Irrespective of the steps taken to make dogs feel comfortable, the environment associated with boarding kennels often differs from that of their home, which means it's natural for dogs to experience some stress on their stay. However, boarding kennels should reduce this stress or else too much stress may lead to dog depression, dietary disturbances and illness. With a little time and effort, boarding kennels can apply the following measures in an effort to minimize the stress.
Dogs are bred to interact with man. Given that many dogs housed in boarding kennels originate from a pet home, insufficient social contact may be a major stressor. To combat this problem, the boarding kennel should employ workers who are fond of dogs. Each day, your staff should spend a couple of minutes with each dog grooming, playing, stroking them and awarding them treats for obedience. Well-managed workers who are fond of dogs and who have a warm, efficient approach can considerably minimize anxiety in the kennel. Staff also need to be knowledgeable about the stress caused to some pets by the presence of strange dogs. Careful placing of the dogs inside the kennel is important. Those fearful or shy dogs should not be placed next to overpowering or aggressive dogs.
Minimum routine changes
Wherever possible, adjustments to routine ought to be kept to a minimum in order to shun stress, especially with susceptible dogs like puppies, disabled dogs, elderly dogs, fearful dogs or dogs on special medicine. This applies especially to feeding routines. The boarding kennel can request dog owners to bring in food for the first few days to allow for gradual shift to kennel food. This would reduce the possibility of upset tummies.
Elaborate kennel design gives dogs the opportunity to choose where they wish to be at any particular moment. The addition of a separate sleeping room in the kennel affords flexibility to the dog. Moreover, a larger kennel allows the dogs more space to rest, play or wander around. Further areas may be created without necessarily increasing the kennel size by creating well positioned low shelves for the pet to rest on. The shelves would allow the dog to peep over neighbouring areas, providing interest and diversity of outlook. Dog owners should be encouraged to bring bedding and toys from home which will be familiar to the dog and will help the dog to relax and settle a lot faster in the boarding kennel.