Dog Boarding/Kenneling/Boarding Advice for Silky Terrier
I have a five year old Silky Terrier who sleeps/rests much of the day--between periods of very high energy play. The problem arises when we board him. He doesn't sleep, and this leads to seizures.
He likes the kennel--lots of barking and tail wagging excitement. The kennel has to place him near the back due to his excessive barking--he rarely barks at home. Completely unlike his feelings about the vet, he seems to enjoy the kennel, climbing over the counter to get to the workers and willingly leaping into his run to dash outside with the other dogs. This is NOT the excited reaction we get at the vet, so clearly the kennel is a happy place for him.
However, due to this constant excitement and lack of sleep, he had seizures the last two times he was boarded. He stayed at the kennel three nights both times, and had two-three seizures his first day/evening back at home. The only other time this has happened was a week our family routine was completely altered---a very busy week that dramatically changed his sleep routine.
All three times, my dog seizures were within an hour's time. Although he recovered completely once he caught up on his sleep, this was a frightening experience--not one we wish to repeat. We believe the seizures are due to an exhausted dog.
The kennel boards dogs in individual adjoining runs--each with indoor and outdoor space. While indoors, the adjoining dogs are next to him so he can't see them. Outdoors the adjoining dogs are separated by chain link fence so they can see each other.
In your experience at your kennel, how do you help overly excited dogs settle down enough to sleep??
We believe the kennel provides excellent care--but he doesn't want to miss a moment of excitement so apparently he stays awake around the clock!
We greatly appreciate any advice you might provide.
Hello Mary Margaret,
Thank-you for your question.
I have a few suggestions the kennel could try.
Do they shut the dogs inside at night so they aren't outside barking? This is the first step we take when a dog is still up at 10 pm and barking in their outside run.
The next step they could take is to try using a natural calming aid. Some examples are Bach's Rescue Remedy, DAP spray (from the vet), Biocalm (usually found in pet stores), or various other herbal remedies found in pet stores.
If these aren't effective, you can always ask your vet. We have had very good success when a vet has prescribed Clomicalm to calm high strung pets. It is very effective if it is started a few days before the pet arrives to board. A higher strength product is called Atravet, which will sedate your pet and could be given at night to ensure they rest.
We have also found that continuous barking can escalate activity and stress in boarding dogs, so a bark control device may also be effective. Citronella collars or sonic collars are painless and usually quite effective in reducing barking. There are also devices that plug in and give off a high pitched sound unpleasant to dogs when they bark, thus eliminating the barking.
I'm sure you don't want to put your pet on seizure medication, but that is another option. However, I have had several dogs have seizures while being boarding who were on seizure medication, so this appears not to eliminate seizures.
I hope my response is helpful. Please reply if you require clarification.
Home Alone Pet Cottages, Keswick, ON Canada