Most dog owners would prefer to keep their four-legged friends around 24/7, but it's sometimes necessary to board them at a kennel when you need to be away from the house. When you're looking for boarding kennels, you may notice that several suggest or outright stipulate that you supply the dog's own food for the duration of their stay. This often comes as a surprise to dog owners who assume that all food will be included, but there's more than one reason why providing what the dog is used to is good idea.
Firstly, keep in mind that staying in a boarding kennel can often be stressful for your dog. Even if they are generally fine staying with other people and get plenty of exercise and engagement at the boarding facility, they still won't like being away from their favourite thing in the world: you. As such, you want to minimise stress by keeping everything else as normal as possible. Food is a big part of your dog's world. The change of location and absence of you combined with a change in food can make them more stressed, so it's best to provide what they're used to.
No Risk of Upset Stomach
Dogs will generally eat just about anything, but there's always the chance a new type of food will cause an upset stomach. This is unpleasant for your dog and makes their time away from you even harder. Of course, it's also a lot tougher on the boarding team who need to care for your dog. Instead of risking something new, stick with their usual food.
Avoids Weight Loss or Gain
You know exactly how much your dog should eat each day; after all, you've probably been their only source of food for years. Unfortunately, boarding staff may not be as familiar with your dog's nutritional needs, and the food they used may contain more or fewer calories than your dog is used to. Over extended stays, your dog can either get a little too much or not quite enough.
Keeps Them Eating
Finally, remember that your dog may refuse to eat at all if they aren't given the food they're familiar with. This could be due to the stress of missing you or because they don't like the way the new food tastes. In any case, your dog needs to keep eating to keep their strength up, and it's tough for boarding staff to cope with a dog who refuses to eat. Minimise the risk by providing the food they know and love.