more susceptible to getting sick. 

Check with your vet and make sure that your dog’s vaccines are up to date. If they aren’t, schedule an appointment before his boarding stay to get him up to date. Some facilities may require a health certificate or recent vet exam, so this is a good opportunity to get everything taken care of on the same visit.. 

Boarding stays, especially the first ones, can be stressful for dogs, but there are multiple ways you can help to prepare your best friend. Start planning well ahead of time so you can fit these tips in and help to make your dog’s boarding stay as low-stress as possible.

About the Author

Paige Cerulli Image

Paige Cerulli

Paige works as a freelance copywriter and content writer. She often covers health, wellness and chronic-pain topics. A lifelong animal lover and equestrian, Paige particularly enjoys writing about pets and horses. You can find her at

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