What Age Can You Board a Puppy into Kennels?

Puppy in a kennel
Photo of a Puppy in a kennel by Alin Luna on Unsplash

Boarding your puppy for the first time can be a nerve-racking experience, especially if they are still very young. You may wonder whether you can board a puppy while they are young, and if so, how old must a puppy be before boarding them for the first time?

How old must a Puppy be before I board them?

There’s no set age, the answer to this question will very much depend on the individual puppy and its level of maturity. Some puppies may be able to handle being away from their owner at a very young age, while others may not be ready until they are a bit older. It’s best to use your judgement when deciding whether or not to board your puppy.

Picture of a puppy in a kennel
Photo of a Puppy by Angel Luciano on Unsplash

What should I consider before leaving a puppy in a kennel?

Here’s what you should consider before boarding your puppy for the first time:

Do your research before boarding them

If you are considering boarding your puppy for the first time, it is important to do some research ahead of time. Talk to your veterinarian, as they will be able to give you some guidance on whether or not your puppy is ready to be boarded. They will also be able to provide you with some recommendations on boarding facilities in your area.

When you have narrowed down your list of potential boarding facilities, be sure to check their online reviews. This will give you a good idea of what other people’s experiences have been like.

You should also ask around for recommendations from friends or family who have boarded their own puppies before. It also doesn’t hurt to ask on Facebook groups or forums.

Visit the kennels before you board your puppy

You should take the time to visit the kennels before leaving your puppy to stay overnight. This will allow you to see how the other puppies are kept and whether or not they seem happy and healthy. You will also need to consider the other dogs that will be staying at the kennel, as you will want to make sure that your puppy will be compatible with them and the environment.

Don’t go for the cheapest option

Puppies are very fragile and new to the world, so it’s important to make sure that they are staying somewhere safe, clean and reputable. Don’t just go for the cheapest option because it doesn’t break the bank, make sure they are staying somewhere that will take good care of them.

Check that they are experienced and qualified to look after puppies

You wouldn’t leave your child with a stranger that has no babysitting experience, so the same applies to your puppy. Make sure to check that they are qualified and experienced in looking after puppies before entrusting them to their care.

If your puppy has a health condition, this step is crucial, as they will need experience handling puppies with similar health conditions, especially if they need to administer medication.

You should also make sure that they are familiar with the breed of your puppy, as some breeds have specific needs that must be met.

Get references from other dog owners

If you know someone who has left their puppy at the boarding facility before, ask them for a reference. This will give you some peace of mind knowing that other people have had a positive experience with the kennel.

If you don’t know anyone that has used a kennel, you can ask the kennel directly if they can give out references. If they provide a quality service, they will have no problem giving you the contact details of some happy customers.

Ask about their policies

Be sure to ask about the kennel’s policies before boarding your puppy. This includes things like how often they will be exercised, what type of food they will be given, and what the procedure is if your puppy becomes sick while they are staying there. You could also ask whether you can provide your own puppy food, to avoid any tummy upsets.

It is also important to find out what their policy is on administering medication, in case your puppy needs to take any while they are staying there. And also vaccinations, as most boarding facilities will require that your puppy is up to date on their shots – if yours isn’t, this may need to be something you organise before booking them in.

Finally, you should ask about the kennel’s cancellation policy, in case you need to change your plans for any reason.

Make sure you’re comfortable with the staff

When you visit the kennels, take the time to speak to the staff and get to know them. This is your chance to ask questions and get a feel for the facility.

You should make sure that you are comfortable with the staff and that they seem competent and capable of taking care of your puppy. If you have any doubts, it is probably best to look for another boarding option.

Check that they have insurance

All reputable boarding facilities should be insured in case anything happens to your puppy while they are in their care. This will give you some financial protection in case your puppy is injured or becomes ill while staying there. It will also give you an idea of whether they are legitimate or not – if they are unwilling to provide proof of insurance, this should be a red flag.

See if they offer a trial period

If you are still unsure about whether or not the boarding facility is right for your puppy, some places may offer a trial period. This will allow you to see how your puppy adjusts to being away from home and give you a chance to decide if it is the right fit for them.

You could leave them overnight for a few nights or drop them off for a day visit to see how they do. If everything goes well, you will have peace of mind knowing that your puppy is in good hands while you’re away.

How can I prepare my puppy to stay in a kennel?

If you have decided that boarding is the best option for your puppy, and you have chosen a suitable one considering the points above, there are a few things you can do to prepare them for their stay.

Get them used to being away from you

Firstly, you should start by getting them used to being away from you. If they are not used to being away from home, this can be a big adjustment for them and make their stay at the boarding facility more difficult.

You can start by leaving them alone for short periods, gradually increasing the amount of time they are left alone until they are comfortable being on their own. This will make it easier for them to cope when you’re not there and help them to relax while they are staying at the kennel.

If your Puppy sleeps with you at night, start getting them used to sleeping in their own bed in another room. This will help them to feel more comfortable being away from you at night.

Make sure they are socialised and happy being around other dogs

It’s important to make sure that your puppy is socialised before they stay at the boarding facility. This means getting them used to being around other people and dogs, as they will be staying in a kennel with other dogs while you’re away.

You can do this by taking them to the park or to dog-friendly places where they can meet and interact with other dogs. If you have friends or family members with dogs, you could also arrange for them to visit your home so that your puppy can get used to being around other dogs in a familiar environment.

It’s also important to make sure that your puppy is happy and comfortable being handled by other people. This will make it easier for the staff at the boarding facility to care for them and help them to feel more relaxed while they are away from you.

Give them plenty of exercise before they go

It’s important to make sure that your puppy has plenty of exercise before they stay at the boarding facility. A tired puppy is a happy puppy, and this will help them to sleep better while they are away from home.

You should also make sure that they have a good meal before you leave them, as this will help to keep their energy levels up.

Get your puppy vaccinated

Your Puppy will be around other people and dogs during their stay at the kennel, so it’s important to make sure that they are up to date with their vaccinations. This will help to protect them from any diseases that they could come into contact with.

You should also make sure that they are wormed and flea treated before they go, as this will help to keep them comfortable and healthy while they are away from home.

Some kennels may require proof of vaccination before they will accept your puppy, so it’s important to check this before you make a booking.

Conclusion: When can you board a puppy and what age must they be?

By following these tips, you can be sure that you are leaving your puppy in good hands and that they will have a positive experience while staying at the boarding facility. Boarding your puppy can be a great option if you are going on vacation or if you need someone to take care of them while you are away from home.

Don’t feel that you can’t go on holiday, as it’s important to take a break every so often, but just make sure to do your research and due diligence before leaving them.

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