Preparing your dog for Boot Camp

Most dogs will adjust beautifully to staying with us after a day or so. Sometimes temporary behavior changes can occur as a result of unfamiliar surroundings. Eating habits change under stress, and a dog assimilates food differently. Some will eat like canaries at home and like vultures at our facility. They may put on a few pounds while others can lose weight although eating well or lose weight by not eating enough. Life at boot camp can be very exciting, and some dogs lose weight because they run the weight off as they charge around playing with other dogs and having a wonderful time. These dogs often leave the facility exhausted but happy, and sleep a lot the first couple of days they are home. All of the preparation by the pet owner merely points out that a successful stay depends not only upon the facility, but also upon how well the owner prepares the dog for the experience.

Dropping off your dog for Boot Camp

Arrive as early in the day as possible – preferably by 2:00 p.m. The more active your dog’s first day with us, the quicker he’ll settle in to our routine before “lights out.” Remember that pets often sense and reflect our feelings. Don’t allow any family member to stage an emotional farewell at the training school; it may make your pet anxious. If you are planning on a trip while your pet is staying with us, consider bringing your pet to us before you start to pack – even before the suitcases come out. The less stress your pet feels before leaving home, the faster he’ll adjust. You know your pet best, so consider this when booking your pet’s time with us.

Boot Camp checklist:

• Registration, release forms & final payment

• Proof of vaccinations

• Other special instructions

• Collar with proper ID tags

• Bedding – This is up to you as some dogs chew up bedding, even dogs that don’t chew at home.

• Food with specific instructions. Please package in individual meals (1 per day, we can divide up into am/pm meals). Tell us if you have included medications or supplements in the pre-packaged food.

• Something that smells of home – but remember, dogs chew. Even dogs beyond the chewing stage, may chew when they’re away from home. So we can’t guarantee you’ll get things back in the same condition as they came in.

• Medications, supplements, etc. –  Please bring medications in their original, labeled container.

Going home

Depending on how long your dog was away from home, sleeping more then normal for a few days and occasional loose stools are normal. Changes in environment can cause intestinal upset and your dog may need a few days to readjust to the routine of life back at home. (Just like when we travel!!) If your dog’s after-boot camp behavior is puzzling, call us. In rare cases there’s a transitional period of adjustment, and we’re happy to give you advice to help you both. The vast majority of dogs view their stay at our facility as a vacation.

Things you should know if your dog gets Diarrhea after returning home…

Diarrhea is uncommon at our facility but it does occur. 

Although most dogs never get diarrhea while being boarded, others get it every time they are boarded. Occasionally a dog that has had firm stools here will get diarrhea when he/she returns home. What can cause this sudden onset of gastric distress?

Stress Related Diarrhea: We believe that the most common cause of diarrhea is “Stress.” This cause of diarrhea most frequently occurs with dogs who have never been boarded or who are infrequently boarded. The sudden change in the dog’s routine causes them to stress out and the result can be gastric distress. This is also why dogs that have had firm stools here may develop diarrhea when they return home. It is the change in environment that causes the stress.

If diarrhea is noticed during boarding your veterinarian will be contacted and treatment guidelines will be followed. You will be informed of our veterinarian recommended treatment at the time of checkout. If diarrhea should occur after you return home be sure to tell your veterinarian that your dog was recently boarded with us. Given that the strict guidelines are followed for daily cleaning and disinfecting of our kennel, it is unlikely that the diarrhea is caused by something other than dietary changes and stress. 

We work very hard to ensure our facility is kept clean. Per our veterinarian recommendation, our facility is spray-cleaned and sterilized daily with a quaternary ammonia compound and a 3% Clorox solution. .

In addition each pet’s bowls and water buckets are cleaned daily. Throughout the day the kennel areas are mopped with a 3% Clorox solution each mop is introduced to this solution before use in other pet’s runs. The outside dog yards are also cleaned between outside playtimes. We consult the Merck Veterinary Manual and follow all the suggested prevention for diarrhea are established, and routine. Daily procedures are encompassed in our daily care.