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D2008-03

Dear Daisy Dog

Our family traveled over the holidays, and we had to kennel Peter, our 3-year-old dog, for a week. The kennel staff reported that Peter seemed stressed and that he developed diarrhea. We plan to board him this spring, too, and we’d like to know how to minimize his stress.

Daisy Responds

When our parents travel, they usually hire a pet sitter to come live at the house with all nine of us four-legged kids.

It’s less stressful than boarding, because we’re still in our own home.

If you can’t find a pet sitter, then get Peter accustomed to kennel living now.

Start by crate training him at home. I love my crate, my own private den, and when I’m kenneled at the animal hospital, I remain relaxed.

Once Peter is comfortable in his crate, board him at the kennel for just one night. Let him take a special toy or blanket with the scent of home.

When you retrieve him the next day, he’ll realize you haven’t abandoned him.

Repeat the kennel overnights a few times, until the staff reports that he seems at ease.

Before you kennel Peter this spring, ask your veterinarian to prescribe medication that you can send with him in case he develops diarrhea, a common reaction to stress in us dogs.

With a bit of preparation this winter, Peter might even enjoy his spring vacation at the kennel.

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