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Boarding Isn't Always Tail Wags, Puppy Kisses, & Smiles!

Well, now that you're here & all in with H3 Kennels, I can be honest and let you in on a little secret... Boarding isn't always wagging tails, puppy kisses, & smiles! That's right, the photos I send you and the Facebook posts are just like every other person on social media, showing only the good stuff and portraying it's all sunshine and roses. Now, there are A LOT of

fantastic moments going on over here at the kennel and of course I'm going to blast my socials with that, but I'm not about to portray that I have it all together and every dog is as happy as a pig in sh..... mud!

If you're anything like me, your pets are equivalent to your children (heck, sometimes I prefer my dogs over my children) and leaving them in a strange place with a strange person (I don't take offense to that) can be stressful for us, as the owner, as well as for our dogs. How many of you have hit up Google to ask how traumatizing it is to board your dog before you called me to set up a reservation? Geez, as I'm typing this, I'm second guessing my blatant honesty and how this will effect future business... BUT, stick with me, I promise you'll want to read this and will still be comfortable sending your pup to me at the end! ALSO, don't believe everything you read on the internet - I consulted several veterinarians and did my research prior to writing this - so take that, Nancy!

So the short answer is, YES, boarding your dog can cause them stress and anxiety, even a little depression. Huh, how about that... everyone wishing they had it as easy as a dog, but

turns out a dog's life isn't as easy as we thought! BUT, the good news is, I'm well aware of this, it's completely normal, and I have a few tricks up my sleeve to help soothe your fur baby during their stay. Imagine dropping your child off to camp for a week for the first time - they're nervous, maybe have an upset belly, can't sleep, anxious around all the new people, you're crying, they're crying - BUT, (I'm seeing a lot of BUT's in this newsletter) after a few days, the kid is having a ball with their new friends, basically forgot about you, and can't wait to go back to camp next year. The same thing is going on here!

Full disclosure, here are a few things your dog might be experiencing while they're boarding with us and/or shortly after they get home:

Change in appetite/thirst - increased stress that comes with a new place, new noises, changes in routine, and new furry friends can all contribute to decreased eating and drinking while boarding. Don't worry, this is completely normal - when you're super stressed about something at work, do you have a full appetite? Yeah, neither does your dog! They aren't

going to starve, trust me.

  • Here's what I'm doing: adding a little wet food or sprinkling some Baker's Biscuits on top to make their meal more appetizing, hand feeding them with some added snuggles for comfort, adding an appetite stimulant to encourage eating.

  • Tips for when they get home: allow a little time for your pup to get readjusted to being home and settle down a bit before offering them a full meal, as to avoid an upset belly and throwing up. Rather than offering a full bowl of water, try ice cubes instead, for the same reason.

Separation Anxiety - just like us, dogs are creatures of habit and any change in routine, particularly being away from their humans and their normal surroundings, can be stressful.

On my end this looks like whining, barking, excessive drooling, and even destructive behavior.

  • Here's what I'm doing: loving on your pups like they're our own, getting them lots of exercise, offering socialization with other pups, diffusing a calming pheromone for stress related behaviors right in the kennel, playing soothing dog tunes via Spotify, and I offer a calming CBD product researched by Cornell.

  • Tips: conditioning your dog prior to boarding by bringing them in for a doggy daycare practice run, crate them at home, or get them used to being separated from you by using a gate in the house.

  • Once they get home: expect a stage 5 clinger!! That's ok, but get them back to their normal routine asap!

Overly Tired - you know when you get back from a trip and you say, "I need a vacation from my vacation!" because you're straight up exhausted? That's what's going on here, too! Your

dog just had the time of its life with new friends, running all over God's country (not really, just my yard), and simply just needs to catch up on some rest... so let them!

  • Here's what I'm doing: I already did my job, I tired that puppy out!!

  • Tips: let them rest!! Do you want anyone interrupting your naps??

Upset Belly - just like when kids head off to school, sickness is bound to happen. Rest assured, all dogs that come into the kennel are up to date on their vaccinations for Rabies,

DHPP, and Kennel Cough - however, that doesn't mean things still can't get spread around. Loose stool can be a sign of a temporary case of Colitis that is just a result of being over excited about being reunited with YOU!

  • Here's what I'm doing: I'm super diligent about keeping the kennel clean. It is wiped down, swept, mopped, and cleaned with a disinfectant prior to your pet's arrival. They're sleeping on a freshly cleaned bed/blanket and given cleaned/sanitized food & water bowls.

  • Tips: keep an eye on this, bowel movements should return to normal within a couple of days.

Like I said, all of these things are completely normal, and should remedy themselves within a few days. However, if your pup still seems off after several days at home, it might be worth a trip to the vet to get things checked out for sure.

So the bottom line is, when you can't be with your pup because of vacation, work, etc. there are pros and cons to any pet sitting solution. Just know that here at H3 Kennels, your dog is loved on, kept clean (from germs, not mud), cared for like they are our own, and truly on a vacation at the dreamiest 5 star resort around.

Baker and I are looking forward to loving on your fur babies soon...

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