Placing your pet in a kennel or cattery for a few days can be a stressful experience. If your pet suffers from separation anxiety or is easily anxious, it can be an unpleasant experience and could also lead to stress for the pet owner.
There are a number of reasons why your pet may become stressed during their stay at the kennels or cattery. These include:
- Separation from owners
- Lack of control over the environment
- Changes to their normal routine
- Sudden change in their diet
- Lack of exercise
- Unfamiliar sounds and noise from other dogs
- Being handled by strangers
- Unfamiliar smells
- Being around other dogs/cats
To help make your pet’s stay as stress free as possible, there are a number of positive things you can do, which include:
If your pet has never stayed in a kennel or cattery before, consider taking them for a trial visit. This will help them to get used to the experience and help your pet to realise you are coming back.
Let your cat get used to their carrier before taking them to the cattery. You could leave it in the home and use some treats to help tempt them inside.
You could take some familiar items with your pet. Their bed or toys will smell of home and help them to settle in their kennel.
Items of your clothing
You could give your pet an item of your clothing which smells of you and home.
Allow plenty of time
Be sure to allow plenty of time before going to the kennel or cattery. This will prevent you from rushing and getting stressed, which could then make your pet become stressed.
Take their food
Take some of your pet’s usual food for them to have during their stay. Most places will allow this, as some pets can be fussy with food. This is something else that is familiar to them and close to their usual routine. Different or new food could cause stress and a sensitive tummy.
If your pet doesn’t usually travel in the car, you could get them used to traveling with a few short trips before their stay at the kennels. You could use treats as rewards for their good behaviour during the journey.
Speak to the kennels or cattery
If your cat or dog are particularly nervous in certain situations, be sure to make the kennel or cattery owners aware. They may be able to keep your pet away from other cats or dogs, or be sure to handle them carefully if this causes stress.
When you leave your pet, make sure you are jolly, rather than consoling them. This will let your pet know that there is nothing to worry about. Stay calm yourself as your pet will pick up on your anxiety.
Book visits from young age
Your pet may benefit from regular short stays in a kennel or cattery from a young age to get them used to the experience.
Consider using nutracalm
nutracalm is a natural support to help reduce stress and anxiety for dogs and cats. It is specifically formulated to naturally calm anxious pets and can help to reduce unwanted or unruly behaviour.
Speak to your vet
Your pet may benefit from a visit to the vet before their stay to check their overall health and to make sure their vaccinations are all up to date. Your vet will be able to offer any advice and is best placed to monitor your pet’s health. Ask your vet about nutracalm.