10 Tips To Eliminate Stress While Boarding

1. Leave your pet in the car while checking in.

It is easiest on your pet and you to leave your pet in the car during the check in process. Bring in all necessary paperwork and belongings and let the kennel attendant know all pertinent information including feeding schedule and medication schedule if necessary. Once that is completed then go back to your car to get your pet. It is much easier to fill out paperwork or sign any forms without your pet struggling to investigate all the new smells in the office.

2. Keep your drop off "low key."

When saying good by to your pet, it is best to keep it short and sweet. If you appear anxious, your pet will pick up on your anxiety and feel stress too. A quick pat on the head, and then out the door is the best approach.

3. Visit the kennel first.

It's a good idea to visit the kennel first, without your pet, to be sure that you feel comfortable with the facilities and the staff. If you are comfortable with where you pet will be staying while away from home, you will be less anxious on the day you drop him or her off. The more relaxed you are, the less stress your pet will feel when you leave.

4. Bring your dog in for a day of play first.

If the kennel offers it, bring your dog in for a day of daycare first. Your dog will have a great time playing with other dog friendly dogs and will look forward to returning.

5. Keep the overnight stay short.

If your pet has never been away overnight, plan a special one night stay before your vacation. This will help get you and your pet accustomed to his or her being away from home. When you do leave for your planned vacation, you will be comfortable knowing that your pet is in good hands and in a familiar place.

6. Bring your pet's own food.

If the kennel allows it, plan to bring your pet's regular food. A diet change can be stressful for a pet, resulting in poor digestion and loose stool. Keeping your pet on his or her regular diet can go along way to alleviating stress when away from home.

7. Bring something familiar from home.

If the kennel allows it, bring something familiar from home such as a favorite toy, blanket, or even one of your unwashed T-shirts that still has your scent on it.

8. Take advantage of extras that the kennel offers.

If the kennel offers daycare for boarding dogs, take advantage of it. It will allow your dog the chance to socialize and play with other dog friendly dogs and make their stay very enjoyable. In fact, you'll be surprised how eager your dog will be to go back to the kennel the next time you go away. If daycare is not available, ask for special cuddle time, or one-on-one time for your pet. These additional services are well worth the extra money.

9. If you have more than one pet, ask if they can be boarded together.

If your pets get along well, ask if they can share space while boarding. They will keep each other great company while you are gone.

10. Schedule a bath or full groom before your pet goes home.

Even in the cleanest of boarding facilities, accidents do happen. Also, there are certain breeds of dogs, Golden Retrievers for example, that tend to really absorb doggie odors. With many pets in close proximity, it is always a good idea to schedule a groom before pick up. Your pet will look, feel, and smell great.

Alpha K9 Pet Services offers kennel tours Monday - Saturday 11:00 am - 3:00 pm.


4 Activities For Your Dog While You Are Away From Home

Here are four great ways to keep your dog occupied when you are out of the house.

1. Toys are always a great way to occupy your dog's time.

Unfortunately most dogs lose interest in their toys as soon as we walk out the door. Being social animals they have more interest in toys when we are around. An excellent thing to do is to make the toy more enticing. This can be accomplished with a little food. Kong toys are great for this. A Kong toy is a hard rubber toy with a hollow center. They come in different sizes for big and little dogs. A Kong can be stuffed with a little peanut butter or cream cheese, a biscuit or two can also get packed into the center.

A stuffed Kong toy will keep your dog occupied for long periods of time and it can be stuffed over and over again. Kong toys are available for about $14.95.

2. Another great toy for your dog is a buster cube.

A buster cube has a hole on one side of the cube. You can pour some of the dogs kibble or treats into the hole. Once the food goes into the cube you shake it so the food gets trapped in the center.

Your dog can smell the treats inside the cube. Now they have to figure out how to get it out. You dog will push the cube around the floor. Every once and a while a piece of food will pop out. This will keep your dogs interest in the toy.

3. Don't forget daycare.

Dog daycare is one of the best activities for you dog. At a good dog daycare your dog will run and play with other dog friendly dogs. You want to make sure that the daycare sessions are always supervised and the dogs are provided with plenty of water, treats and special attention.

Alpha K9 Pet Services offers a great daycare program. We guarantee that your dog will have a GREAT time and go home nice and tired! Call 281-893-DOGS for more information about our daycare program.

4. Teach your dog the find it game.

Once your dog falls in love with his Kong toy and buster cube start to hide them. Here is how you do this. Have a friend hold your dog's collar while you place a stuffed Kong toy behind a chair. Before your friend lets go of your pup tell him "FIND IT!" Your friend then lets your pup go and he goes right to the Kong.

After a few times make it more and more difficult for him. Have your friend hold his collar and go into the other room. Hide the toy and let your pup in after you say "FIND IT!" When he gets real good at the game provide multiple hidden toys in the different rooms. Use his Kong toys, buster cubes etc. When you get ready to leave, hide the toys and tell him to find them as you leave the house.