How to socialise your adult dog & why it is essential

There’s nothing worse than an unhappy & unsociable pooch in dog boarding kennels!  At our luxury dog boarding kennels in Sydney, we know that a dog who hasn’t been taught to socialise with other dogs needs to be cared for in different ways to stay happily in a dog boarding kennels.

This is because they haven’t been taught to be friendly to other dogs and they aren’t always the normal well-adjusted family dogs we know and love. In fact, when faced with other dogs, especially a whole pack of excitable little dogs, a dog that hasn’t been socialised can be anxious, scared and even aggressive.

Why aren’t dogs automatically friendly and well adjusted?

Socialisation helps puppies to be totally cool in new situations, helping them to happily meet other dogs and people, as well as learning to explore their surroundings with confidence. As you can appreciate, it’s important for your dog to be socialised before staying in any small dog boarding kennels in Sydney.

There are a variety of reasons why an adult dog has missed out on being socialised:

  • Some owners don’t know that it’s important for their puppy to be socialised.
  • Some puppies are simply abandoned early in life and end up in the pound.
  • Some puppies are not included in the family and are made to live outside in the yard.
  • Some owners are so worried about their puppy catching a disease (before all the vaccinations are complete) that they keep their puppy inside for 16 weeks!

Most socialisation training needs to occur before a puppy is 12 weeks old and the longer it’s left, the harder it will be to socialise your dog. Socialisation however, isn’t a one shot affair, it’s something that needs to continue throughout your dog’s life, otherwise they can become uncomfortable again with new situations, for example in dog boarding kennels where they meet strangers and unfamiliar dogs.

What can you do if your dog hasn’t been socialised?

Socialising a young pup is fairly easy because they are totally fearless! Socialising an adult dog however, can be quite difficult because they usually have a host of insecurities and a lack of self-confidence, all of which makes staying in a luxury dog boarding resort quite difficult for your dog. What you want is for your dog to happily go where you lead him or her and to do so with confidence, even if they had previously felt really scared in these situations.

It won’t take you long to know what situations are uncomfortable for your dog: meeting strangers or unknown dogs on walks, road traffic, loud noises, thunder, plates crashing on the floor, men with beards, washing flapping on the line or simply staying at your local small dog boarding kennels are some of the potentially scary things in a dog’s life.

When an adult dog is scared of something, being near to you isn’t going to make them feel any better (as it normally does with puppies), because when an adult dog is scared – that’s the end of the story!

To address their problems, you will need to pick one and go slow, using distractions, such as toys or food and not forcing the issue on them, because if they feel scared or threatened they may attack. If you need help socialising your adult dog speak to your vet who will refer you to an expert in your area.

Here are some helpful tips to help socialise your puppy…

  • Once your pup is fully vaccinated, visit your local council designated dog park – allow your dog to observe other dogs behaviour before you go in.
  • Don’t force socialising onto you dog. Allow them to slowly ease into meeting new friends. If they are timid at first, take a step backwards and repeat the process as many times as necessary.
  • Stay calm and confident.
  • Praise and reward good behaviour, always use positive reinforcement.
  • Allow new people to give your dog affection with a pat, if your dog is comfortable then encourage them to give your pup a cuddle. The more handling the better.
  • Go to Puppy Classes. Its never too late to start.

To book your pooch into our luxury dog boarding kennels in Sydney while you go away on holiday, please call us on 02 9450 1579 or send us an email

9 Tips for finding the best Dog Resort in Sydney

Why not treat your beloved companion to a holiday at a luxury dog resort in Sydney? When you’re heading off on holiday and you can’t take your little one with you, then it’s only fair to treat them to a holiday of their very own!

A week in a luxury dog boarding resort will definitely put a smile on their little faces, leaving you to enjoy your holiday knowing that your best friend is having a great dog minding experience in Sydney while you’re away.

Finding the right dog hotel in Sydney however, is no easy task, so here are nine easy to follow tips that will help you make the right choice for the doggie friend in your life.

Are they a member of PIAA?

Whilst membership in the Pet Industry Association of Australia isn’t compulsory, if the dog boarding kennels you are researching in Sydney don’t belong to this organisation, you have to wonder why, don’t you?

Do the staff live on site?

Make sure that your preferred dog hotel has experienced staff onsite overnight who can quickly give your little one the attention they need at night. We have staff who are always on hand if needed, and we offer lots of pampering options.

What’s their daily routine?

You want to know what your doggie friend will be doing all day, because you want to know they will be getting cuddles, exercise and playtime.

What accommodation is offered?

Some dogs need much more comfort than others, so it pays to view their website and check their range of sleeping accommodations before making your decision.

What about the food?

Can you take your own food? Do they cater to different specialised diets and fussy eaters? Do they offer the healthiest brands to your pet?

What about toys & bedding?

Some dogs need the comfort of their own toys and bedding, so if the dog boarding kennels in Sydney don’t allow this (and some don’t), you need to know about it!

What if your little one becomes ill?

Do they have their own vet on call 24/7 to attend to your little one if he or she becomes ill during their holiday? Our vet is just moments away from our doggie hotel.

Do they accommodate small dogs only?

Small dogs settle much easier in our non-threatening environment as we only care for small breed dogs 15kg and under.

Can your pooch have their own room?

Some dog boarding kennels only offer single accommodation as an extra, so make sure that you know about these charges if they apply to your little dog.

Tour the pet hotel:

Once you have answered all the above questions to your satisfaction, you really need to tour the luxury dog boarding resort to make a final check that all seems well. Do you feel comfortable there yourself? Do the doggie guests seem happy and content?

To take a tour of our luxury dog boarding resort in Duffys Forest, just 35 minutes north of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, please call us on 02 9450 1579 or send us an email

6 Tips on How To Best Prepare Your Dog For Their Perfect Holiday

Are you apprehensive about leaving your dog at a boarding kennel?

If you are concerned about leaving your dog in our small dog boarding resort for the first time, here are a few tips that should remove your apprehension. It’s good to have peace of mind knowing that your dog will always look forward with great relish to his or her next holiday with us!

Puppy classes

These classes help your little dog become used to other dogs in a controlled area and teach them to respond to your commands. A dog that has been well trained at puppy classes tends to be a social dog that gets on well with other dogs and isn’t anxious or upset when they spend their holidays at our dog boarding kennels in Sydney.

Are they socialised?

Following on from your puppy classes or if you have adopted an older dog, you need to make sure that they are fully socialised and are happy to run and play off-lead with other like-minded dogs. The local dog park is a good place to start, as is a playdate with a friend or relative’s dog. You will soon know how well your dog interacts with other dogs and if you have any concerns that they may be anxious or upset, you can talk to your vet and ask their advice. We can also give them their own space at our dog hotel so that they can remain calm and not feel anxious about being away from home. If your dog is a little timid around big dogs you can rest assured they will be fine at SmallPaws Pet Hotel Sydney, as we only board small dogs under 15kg .

Get them used to the car

Taking short trips in the cat that don’t involve going to the vet is a great idea, because they will always hop in ready for an exciting trip! When our doggie guests arrive at our luxury dog boarding kennels they always race out and are instantly ready for their very own wonderful holiday with all their doggie playmates.

Bring a toy or blanket from home

You don’t have to do this, but if you think that your dog will be happier with a familiar toy of blanket, by all means pack it for them and bring it with you when you drop your little one off with us at our dog boarding kennels in Sydney.

Familar Faces and Places!

Smallpaws Pet Hotel Sydney offers doggie daycare which is a great opportunity to get your fur babies familiar with our facilities before their holiday. If your dog is particularly anxious, book them in for some overnight stays so they can get used to their surroundings. Familiar faces and environments will make them feel at home. Our pet hotel has been established for over 25 years and you can rest assured we will always be here to provide a home away from home for your little friend.

Update their vaccinations

Always make sure that your dog has all their vaccinations up to date and don’t forget to bring their vaccination certificate with you for us to view.

A friend of mine remembers the very first time she booked her little one into dog boarding kennels in Sydney, because she felt so stressed and uneasy. She felt that she was abandoning her dog while she waltzed away on a wonderful holiday!

It all changed when she picked her dog up from the kennels, however, because he was so happy and healthy; it’s been the same ever since that day. Whenever she brings him to SmallPaws Pet Hotel in Sydney, he just can’t wait to join all his friends and play all day long, racing around the garden and just have a very good time indeed.

Call us on 02 9450 1579 or send us an email to make a holiday booking for your little one.

How To Prepare Your Cat For Their Pawfect Holiday

When going on holidays it is easy to forget that your feline friend needs looking after too. When deciding what to do, your cat’s happiness and wellbeing is of utmost importance. More and more owners are booking their cats into a luxury cat hotel in Sydney where they can truly have a special, familiar, safe and secure experience with 24/7 care.

Staying in luxury cat accommodation has lots of benefits for your feline friend! At SmallPaws Pet Hotel in Sydney, we not only give our feline guests healthy food every day, but they have fresh water, comfortable bedding, their own separate room, fresh air, sunshine, toys, scratching poles, a hiding box and lots of attention and cuddles (if they like cuddles!).

Some owners are hesitant to put their cats into a luxury cat boarding resort, mainly because they are not sure if their cat will want to be away from home. At SmallPaws Pet Hotel we find cats grow accustomed to their change of environment more quickly than you think. Vets see a far greater risk of illness and injury when cats are left at home alone. The peace of mind that you will have knowing that your cat is being looked after 24/7 with love and care, makes it really worthwhile to spend some time helping your cat to get used to the idea!

After all, what happens if your cat becomes sick when you are away and there is no one at home to notice? Our vet is just around the corner and a quick phone call away, so you can rest assured that your feline friend will have the very best care when they stay with us at our premier cat accommodation in Sydney. All staff are qualified animal carers with over 50 years combined working experience in the industry.



If your cat is a social being and likes to interact with other people and feline visitors to your home, then your cat should feel right at home in our luxury cattery. If that doesn’t work for your cat, just let us know that they prefer their own company and we will oblige them. To get them used to new faces, ask visitors to your home to say “Hello” to your fur baby and give them a cuddle.

All of the feline guests at our Cat Hotel in Sydney have their own separate accommodation, so the only time they can interact with other cats is when they are comfortable to join our other feline guests in our supervised communal play area. If your cat prefers to play on their own however, then that’s not a problem, because we can give them their own special time in the play area.


Teaching your cat to enter their travel case and ride in the car is also beneficial for your cat, not just for when you drop them off at our luxury cat boarding resort, but also for taking them to your vet. Take the door off the case for safety, and leave it around the house with a blanket and perhaps a treat inside to get them used to entering the case. Taking them for a trip to a friend or relative’s home helps them to socialise and to realise that car trips don’t always mean the vet!


To ensure your feline friends routine can stay as familiar as possible, let SmallPaws staff know about your cat’s particular likes, dislikes, and food preferences. If your cat is particularly fussy, you may want to send along some instructions on what works best for you at home. At SmallPaws we have a customer portal available 24/7 so you can add the information at anytime. At our luxury cat hotel, all we want your cat to worry about is which chair is best to relax in the sun.


Cats settle quickly when they recognise their safe surroundings and some familiar faces. The stability and security of a long-running Hotel like SmallPaws, ensures that when your cat arrives they see familiar surroundings and faces and feel at home straight away. Also, you are welcome to bring your cat’s favourite toys or bedding with them, so that they have the familiar smells from home to enjoy during their holiday at their own luxury cattery in Sydney. If you can’t bring in your cat’s bed, buy a bed just for holidays and get your cat used to sleeping on it at home. Your scent can also help your cat settle, a useful trick is to put an old sheet or shirt in your bed or laundry basket so it picks up your scent. We will then use the item as part of the bedding.

Don’t forget to have your cat’s vaccinations up to date and bring their vaccination certificate along with you when you drop your cat off with us.

To tour our premier cat accommodation in Sydney, please call us on 02 9450 1579 or send us an email. Inspections are welcome during the school term between 10am-12noon Monday to Saturday.

Your cat’s going on holiday? How to find the best luxury cattery in Sydney

Most of us look forward to our holidays, but that also means finding a luxury cattery in Sydney for our feline friends. Your first port of call should be to ask friends, relatives, work colleagues or your local vet if they can recommend a cat hotel in Sydney, followed up by a quick online search. When you have your short list of preferred cat accommodation in Sydney, here are the important points you need to check before making your final decision.

What type of accommodation does the Sydney cat resort offer?

We all know that our feline friends are very fussy and need their accommodation to be ‘just so’. This means that you need to be confident that their accommodation lives up to their standards! Does the Sydney cat boarding resort offer different types of accommodation for your cat? Are the rooms light and airy with views out into a garden (hopefully with lots of bird life to watch)? Do they have solid walls so there is no nose to nose contact with other cats? Do they have a hiding box for your cat to retreat to for “downtime”. Do they have plenty of toys, scratching poles and is the cattery air-conditioned and heated with extra heating pads in the winter if needed?

What type of bedding do they offer and can you bring in your own bedding and toys? How often do they clean the rooms and the litter trays is another good question to ask, because a clean cattery is a healthy cattery.

What type of outdoor areas and exercise is available for my cat?

Is there a communal exercise area or will your cat have their own separate outdoor area? Some cats are happy to share their exercise or snoozing time with other cats, whilst others don’t like to share! It’s important that you know how each luxury cattery in Sydney manages these situations, particularly if your cat prefers their own company.

What food will they offer my cat?

It’s always best to ask about the type and brand of food that is offered at each cat hotel, because some cats don’t like their menu to be changed. If you think that your cat might not like the available food, then make sure that the cat hotel allows you to provide your cat’s favourite food for their holiday stay.

What about special needs cats?

Older cats need special care when they are staying at cat boarding kennels. These can include access to their bedding without having to climb, lots of sunny spots for an afternoon’s snooze, and special foods and medications. You might need to make sure that your cat’s accommodation is on one level, has its own external window and that your cat doesn’t have to walk far to access the outdoors for their afternoon nap in the sunshine.

Is the cattery secure?

One thing to remember is cats like to climb! Is the cattery well fenced and secure? Do they have carers on site 24/7? How long has the cattery been established for and are staff qualified?

To take a tour of our luxury cattery in Duffys Forest, just 35 minutes north of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, please call us on 02 9450 1579 or send us an email


Why is your dog’s playtime so important?

At our Sydney dog resort, we find that dogs settle in quickly for their holidays when they receive lots of cuddles and playtime at arrival. 

A recent study at Bristol University has found that for dogs to be well rounded and emotionally healthy they need to play and they need to be physically and mentally challenged on a daily basis.

Dogs that don’t have much playtime have higher rates of stress and anxiety than dogs who have lots of playtime, they can also be depressed or aggressive and have many behavioural issues. At Small Paws Dog Hotel in Sydney, we know how much our doggie guests love to play all day long! They play until they are tired, they rest and then play some more!

How often should you play with your dog?

With most dog owners working full time, it can be difficult to find the time to walk the dog, let alone play with them multiple times a day! Walking and playing with your dog once a day is the most that most owners can fit into their already busy schedules.

So it’s interesting to note that the Bristol University study found that only 10% of owners said that they play with their dogs once a day, 50% said that it’s two or three times a day, whilst 20% found the time to play with their dogs six times a day! At our small dog boarding kennels in Sydney, we make sure that all of our doggie guests have hours of fun and frolicking during their day, so they never have time to become bored.

The study didn’t actually suggest how often you need to play with your dog each day, but clearly it’s at least once a day, because they get bored so quickly.

Socialising your dog also makes for a happy and well balanced dog and it’s through socialisation that dogs can learn to play successfully with other dogs. Playing games with your dog is also a good way to keep them fit, healthy and mentally challenged, preventing boredom, depression and bad habits taking root. We love to play with our doggie guests at our Sydney dog resort!

Indoor and outdoor games for your dog

If your dog is left alone all day while you are at work, it’s a good idea to keep them busy with something fun that can hold their interest. Follow up with a long walk after work and your dog should be happy all day long!

A stuffed Kong toy is a very popular way to keep your dog busy while you are at work, as is a dry food dispensing toy that rolls around the room making them work hard for their treats. We find that the doggie guests at our dog boarding resort in Sydney love to play tug of war, a game that you can easily play at home after work. Throwing a frisbee is another game that will quickly tire your dog but is also heaps of fun for both of you.

Another great game is to construct an agility course in the back garden, as this mentally stimulates and exercises your dog in a really fun way.

If you want to book your little one into luxury dog boarding kennels in Sydney where your little one can play to their heart’s content all day long, please call us on 02 9450 1579 or send us an email

Cat boarding Northern Suburbs

Tips on how to travel with your cat in the car!

Most cat lovers understand how distressing travelling with your cat in the car can be. Here are some tips on how you can reduce and alleviate the fear and anxiety experienced when transporting your cat.


What type of cat carriers are best?

The best carriers are inexpensive hard sided carriers, which open from the front, top and can also be taken apart in the middle. This gives you and handlers easy access to your cat. Avoid carriers that require a cat to be pulled out from. Choose a carrier that is sturdy, secure and stable for cats, as well as easy for you to clean and carry.

Help your cat become comfortable with the carrier

Make the carrier a familiar place at home by leaving it in a room where your cats spends time. Place familiar soft bedding or clothing with your scent inside the carrier which helps the cat feel secure. A treat or toy may encourage them to enter at home.

Prepare for cat stress

If your cat tends to be easily stressed, talk to your vet about possible medical help. You may want to consider using a Feline Feliway Pheromone spray at least 30 minutes prior to transport to help calm your cat. Placing a towel or blanket over the carrier can also provide your cat with a sense of security.

Car Safety with your cat

Carriers should be seat-belted into the car to keep your cat safer and to reduce the bumpiness of the ride. Keep your cat inside the carrier at all times and never leave your pet in the car, a cats temperature can rise very quickly in the car especially on a hot day.

Understanding your cats behaviour

Cats are most comfortable with the familiar, and need time to adjust to the unfamiliar. It is important that owners stay calm as cats can sense our anxiety or frustration. Give rewards to encourage positive behaviour.

Before you drive off

Exercise your cat by playing with her before you leave. Also, give her some food and water before the trip (unless your veterinarian directs you to do otherwise).

Pack extra supplies for your cat

If your cat needs any special food or medicines, be sure to pack extra to avoid emergencies.  It is also a good idea to pack some newspaper or paper towel in case your cat becomes car sick.

Practice makes perfect

Practice driving short distances with your cat to acclimate him to the car.

Contact us if you any concerns regarding transporting your pets to stay at SmallPaws