Leaving your dog in someone else’s care can seem daunting if you’ve never used a boarding kennel before. With some careful preparation, though, you can make sure the experience goes smoothly for you and your dog. Once you’ve found a suitable place that offers dog boarding in Chicago, take the following steps to prepare your dog for his trip to a kennel.
Have Your Dog Vaccinated
Most boarding facilities require dogs to have updated vaccinations in order to stay there. This lowers the risk of spreading illnesses to other dogs and reduces your own dog’s chances of getting sick. In fact facilities that offer dog boarding in Chicago must have records of current Rabies, Bordatella, Distemper, and Parvovirus vaccinations, as well as a recent fecal exam negative for parasites. If your dog usually doesn’t stay in a kennel or attend doggy daycare, he might not have received a vaccine for bordetella (kennel cough) or a fecal exam. Bring proof of your dog’s vaccinations with you when you drop him off at the boarding facility.
Stock Up on Medication
If your dog is on any medication, such as heartworm preventatives or medicine for a health condition, make sure he’ll have enough during his stay. Don’t put his medication in a different container. Keep it in the original one in case the boarding facility staff needs to check the dosage amount and type of medication it is.
Give your dog his monthly flea preventative a few days before you board them. If you are using a topical flea treatment, such as Frontline or Advantage, please remember that it is poisonous for dogs to ingest; therefore, you should apply the treatment at least 48 hours before you plan on dropping your dog off for boarding or play. If the area you applied the treatment to is still damp, your dog may be held out of the play group. Talk to your vet about what kind of treatment to get if you normally don’t use any.
Bring Your Dog’s Food
If your dog has a sensitive stomach, don’t risk upsetting his digestive system by having him eat unfamiliar food. Instead, put his usual food in a container, label it clearly and ask the boarding staff to feed it to him. Even if your dog doesn’t have a delicate stomach, having his usual food to eat can help him feel more at ease. You can assure that your dog receives the right amount of food if you premeasure it and place it in zip-lock baggies.
Take a Familiar Item or Two
Take one or two items from home, such as your dog’s favorite toys or even his bed, and bring them with you. Having familiar items around can help your dog stay calm and feel more at home. Most facilities that have dog boarding in Chicago will allow this, but make sure you label everything.