I took an enquiry from the owner of a young Alaskan Malamute today who wanted to book her in for a short stay with one of our carers. This will be only the second time she has boarded her when they've gone away.
The previous occasion she was boarded in an excellent local boarding facility. Even though these kennels come highly recommended she told me that she would never, ever consider putting her in kennels again.
When I enquired why this was she told me that the dog had lost so much weight her hip bones were sticking up and her back bone was very prominent. She was also very tired and listless. She had lost hair around her mouth and it looked sore which had worried the lady. I explained that it was probably stress that had caused her to constantly lick her lips.
Another more embarrassing thing was that she had started to mount other dogs and children if they knelt down. This was a new behaviour and was frightening her grandchildren. Again this is a sign of stress as is losing weight; the dog was probably so terrified that she could barely eat.
We have decided to board her dog with a lovely family with a couple of teenagers and no pets. They all love dogs; having previously had a Labrador who they lost to cancer a year ago. The wife doesn't work so can give all the care,attention and exercise that the Malamute needs.