cute messy dog

Stress: Dogs & Cats Feel It, Too

Stress is something that we all face. It’s pretty much a fact of life. Here at All About Paws, we know that some of our guests experience stress with boarding or perhaps being around other animals. After all, stress isn’t just something that we humans have to battle – our furbabies deal with it, too.

So, how can you decide if boarding your pet is the right decision?  First, you have to think about the alternatives.

Most pets experience a greater amount of stress while traveling – and being left unsupervised while you’re gone just isn’t an option.Relying on friends and family may be a good alternative for some pet owners,but it can also be problematic. Asking a friend to care for your pet while you’re away can be passing along a pretty big responsibility; and while your friend may be willing to step in and help out, chances are, she has a lot going on in her own busy schedule and may not be able to give your dog or cat the attention he needs while you’re away. The change in dynamics, the confusion of why you’re gone or when you’re coming back, or the upheaval of travel can be far more stressful for your pet compared to professional boarding. Plus, when your pet is receiving professional care while you’re away, you’ll have added peace of mind.

Think of your pet’s boarding facility as something of a hotel for your best friend – it’s a home away from home. It’s a place that provides recreation, attention and hospitality. How’s that for a stress buster?

If you have questions about how your pet will spend her time at a boarding facility while you’re away, talk to the staff. Ask questions about exercise, playtime, and how arrangements are handled for bedding and meals. You can also ask about special care options for pets with special needs.It’s also smart to discuss any known stressers for your pet with the boarding staff so that they can best accommodate your pet and her specific personality.

Another way to help combat the stress of boarding is to allow your dog to spend some time at doggie daycare first. This allows him to get acquainted with the facility and get to know the staff. The sense of familiarity will be a welcoming feeling when your dog then needs to spend a bitmore time away from home through boarding. You can also ask the staff about bringing along favorite toys to help bring in another little comfort of home along for the stay.

While we know that leaving your pet for a while can be stressful for you both, it’s important to remember that our pets are often more resilient and flexible than we give them credit for. In fact…maybe…just maybe…it’s us humans who allow ourselves to get a bit overly concerned. Take comfort in knowing that your pet is being well cared for while you’re away. Take the time to get to know the boarding facility in advance and let the staff help you get a clear understanding of how your pet will be accommodated while you’re away.

Stress is always going to be a fact of life…and sure, our pets experience it, too…but when you really stop to think about which of us has the better handle on stress, wouldn’t you agree that it’s usually our pets who are pretty terrific in reminding us humans how to relax and enjoy ourselves?


All About Paws is a boarding, grooming, and doggie daycare service provider in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Located next to Ashby Animal Clinic,trusted veterinary clinic for over 40 years.

Contact Us today to schedule an appointment or to learn more!