Many dog owners presumably wish that their four-legged babies could talk. It would make life easier in some respects, although perhaps more complicated in others. But even though they can't directly state how they're feeling at any given moment, most dog owners are pretty darn skilled when it comes to reading their pet's mood. Separation anxiety can be rather obvious depending on its severity, but it might also be the case that you're blissfully unaware of how much your dog frets when you're away. There is some logic to this. Though domesticated, a dog is still a pack animal, and you and your family are his or her pack. This inclusion is a wonderful thing, except when you might need to be separated from your dog for an extended period of time. What is the best way to prepare a potentially fretful pet for dog boarding?
A New (Temporary) Pack for a Pack Animal
Does your dog play well with others? If your dog truly is a social creature and enjoys playing with other four-legged friends, consider a boarding facility that allows the maximum amount of socialisation, potentially even including shared sleeping facilities for dogs of a similar size and temperament. These new pooch pals can be a temporary pack replacement, acting as a welcome and stimulating diversion.
Let the Staff Know the Situation
Explain the situation to the staff at the boarding facility. They would have had to deal with a dog's separation anxiety before, so if they're aware that it could be a potential problem, they will know that they need to lavish a bit of extra attention on your dog. Some extra love can make all the difference.
Indulge in the Comforts of Home
The comforts of home can go a very long way. You might want to consider delivering your dog's bedding to the boarding facility so that they can sleep on something that feels and smells like home. The same goes for their favourite toys. You might even wish to include one of your own (unwashed) shirts to be put onto your dog's bed at the boarding kennel so that your scent is there to comfort your dog.
By following these basic steps, any separation anxiety your pooch might experience should be kept to an absolute minimum. If they could talk, they would probably tell you that while they missed you, they still had a nice time at the boarding kennel.