If you have a dog that becomes nervous or anxious when it is in a new situation or unfamiliar place, than sending it to the boarder for an overnight stay may seem like a struggle. Luckily, there are a few ways to make such a stay easier on a nervous dog so that you don't have to spend your whole vacation worrying that your pet is upset or causing trouble. Follow these simple tips, and your nervous dog should settle in just fine.
Take several trips to the kennel before you drop your dog off for a longer stay.
A few weeks before you go away, put your dog in the car and take it to the kennel. Just make this a short visit. Walk your dog into the kennel, let it sniff around, and then give it some treats and go back to the car. Repeat this process a couple of times, staying a little longer each time. The second or third time you visit, give your dog some time to interact with the staff and perhaps some other dogs. The place will seem more familiar when you drop him off for a longer stay.
Bring your dog's own bedding.
Most kennels will either provide bedding or let you bring your own. In the case of a nervous dog, it is always best to bring your own, since it will smell like home and he will find this comforting. You may also wish to bring along some of your dog's favorite toys. If the handlers use them to play with your dog, he may start to feel more at ease around them.
Use calming sprays.
There are several calming sprays on the market that help relax nervous dogs. Depending on the product, they either contain pheromones or herbs that help your dog to relax. Spray one of these products on your dog's collar and bedding when you bring him to the kennel.
Ask your vet about mild sedatives.
If your dog is very nervous, to the point that he has trouble controlling his bowels in a new place or becomes defensive, then talk to your vet about a mild sedative you can give him prior to leaving him at the kennel. You can also leave another dose or two with the kennel employees in case they need to use it. In most cases, once the initial dose wears off, the dog begins to settle in to the new environment and become less nervous. However, knowing that the kennel has an extra dose if they need it can give you some peace of mind.
With some patience and the tips above, you can get a nervous dog used to spending time at the pet boarding facility. The first stay might be a little trying, but after your dog has stayed a time or two, he will be a lot less anxious about subsequent stays.