Separation Anxiety at the Dog Kennel: How to minimize it for you and your dog
All sizes, ages, breeds, and doganalities of dogs boarding at Harmony Farm Kennel near Kamloops BC enjoy a stress-free, interesting country vacation with lots to keep their noses busy and minds fascinated. Some owners, however, have considerable separation anxiety leaving their pets behind! During these strange and strained covid days I understand that both dogs and their owners are spending a lot more time together as many owners are working at home, some children are not attending school regularly, and families are not traveling as per the province's travel restrictions.
So ...when a time arises that the family pooch needs to spend time at Harmony Farm Kennel, some owners are understandably anxious (and maybe even lonesome) without their pets by their side - just a bit more than usual. "Don't worry-be happy!" say your dogs! Actually, the majority of dogs are quite alright with a change of surroundings as long as they are safe, comfortable, and exercised. Even the dogs that seem to be upset upon leaving the side of their owners generally become super excited once they have entered the kennel area (sometimes even the front door!)
When you drop off your dog and their belongings at Harmony Farm, my normal routine is to allow your dog to settle in their individual kennel, (which usually takes about the time it takes you to drive out of my gate.) Then I will take them for a walkabout. Before they are even out of the door your dog has generally taken smell and sight of all kinds of points of doggy interest!
Please note, that I am very sensitive to your dog's needs happily providing that extra 'good dog' stroke and reassurance - and, even better, countrified exercise - to stay entertained and satisfied! There is always lots of 'farm news' to watch from their private yards and daily hikes throughout the farmlands and forests to keep dogs mentally and emotionally content while being safely exercised.
Here are three points I recommend that will help with any anticipated anxiety issues in your dog:
1) If it's your dog's first time away from home, be sure to arrange a pre-stay 'meet and greet' (preferably 2 weeks before the planned longer kennel stay). This is an opportunity for your dog to exercise their senses to smell, hear and feel the peaceful energy of the workings of Harmony Farm. They are happy to have a sniff around and even mark some spots to come back to later.
This is also a time for a quiet introduction and interaction with myself so that when they do come to stay it is an easy, comfortable, 'old home' return for your dogs.
2) I can not stress enough, how important it is to bring along something that smells like you, for your dog to relate to, hold close, and covet while apart from you. Just like burying a treasured bone, often a dog will bury your item under their bed for safekeeping or lay on it while sunning on their patio. Having a part of you close always makes for less separation anxiety for your pooch.
3) Equally important for your easy transition is 'quick good-byes and long hellos'! Make it easy on everyone (me included) to just casually say something like 'see ya later' when you leave them. Please don't make a big deal of leaving your dog at the kennel. When you're ok, they will be ok also. Having said that, it is awesome to allow a really big deal to celebrate your reunion once you return to pick up your loving companion!
As for your own possible worry about leaving your family 'at camp' at Harmony Farm Kennel, here are a few ways you can help yourself make the transition smooth and stress-free:
1) Early preparation of your dog's regular bed (not washed is best),regular food, treats, and going away pack will help you mentally get organized to be apart from your dog. Avoid last-minute gathering as you'll feel awful if you forget something, likely you'll be rushed and will pass on your own anxiety not being mentally ready for leaving your dog behind.
2) Visualize your love for your dog and send them energetic messages that all is excellent in both your worlds. This might sound silly but everything is energy and dogs are very ‘tuned in’. I know for a fact, this helps both you and your pets.
3) Often I will let you know how your dog is doing either by text or email but in case you worry. Don't hesitate to text, email, or call me to check in! I don't mind any time - really!
Overall, be rest assured that while you have to be apart from your dogs they will receive 'customized' care, keeping their individual safety, health, comfort, mental balance, physical desires, and needs first and foremost, making Harmony Farm Kennel, "a nice place to stay, while you're away".
Click to learn more about reservations and rates at our Kamloops dog boarding kennel, or read more of the Dog Tales blog by Patricia!