Make Your Dog’s Kennel Stay as Stress Free as Possible

No one wants their dog to undergo unnecessary stress. Many dog owners dread having to send their dog away and lots of people we have met purposely didn’t take vacations or trips away for years as they didn’t have anyone they trusted to take care of their dog. Sooner or later, though, something will come up, usually an unexpected emergency, and you may find yourself scrambling to locate somewhere for your dog to go. If it’s last minute, chances are that all the good, reputable places will be booked. So your dog ends up going to the first place that has an opening. If you are lucky, it’s a great place. If you are not so lucky it could be setting your dog up for a bad experience which means that any future time away from you may be stressful as well.

So if you haven’t gone away in years rest assured that with a little time and effort you will be able to find a great place to send your dog while you are away! And even if you have friends or relatives who care for your dog currently and think you may never need a kennel, you will thank yourself a thousand times over if you take a little time to find a kennel ahead of time “just in case”. Even if you never end up needing them it will only have been a bit of your time finding a potential place, but let me repeat that if something unexpected comes up you will thank yourself a thousand times over that you prepared ahead of time when the “just in case scenario” becomes a reality.

Now if you know you are going on vacation, to a wedding, on a business trip or any other kind of travel where you cannot take your dog, then you have no excuse not to prepare ahead of time to ensure that your dog and you spend your time apart with little or no stress. Ideally you want your dog to have the time of it’s life, after all, there is no reason they shouldn’t have a good time even if you are not there!


There are many things you can do to help make your dog’s time away from you a great time instead of a stressful time. First off you need to visit the kennel you are thinking of possibly using. Book an appointment and don’t be late. This needs to be done well in advance of your proposed boarding dates and is not something to leave till the day before you go away. Leave your dog at home for this visit. Talk to kennel staff and get a tour while there. Find out about how your dog will be spending their time while staying at the kennel. Will your dog be allowed to play with other dogs? If your dog is not social with other dogs will your dog get plenty of play time on their own? How will your dog be exercised? What is the philosophy of the kennel on how dogs are cared for and handled? It’s a good idea to write down any questions you may have and bring the list with you for the visit so you don’t forget to ask them while there.

Answer any questions asked of your dog HONESTLY during this visit. If there are things such as your dog being possessive of it’s food bowl, or it being afraid of thunderstorms, or anything at all when it comes to behaviour and how your dog should be cared for it should be divulged to the kennel staff. That way they can better prepare to accommodate your dog and help ensure a pleasant experience. Alert them to any allergies or health/exercise issues.

If your dog has never been kennelled before it’s a good idea to book a “trial day”. Have your dog spend a day at the kennel to see how they like it and to give the staff a chance to meet your dog. Staff will get to know your dog ahead of time, your dog will have a good experience, and so when it’s time to drop your dog off for an extended stay it will be a place your dog already knows and already thinks is great!

Book your dog’s stay well in advance! Many reputable kennels have weekends and holidays booked full well in advance, so once you know the dates required to board your dog, book them in!


1. Your dog should be wearing a flat buckle or snap collar with ID tags attached.

2.  Your dog’s regular food and any supplements, medications or treats. Write out full and specific instructions on amounts and when to feed. Canine Country Kennels can accommodate any diet and can administer medications and supplements as outlined by you. If you use a special measuring scoop for their food, send it along as well. You do not need to send feeding bowls as we have and use our own stainless steel food and water bowls. All food bowls are washed after each meal and your dog will enjoy their own water bowl in their pen at all times. Bowls are not shared. If you prefer to send your dog’s bowls along though, that is fine as well.

3. Send any favourite play toys and chew toys of your dog. Dogs staying at Canine Country Kennels do enjoy an evening stuffed Kong each night but toys from home can help make your dog’s stay more enjoyable. Just remember that the more “enjoyed” a particular toy may be, it may come home in a more “enjoyed” state than it arrived 🙂

4. Send your dog’s favourite blanket or bed if you wish. Canine Country Kennels also has comfy blankets and comforters for your dog’s enjoyment.

5. Send anything else you think may help your dog feel safe. Some people like to leave one of their own tshirts or item of clothing that smells like them/home.

6. If your dog requires regular brushing send along their brush or grooming tool.

7. If you walk your dog on a head halter or body harness then bring that along as well.


1. Fill out all forms given to you in their entirety and make sure to leave emergency contact information for the kennel as well as the contact for your regular veterinarian.

2. Do not make any dietary changes the week before your dog’s booked stay. The last thing you want is your dog to get a tummy upset during this time!

3. Do not vaccinate your dog within two weeks of your dog’s booked stay. Any required vaccinations should be given well before your dog’s stay at the kennel. This goes for any other treatments you may give your dog such as flea treatment, tick preventative etc. Make sure these have been administered well before your dog’s kennel stay.

4. Make your dog’s drop off as happy and uneventful as possible. Don’t be upset or stressed yourself when you drop your dog off as this may upset your dog. Drop off should be quick and efficient with you in a good mood. Set a happy tone and give your dog a very cheery and fast bye bye. Long drawn out good byes with speeches about how much your are going to miss Fido or desperate hugs and sobbing will only serve to make your dog unsure and possibly even afraid of what is going on. At Canine Country Kennels we find the dog’s adjust very well to their stay but we have certainly had to deal with many a dog owner who had separation anxiety 🙂 It is normal to be sad to part with your dog for a while, but it’s best to not let it show in front of your dog.


Many owners worry their dog will forget them, especially if they are away from them for an extended period of time. Rest assured this is simply not true! Your dog will remember you and there is solid evidence that even dogs separated from their owners for years remember them when reunited! Dogs live very much in the moment so while they may be enjoying their time spent at the kennel with their walks, hikes and attention, you can be sure they will be ecstatic to see you upon your return to pick them up and greet you with much enthusiasm!

Most dogs have a great time during their time away from home. They enjoy walks, hikes and lots of attention. Those that are social with other dogs also enjoy regular play time with other well matched social dogs, and those that prefer their own space get it and are not bothered by other dogs in their face in addition to getting lots of outside time and exercise as well. Following the pointers outlined here in combination with the day to day activities enjoyed at the facility will help ensure a wonderful and enjoyable experience for your dog during the duration of their stay at Canine Country Kennels.

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