Dog Kennels Boarding - Stress and The Kennel Experience

For most dogs the kennel or boarding experience is made more enjoyable and less stressful if given

  • Constructive social interaction
  • Daily exercise
  • For some dogs, the chance to regularly potty outside their dog run
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Dog boarding can be made less stressful by understanding our pets and manipulating some important environmental and social variables.

Stress; Mental or physical tension or strain (urgency, pressure, etc. causing this)

Stress is experienced anytime an animals normal routine is changed

How your pet reacts to the stress of boarding depends on the animals physical and mental resilience ( stress thresholds and recovery levels) and its past experiences (training).

Keep in mind, most dogs do not experience excessive or negative stress while staying at a boarding facility. The majority of dogs handle boarding nicely, without any extra care and only a little extra preparation For these low maintenance dogs just dropping them off (at a respectable boarding kennel) for their stay will work fine.

However for the extra sensitive dog, some forethought and planning can make a world of difference.

Boarding & kennel Stress can be reduced with the help of the facilities staff.

How kennel staff handle animals can make a big difference in how stressed-out a pet becomes during its stay. This can range from special social time and treats, to not letting a dogs barking get out of control.

I believe social contact is more important than exercise. Going for a walk or playing retrieve has an important social element that running alone in an exercise yard can't mach. Running many dogs together can be very good for meeting the social and exercise needs of the boarding dog. However it does carry some risk of dog fights. Enrollment policies and the proper staff should be able to prevent most of these squabbles.


When kennel staff say they exercise the dog find out exactly what they call exercise. To exercise dogs is a common euphemism for taking the dog out to potty.

Potty breaks

This is an area which can lead to emotional distress in some pets. There are some dogs who very much do not want to eliminate in their dog runs. With this type of dog, barking is a common problem if the dog is not exercised (taken out to potty) on a regular basis. Will the kennel you choose take your pet out or will they make it go in it's run?

Most dogs know the difference between the dog run and being inside, but if your pet doesn't want to eliminate inside its run, find a kennel that will exercise (potty) your pet on a regular basis.

Behavior management and control is an important part of the boarding experience.

Pets that are overstimulated by the stress of boarding can get themselves so worked up, they not only become a detriment to themselves, but to other boarding guest as well. This type of animal need to be controlled for their own good and the good of other guest.

This control might simply be a stern "NO!" or it could be separating the pet from the other animals.

When I had a boarding kennel, We had special runs set up for aggressive animals, pets that were escape artist, and extras small dogs and puppies. There also were runs used for particularly troublesome and extra noisy pets.

If you have one of these stress sensitive pets you might want to talk to your veterinarian before boarding and ask about tranquilizers.

If your dog has any behavior or physical problems make sure you tell the kennel staff before you leave the dog. This can prevent heart ache for you and reduce the level of stress in your pet, as well as the kennel staff. It's better to know a dog bites before you get bit.

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