Tips to maximize comfort
This post is made to share tips on maximizing your dog's comfort while you are away.
What is your dog feeling?
It's very easy to misunderstand a dog if one does not know how to read their body language well, it's not about staring at the tail and decipher from the number of wags and whatnot, dog expresses their feelings throughout their whole body, even their eyes can be speaking to you without you knowing.
When you send your dog for staycation, no matter if it's a hotel, boarding place or friend/relative's house, he/she will definitely feel uncomfortable especially on the first night, dogs do not enjoy the sudden change of environment, there are many reasons and some of them includes the change of smell, facility, presence of other dogs/humans, routine, sound etc., therefore we can say that all dogs do feel a certain amount of stress no matter if it's someone they know or have visited before. No matter how happy your dog behaves upon reaching, when it's time to sleep there will definitely be some sort of stress present, it is crucial to be honest here as our primary goal is to let owners know what to expect and how to deal with common issues.
Why is it beneficial to take note?
We don't just take any amount dogs without understanding about them from their owners first, we need to know that in that period, how many guests needs special attention and how many are independent, then we will balance them out accordingly to avoid unnecessary stress.
Though we understand that all dogs will feel discomfort no matter what, that doesn't mean that we can't reduce the amount of stress, there are many things to do that can help make your dog feel better! Depending on individual dog and how well trained it is from young, we have some guests that adapts after just 15-30 minutes of stay.
Rushing before flight can greatly traumatize a dog, they can sense us panicking and will definitely feel uncomfortable being sent off right away.
We will always advice to bring your dog over at least the night before your flight, it is not worth to save that one day of boarding and stress your dog instead. Prior to every stay, we will talk and discuss about your dog before bringing them back, please spare some time for us to access your dog and absorb any additional information even if it is not their first time with us.
Dogs do not understand when you say goodbye or tell them that you are coming back, they treat it as a way of parting and will feel even worse.
To them, "see you" or "bye" means that you are leaving them alone, which is why many dogs start having anxiety attacks once they hear words
like that, because in reality they hear these words and their owners always "disappear".
Request for updates
We do try our best to provide updates through photos and videos, however it may be possible that it cannot be produced on certain days, this is because our handlers do not carry phones or cameras on hand during work, this is to ensure that we everyone will be focusing on the duties of taking care of all dogs, inclusive of cleaning duties. While we do understand when owners misses their dogs, constantly asking for updates can actually increase the stress levels of a carer, especially those who are doing their best and feels doubted, this is something that we do not want happening so we hope owners can give and take at times.
The coat of your dog should preferably be short but not shaven down, you shouldn't be seeing the skin. Short coats are great for long stay,
we have many activities planned for your dog and they can get rather messy, we do brush them but tangles are not preventable, we do not provide dematting services. Would be best if you can have a grooming session 3-7 days before your dog comes over, please do not do it right
before their stay, your dog might feel too stressed out. Other than being clean, your dog will also look better in our photos!
Dogs that are crate trained are among the most adaptable and confident compared to others, they have less trouble sleeping in new
environments compared to those that are left to free roam in the house. If your dog is not crate trained, it will be good to spend at least
a week letting your dog sleep in a separate room, crate or playpen before bringing him/her over, this alone can help to reduce
as much as 50% stress, sleeping is a very important subject and you will want your dog to sleep well!
Similarly to above, you may want to consider reducing as much behavioral issues as possible before your dog's stay. Proper training can help to keep your dogs comfortable during their stay, having behavior problems may also cause discomfort to other guests around them, if possible we'd hope everyone can be friends and accompany each other instead. Engage a trainer if you need assistance, do you best and try to tone down any behavior problems at least a week before the stay.
It is very wrong to underestimate eating, dogs in nature should eat at every chance they get, being picky is caused by owners,
not so much of personality and definitely not the breed. When a dog loses appetite, their immune system will weaken,
opening up their body to bacteria/diseases and other illness, then they may become sick!
We hate to see your dog getting sick just because they doesn't enjoy their meals.
Please take the chance to start training your dog to eat properly, at least 14 days (2 weeks) before the actual stay, provide only one type of food,
if you are giving Orijen kibbles for example, use this food for both breakfast and dinner continuously for 2 weeks. Make sure that if you are feeding Orijen kibbles (example), bring the same one for your dog's stay, do NOT mix any other forms of food, it may cause your dog to develop picky behavior and even to the extend of indigestion and stomach upset.
Never ever do things like feeding your dog home cooked food, then suddenly bringing kibbles over, there will be high chances that your dog will reject the kibbles, then starve and become sick. Remember the 2 weeks rule, start changing the food and make sure your dog is eating the one that you are going to use for their stay, if you have trouble then consider a trainer or visit a canine nutritionist to get further help.
Any medication be it application or oral form should be notified and agreed by us before any stay (even if the dog had been here before).
Do not suddenly provide medications to feed or apply on your dog including body applications and ear infections. Even simple things like food allergy or shampoo intolerance should be shared beforehand, it is never good to hide till the last moment as things can easily go out of hand.
We do not accept sick or unwell dogs that requires medication during their stay unless agreed beforehand.
Unwell dogs tend to get really uncertain and may cause problems for other guests around them,
as a responsible caregiver we hope all owners can understand from our point of view.
Any form of supplements should be notified before any stay. Please do not bring 5 supplements and expect us to remember all of them,
we might miss some of them out. In any case possible, not more than 3 important ones will be easier to handle, remember that you do not want to stress your dog during its stay, so make sure the supplements are tasty and can be eaten by itself, we do not provide forced administration unless agreed beforehand.
Bringing familiar belongings can help your dog adapt to the new environment. We do have extra food and water bowls that will be provided if you have forgotten or do not wish to bring them, we wash and sanitize them every single day. Bringing food is a must, other things like 1-2 toys (please don't bring 5), small blanket or towel will be advised to maximize comfort during sleeping time.
Leash and collar
Leash should be checked and in good condition, no tear nor breakage, the size of the leash should be used according to the weight of the dog. Don't bring a thin leash for your miniature poodle.
Collars have to be tight and about 2 fingers spacing, they should be of good quality and won't loosen if your dog pulls. Using belt type collars will ensure that the size stays no matter what. There are many cases where dogs get lost just because of a loose/low quality collar, it's not worth it! Also, don't bring choke chains for your toy breed dog, we don't encourage cruelty.
If you are using harness, make sure that it is secure and not loose as most dogs can slip out of them easily.
Last but not least, stay happy! Dogs can sense emotion and feel good when we feel good.
We'll contact you right away if there's anything, just leave the rest to us and enjoy!