Try a Half Day
Before leaving your dog for 2 weeks without preparation, try dropping him off at day care for a half day of play. You may even want to do this 2 or 3 times so your dog realizes that you always come back for him. This will help him ease his way into daycare by learning the routines and becoming familiar with the staff. It’s an especially good idea for dogs who aren’t used to being around other dogs or people. Reserve a spot for your dog today so he’ll be ready once it’s time for you to go on vacation.
Bring Doggy Friends
If your dog has another canine buddy, try to schedule a time when both dogs can visit day care together. Just like children, dogs learn from each other and are more confident when they have a familiar face nearby. Having a friend there may help him feel more comfortable and should allow him to adjust more quickly to all the new sights and sounds. Even better, find a dog that’s already been to day care and is already comfortable with all the activity, who can teach your dog the ropes.
Follow the Same Routine
Dogs are typically more comfortable when they can follow a routine. If you’re leaving your dog for an extended stay at a doggy hotel in Seattle, ask the staff what times the dogs eat and go outside to potty. Ask them if they can accommodate another schedule if your dog is used to a different routine. Or prepare your dog a week in advance by gradually shifting his schedule over to the one he’ll follow while he’s in boarding.
Bring His Bed
Does your dog have a special place to sleep at night? Many dogs feel more comfortable in unfamiliar places when they can sleep in their own bed, crate or have a favorite blanket. It helps remind them of home and is full of comforting scents. You could also leave a T-shirt in the kennel so your dog can nestle up to it and be able to smell you even when you’re not there.
Pack a Toy
Bringing a toy from home will make some dogs feel more at home in their kennel. Not only is it familiar, it gives him something to do during the times he’s not playing in daycare. Keep in mind that some toys are not recommended to leave with your dog in a kennel. These include rawhides, rope toys, or any other toys that could come apart and become a choking hazard. Large, durable bones or balls are usually the best options.