You’re getting ready for your big vacation and the questions come up about what to do with Rover while you’re gone. You’ve decided to board him, but how do you prepare him and you for this stressful time? What do you need to gather before dropping him off? All these questions go through your mind. If you do this right, Rover will be just fine while you’re gone, and so will you. With a little preparation, this will go off without a hitch. You hope!

As soon as you know what your plans are, call the kennel to make your reservation. (You can always adjust it later.) If you don’t make a reservation, Rover may not have a place to stay, especially during holiday periods. Some require a credit card with the reservation. Be sure you know the cancellation policy. If this is your first time, ask if you can visit the facility. Then reserve a time. You’ll want to see how the other dogs react to the staff and to see what the place smells like. Invariably, a resident will “poop” when a visitor shows up, and that’s OK. But it shouldn’t be offensive or different from home. Discuss all charges and how payments are made. If Rover has any special issues, bring them up now. And be honest. If Rover is scared of men, women, storms or won’t potty on concrete, let the kennel know about it now so then can plan for it.

What to do before you board Rover

Before you leave for the kennel, be sure you’ve read over the Terms and Conditions, so you’ll know what to expect. You’ll need to have all of your vaccinations up to date, to include the dates he will be boarding.

If Rover gets sick before you leave, visit the vet and contact the kennel immediately after the visit to inform them of the results. If you don’t do this, some kennels won’t let Rover in. The kennel may also contact the vet to be sure he will be available during Rover’s stay, in case of emergency. In addition, you may be asked to pay an up-charge for any special needs that Rover requires during his stay.

If Rover needs medication while you’re gone, you may need to supply extra doses in case your return is delayed, especially if it’s for an on-going medical condition. Speaking of prevention, many people are seen driving with their pet’s head hanging out the window. This is dangerous. Why? The pet could be hit by a flying object and damage an eye, as just one example.

How to prepare for the best dog day care

Be sure to provide a collar that is two fingers tight. And be sure you can’t pull it over his head. If it comes off, it needs to be tighter. He should also have an identification tag attached firmly to the collar. Do not feed Rover before you drop him off, because there will be a meal waiting for him at the kennel. Bring all of Rover’s tags and familiar bedding/old shirts, socks, etc. with your scent on it. If you don’t have such a garment, simply take one of yours and rub it between your hands. Put this in his bed and he will get your scent and feel much more comfortable.

Things to do when you pick up Rover

When it’s time to pick up Rover, he is going to be super excited to see you. He may even be able to smell your scent before he sees you. Do not call Rover until the attendant brings him to you. And, under no circumstances should you open the gate until the attendant says it’s OK. This is important for the safety of you, the staff and the dogs.

After Rover has settled down a little, check him over real good to be sure he looks in good condition. Be sure to collect all of Rover’s personal effects and medication. If you get a customer survey, be sure to complete it within the time specified and return it to the kennel, so that the staff can be sure they are doing their job properly.

When you get home, Rover will probably be very thirsty. Give him plenty to drink. This has nothing to do with not receiving enough water during his stay. This could be caused by a surge of adrenaline, which will have the effect of drying his mouth. Let him drink up before you make a big deal over him.

Best advice is not to take Rover for a two-hour run as soon as you get home. Let him settle in first and get his bearings. He will probably want to sleep a lot at first. But within a few days, he’ll be back to his normal self. So don’t exercise him a lot at first and feed him a little less food for a couple of days. Before you know it. He’ll be chasing you around the house and down the street.