As we approach the busy boarding season, I often get questions and concerns from owners leaving their dogs while heading out on a vacation of their own. Everyone wants their dog to feel a little extra special and entertained. Now when dogs board with us, they are involved in a complete day of activities and exercise. They go on hikes, play in our two-acre field, join pack walks and then can just chill in our smaller structured yards. But at the end of the day, it is nice to be able to give them a special treat. Previously, we have done just this. Dogs that may need a little extra, get raw bones or filled kongs in their kennels.
We try to stay very on top of each dog’s individual needs and well being. Ironically, what we have discovered, is that owners would rather these treats “come from them”. It is viewed differently whether I give a bone from my freezer on my own or mom and dad requested that their pup gets a bone at night. In always trying to please our guests, we have now opened up the option to add on some wonderful treats to your pup’s stay. So, let’s take a look at some of my favorites for the raw fed and kibble fed dogs.
Upon bringing a dog in for boarding, my number one concern is for the picky or selective eaters. Some dogs are not used to being fed in a kennel or around other dogs. Some are so active and entertained throughout the day that they could care less about their food at night. Some straight up just do not eat a lot. What concerns me is that even for these picky or light eaters is the amount of exercise they get while here. The dog’s are constantly on the go and their days revolves around their needs and interests. It is very common for some of these dogs to not eat their dinner on the first night, but if they also do not eat their breakfast, we must be proactive and assist in their feedings. My go-to additives are Open Farm Freeze-Dried Raw for kibble fed dogs and occasionally raw fed dogs and then Raw Goat’s Milk for the strictly raw fed dogs. Both of these typically intice the dogs appetite and get them eating in no time!
The next biggest concern while a dog is boarding, is if they get stressed in a crate or a kennel. Although most of these dogs are able to overcome this with the amount of exercise and structured routine implemented, it is still something we must be aware of. We use a variety of different treats to help dogs feel comfortable in their kennels.
Some easy ones to keep on hand and toss in as we pass are Vital Essentials Mini Nibs
for our raw fed dogs and cut up Happy Howies for our kibble fed dogs.
These are super convenient to just toss a couple in a crate or kennel while passing to create a more positive association with being in there. If we are looking to help the dog be more comfortable getting into a kennel we may use something of a greater size and therefore value. One of my favorites is the Petcurean Spike Jerky treats. Most dogs love these and will go right in for one! Lastly, we need to consider those dogs that still may need a bit more to take the edge off and get comfortable. For this, there is nothing better than a raw marrow bone or frozen peanut butter kong!
Within the group we will also always come across a couple dogs who are special needs for one reason or another. They may have medications or pills they are required to take, so we keep Pillbuddy Naturals on hand. They may get an upset stomach due to the change in routine and environment.
We even get some dogs that may be older and get some achy or stiff joints. For these dogs, we want to make sure we are also staying proactive. One of my favorite things to use in these situations are Petcurean’s GO! Meal Mixers.
They have mixers to support digestive health as well as hip and joint support offering sometimes just that little extra support that is needed for the most comfortable of stays with us! All of these things are options we now have for our boarding dogs. Their health and well-being is most important to us. When you are thinking about boarding your dog or having a pet sitter come to your home, make sure to consider your dog’s personality and temperament. If you anticipate them displaying any of the above behaviors, make sure you are setting them up for success. Make your boarding facility or pet sitter aware and offer them some ideas to help your dog if needed.