Many of us feel conflicted about boarding our pets while we are away, especially if they have anxiety. The Pet Resort at Stone Ridge team understands your concerns, and wants to ease your mind about your pet’s stay with us. The best way to feel confident that you are making the best decision about your pet’s care while you are away is through preparation. Learn how to appropriately prepare your pet for boarding, and minimize everyone’s stress. 

#1: Reduce your pet’s boarding stress

Each pet responds differently to boarding. Some adventurous pets relish every moment they spend playing with other pets, and meeting new people. On the other hand, some pets—especially those with anxiety—may have a difficult time adjusting to an unfamiliar environment and your absence. To reduce your anxious pet’s stress and ensure they have a comfortable boarding experience, follow these tips: 

  • Consult with your veterinarian — Before boarding your pet, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to discuss alleviating your pet’s stress and anxiety. Your veterinarian may suggest medication, such as trazadone (i.e., antianxiety medication), to manage your pet’s anxiety while you are away. 
  • Use pheromones — Sprays that contain pheromones, such as an Adaptil calming spray collar for dogs, send your pet the same messages their mothers used to comfort them when they were young. 
  • Try a calming vest — Consider using an adjustable wrap such as the ThunderShirt, which applies constant, gentle pressure to your pet’s body, and may help manage their anxiety.
  • Pack their supplements — Calming supplements can offer additional support to an anxious pet. 
  • Include the comforts of home — For an anxious pet, there is no place like home, and most boarding facilities allow comfort items to help your pet make themself at home. To help your pet feel calm and settled while boarded, pack their favorite items from home—bed, blanket, and clothing that has your scent. 

#2: Prevent your pet’s stomach upset

When they are in an unfamiliar setting, some anxious pets develop digestive issues, such as vomiting and diarrhea. To help prevent your pet from developing stomach upset because of  a sudden diet change, pack their regular food—and specific feeding instructions—when you bring them to a boarding facility. In addition, an anxious pet may refuse to eat, which can lead to stomach issues, so let the boarding facility staff know what additional foods might appeal to your pet if they ignore their regular food, and consider packing pet-friendly food seasoning or additives to pique their appetite. Adding prebiotics and probiotics to your pet’s regular food can also benefit their digestive system. 

#3: Choose a boarding facility that meets your pet’s needs

You know your pet best, and you can recognize which boarding environment will be best for them. Consider your pet’s unique boarding needs, and request a facility tour so you can assess the facility, and ask specific questions. When visiting your pet’s potential resort, consider your pet’s comfort and safety:

  • Does the facility appear clean and sanitary?
  • What are the exercise and playtime protocols?
  • How much human interaction will your pet receive? How much time will your pet spend alone?
  • What is the protocol if your pet becomes ill or is injured?
  • Do dogs have a supervised playtime together?
  • How often will your dog have outdoor access? Is the outdoor area well-maintained?
  • How are cats housed?

You can ease your pet’s anxiety by choosing a boarding facility in which they will feel comfortable and receive appropriate care, thereby reducing your own concerns. 

#4: Bring your pet for a practice stay

In addition to visiting boarding facilities yourself, consider having your pet stay for a half-day or one-night visit ahead of their longer stay. A short, trial stay exposes your pet to the facility’s unfamiliar sights, sounds, and smells, and introduces them to facility staff who will be caring for them while they are boarded for a longer period. In addition, by providing your pet with a practice visit, you can bring up your issues or concerns with the staff before your pet’s longer stay. 

#5: Keep your pet’s goodbye brief

Although you may feel sad when saying goodbye, and leaving your pet at the boarding facility, avoid making a big fuss. Your pet recognizes when you are anxious or upset, and they may mirror your distress. So, keep your exit upbeat, brief, and drama-free. 

We all would prefer that our pets remain in the comfort of our home when we travel. When that is not possible, the Pet Resort at Stoneridge is the next best place. To ensure your pet has a stress-free boarding experience, follow our tips to prepare them for their time apart from you. If you have additional questions, or would like to reserve your pet’s stay, contact The Pet Resort at Stone Ridge team.