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How to board an anxious dog

Posted on 28th September 2021 by Green Lane Farm Team

Like people, dogs come with a range of personalities and temperaments: playful, confident, sociable, nervous, skittish, friendly, territorial, aggressive…the list goes on. Most, however, regardless of personality, will establish a close bond with their owners and generally be at their happiest when they are with them. 

For that reason, some dogs can get upset or anxious when their owners leave them. For most, it’s a temporary mood that’s quickly forgotten. 

There are a few, however, for whom being away from their owner for any length of time becomes unbearable. For owners of dogs such as these, even going out for an evening can be difficult, but going away on holiday can be a traumatic experience if it means having to put your best friend into a boarding kennel for the duration.

Of course, just because your dog gets unhappy when you go away, that doesn’t mean they’ll stay that way – dogs can be overly attached and sociable at the same time and, once they get into the kennels and meet the other guests there, the sociable side of their personality can quickly take over. 

But some find being in a kennel a difficult and very stressful experience and are likely to be unhappy throughout their stay – this is a condition known as separation anxiety. There are, however, things you can do that might alleviate your dog’s anxieties, so this month, the team at Green Lane Farm Boarding Kennels is going to examine how to board an anxious dog.


Let the kennel staff know the situation

It is very important that those who are going to be caring for your best friend know about his or her condition – that will allow them to make every effort to ensure your dog’s stay is as comfortable as possible. They are likely to be experienced at dealing with anxious dogs, so should know how to keep them busy and hopefully distract them from brooding too much. 

Familiarise your dog with the boarding kennel beforehand

Once you know you’re going to need boarding kennels, and you’ve chosen which you’re going to use, try to take your dog there a few times before finally leaving them. If they can associate it with being with you, it may make the moment of separation less problematic, especially if the staff have been prepared and have also been able to take the time to make themselves familiar with your dog.

Don’t go away for too long

When you’re leaving a dog at a boarding kennels for the first time, try not to make it for too long. You could even book them in for a trial overnight stay to see how they cope. If they manage reasonably well, you can gradually build up your periods of absence as they not only get used to the kennels, but hopefully also remember that you came back! Your kennel should be able to give an honest assessment of how your dog coped and whether theirs is a suitable place for your dog to stay. 

Take familiar items

Take toys and familiar items to leave with your dog that will remind them of home. Even your dog’s feeding bowl or the familiar smells of his or her bedding may be enough to comfort them in your absence. One thing we like to suggest is that you wear an old shirt or jumper for a couple of days before you go away and then bring it in with your dog, as that kind of familiar and recent smell can make a huge difference.

Green Lane Farm operates boarding kennels in Surrey that’s easily accessible from the areas around Chessington and Kingston. We’re specialists at nervous dogs care and are vastly experienced at dealing with dogs with all kinds of temperament. Make sure you let us know when booking your dog in and we’ll prepare the way for them as much as we can. You can find more advice on leaving anxious dogs with us on our FAQs page or get in touch with us today to find out more.


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