Important Strategies To Help Your Anxious Pet Cope With Staying At A Pet Boarding Service
When you go on vacation, temporarily leaving your companion animal at a pet shelter is difficult for any pet owner. This is especially true if your pet suffers from separation anxiety and can barely stand it if you are away for a few hours, much less a few days. Fortunately, there are a few strategies you can employ to help your pet feel right at home at the pet boarding service; knowing that your pet is safe, secure and happy will help give you peace of mind as well.
Pack Familiar Toys, Bedding, And Food
The boarding facility will be full of unfamiliar sounds and smells. For some pets, that could feel like the start of an exciting adventure. However, pets with anxiety problems will find the unfamiliarity of his or her new location and a new routine to be distressing. It's important to pack your pet's supplies full of familiar items. This includes stuffed toys and blankets that your pet loves as well as old clothes that still have your smell on them. It's also important to pack food for your pet, especially if your pet is already a picky eater. The added stress of being in an unfamiliar environment may make your pet refuse foods that he or she doesn't recognize, so you want to provide the pet boarding service with an adequate supply of food that your pet enjoys.
Have Your Pet Take An Overnight Stay Before You Leave
Before you leave on your trip, consider having your pet go for a trial run; have your pet stay a single night at the pet boarding facility. This can significantly reduce separation anxiety when it's time for your pet to stay for a longer period of time, especially if it's your pet's first time at a boarding facility, or if your pet spent a long period of time at an animal shelter. Your pet may not understand what the purpose of pet boarding is, and may feel that you have abandoned him or her. An overnight stay allows your pet to experience what life will be like at the shelter, allows him or her to become acclimated with the staff and will reinforce in your pet the fact that you will be returning eventually. It also allows you to get some practice packing supplies for your pet, so that you don't leave anything out when it's time for your pet's long stay. Ask the staff what your pet's behavior was like during the overnight stay; it might turn out that your pet's separation anxiety isn't as bad as you think, which allows you to feel more comfortable leaving your pet at the shelter for a longer period of time.
Make Sure You're Comfortable With The Pet Boarding Facility
Companion animals easily read body language. If you're nervous about boarding your pet for an extended period of time, your pet will pick up on your anxiety and become anxious as well. It's important that your mind is at ease when it's time to drop your pet off at his or her temporary home. Make sure the staff are friendly and enjoy working with animals and that they use only positive reinforcement, not negative reinforcement when trying to correct a pet's behavior. Work with the boarding service to develop a plan for what to do if your pet has a health emergency; they should have your veterinarian's phone number, a list of medications your pet is taking and should be aware of any special needs your pet may have.
Contact a vet's office like All Pets Hospital Ltd for more information and assistance.