Dog boarding and training facilities have become increasingly popular over the years.
You just can’t beat the convenience of dropping off a pup in its early stages of development and letting the professionals, like the ones at Pawsitive K9 Solutions in Los Angeles, work their magic.
And everyone benefits in the long run— you get a better-behaved pup who understands basic obedience, your pup learns confidence, and your household day-to-day starts looking less like a scene out of Marley & Me.
However, you can’t simply drop off your dog at a boarding facility and assume it’ll all go great. There are things you should do beforehand to make sure it’s an overall positive experience for everyone involved.
Here are our recommendations for how to prepare your dog for boarding and training.
What to Expect For Boarding & Training
It’s important to understand what the facility offers before enrolling your favorite four-legged friend, as not every facility offers the same level of service.
Boarding facilities sometimes offer bare-bones services like feeding and walking, while others include some premium extras like grooming and playtime to make your pooch feel like a real VIP.
Training facilities are even more complex, as the services, methods, and tools used during training may vary. It’s important to discuss the facility’s approach before dropping off your dog to make sure you understand the process and ensure it resonates with what you are comfortable with.
How to Choose a Boarding Facility or Training Program
There are many factors to consider when making your selection. Here are some of the most critical ones to keep in mind when researching your options:
- Size: Do you have a cute little Pomeranian or a massive mastiff? Some facilities are better suited to small dogs or big behemoths, so consider the size of your pooch before you enroll them anywhere.
- Amenities: Picking a boarding and/or training facility is a little like house hunting. Think about your nice-to-haves and must-haves before exploring each facility’s website or consulting the staff, so you can find something that checks off as many boxes as possible.
- Location: As they say in the real estate game, “location, location, location.” Ideally, there will be an impressive facility within a few miles of your home, but it’s worth it to travel to facilities with the best ratings and reviews.
- Reviews: In today’s age, a web presence with plenty of positive reviews is a must for any competitive business. See if the facility you’re considering has positive feedback on Google, Yelp, Facebook, and other popular sites.
- Cost: Of course, the best facility in the world means nothing to you if it’s outside your budget. Consider what you’re able to spend when making your selection.
The best facilities often have professional websites that will answer many of your questions, but don’t be shy to pick up the phone and call the staff directly with any additional questions or concerns. You want as much information as possible before enrolling your dog anywhere so you know you have made a great decision for your shared future.
How to Prepare Your Dog for Boarding & Training
So, you’ve finally made your decision about where you’re going, and you feel great about things. Your dog may not share this enthusiasm, so we’ll want to do a few things to get them ready for boarding.
Here are a few things to do in preparation for the time you and your fur baby will be spending away from one another:
- Practice separation: We love clingy, cuddly pups, but this is a double-edged sword that will manifest in separation anxiety the second we walk out the door. Practice separating from them as early as possible, making the periods of time that you are away progressively longer over time.
- Take the tour: One of the best ways to get a pup accustomed to a boarding facility is to visit in person and give them a chance to explore, sniff, and acclimate ahead of time. This will make the eventual transition less sudden for them. When boarding in a trainer’s home, this option is not always available so keep that in mind.
- Discuss with the staff: The best candidates for coaching how to prepare for a boarding or training program will be the program director and staff at the facility. Schedule a call or sit down to go over the important points so that everyone is on the same page prior to your puppy’s first day.
When taking these steps, start as early as possible. We’re talking weeks in advance, if at all possible, so that your dog has time to process and adjust to the major change in their schedule that they’ll soon experience.
If we had it our way, we’d never spend a second apart from our precious pooch. Unfortunately, puppy love and smooches don’t pay the bills, so there will be times when we need to step out and leave them on their own.
That’s what makes boarding and training facilities so great. Not only do you have a safe environment that will care for your pooch in your absence, but they will also learn basic skills that will enhance their overall quality of life for the long haul.
Pawsitive K9 Solutions provides a variety of services suited to your and your dog’s needs in the greater Los Angeles area, ranging from private training, home-based board and train options, puppy day school, and more.
Contact Pawsitive K9 Solutions for more information today!