RSS

Boarding Kennel Stress in Dogs: Things owners need to know!

Boarding Kennel Stress in Dogs: Things owners need to know!

 

Again here is another aspect of Dog Safety that seriously needs to be looked at. For many these days, the word supervise means just keeping an eye on the dogs as they are walking around doing other things, which is not good enough!

Boarding kennel stress is real! Dogs become stressed the same as you and I and putting your dog into boarding kennels, can be very stressful for them. Imagine taking a young child to a strange place and leaving it with people it doesn’t know. The child will more often than not, become distressed and upset. The same thing can and does happen to dogs.

Even steady dogs can become stressed when confronted by new surroundings, change of diet and routine. Let alone being put into a kennel they are unfamiliar with, surrounded by strange smells and other dogs, some of which, maybe barking.

Often, owners don’t realize or it never occurs to them, that their dog may become stressed under these conditions, especially, if signs of stress aren’t noticed in their home environment or when they are out and about. A boarding kennel environment can be especially hard on nervy, fearful, anxious or dog aggressive dogs. It can also be hard on dogs from the same household, if they are not used to being separated, being alone or being away from their owner. Some dogs who have never been in kennels before in their life, find kenneling very restrictive. Then there are some dogs who just need more space than others. Separation related issues in dogs are on the increase and do impact on a dogs behaviour.

Many kennels these days and I do the same, ask if your dog has been in kennels before, if not day/night stays are recommended, prior to boarding. So start conditioning your dog early, be proactive, even if you are not going away, introduce your dog to a boarding kennel environment. Dogs need to have good experiences again a bad experience can impact on their behaviour.

Signs of kennel stress can manifest in dogs in many ways:

Aggression: often due to fear, dog cannot be handled by anyone other than the owner (may need a few short visits so your dog gets used to being handled by someone else)

Excessive barking & whining: it’s a sign the dog is distressed and it also very unsettling for the other dogs

Loss of appetite: not eating,due to stress and/or change of diet. Change of diet, may also cause vomiting and diarrhea

Constant licking of the lips: dogs do that to try to calm themselves down

Pacing & Depression

Some dogs who have never been confined before may try to break out by throwing themselves against the walls or door of the kennel.

What you the owner can do to make your dog’s stay less stressful and more enjoyable

1. Condition your dog to going into kennels, day stays at a boarding kennel are a good way of getting your dog used to it. If you have a kennel and run at home or some other form of containment, such as a garage, small bedroom or  a dog crate, use it.

2. If you are a multi dog household make sure your dogs are independent of each other and can cope on their own. Separate kenneling or confinement goes along way, in helping with that. Doesn’t mean that they can’t hangout together, just means they are ok with being alone. The same goes for dogs who are too attached to their owner, they too need to be made independent.

3. Visit facilities, talk to the kennel owner, are they knowledgeable and friendly do they understand dogs and dog behaviour. Just because they run a boarding facility, doesn’t mean they understand dogs and dog behaviour.

If you have a nervy, anxious or dog aggressive dog or a dog who just needs space. Ask if the kennel owner is experienced in handling these types of dogs and can accommodate them. Introducing these dogs to kennels may take a bit more time on the part of you the owner and the boarding kennel owner. Some kennels may not take them because they are not set up to do so. Also certain breeds of dogs, may not be welcome.

4. To make your dogs stay less stressful and more comfortable, ask if you can bring a blanket or toy etc of theirs.

5. Ask how your dog will be exercised, some kennels walk the dogs, others let them out to run in large compounds with other dogs. If they are let out to run with other dogs, ask if they are supervised in other words is someone physically present, while the dogs are being exercised. Even friendly dogs can fall out and a dogfight may ensue, also signs of stress or distress maybe missed, so it is important, that someone is standing there watching, with their Eyes Wide Open at all times. (Refer AsureQuality Ltd Kennel Code of Practice). Also, ask if they exercise small and big dogs together in groups. Small & Big dogs should be exercised in separate groups.

Be aware some kennels leave dogs to run together unsupervised. In other words there isn’t anyone watching them all the time, while they are out running around. So don’t just ask, if the dogs are supervised while running together, ask if someone is physically present, all the time, while the dogs are being exercised.

Also, read the boarding kennel contract before you sign. Most state that they are not liable for anything that happens to your dog while in kennels. Which is fair enough because they are running a business but the risk can be reduced if there is someone watching with their Eyes Wide Open for signs of distress, aggression, stress etc if dogs are let out to run in groups.

After all, when dog and cat owners for that matter, place their pets in these establishments, they trust that they have their pets best interests at heart.

Click on the links below to read what can happen, when dogs are left unsupervised.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/9127003/Couple-furious-after-pet-mauled

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/cap-pelé-kennel-owner-negligent-after-dog-fatally-attacked-1.2793484

If your dog is Nervy, anxious, dog aggressive or a dog who just need some space, ask if your dog can be individually exercised.If your dog is anxious or nervy, please read tips for boarding anxious/nervy dogs

6. If your dog is on a special diet or needs medication ask if the kennel will feed the diet required or dispense medication.

7. Also ask what food the kennel feeds the dogs and ask if it would be possible for you to bring your own dogs food, so his/her diet remains the same.

8. Read socializing your dog, the right way
Incorrect socializing even in a boarding kennel environment can and does lead to behaviour problems in dogs, such as aggression or timidness.
I hope the above information helps you the dog owner to make an informed decision.

Copyright 2014

Elayne Hand

Zerobites Dog Training

 

16 responses to “Boarding Kennel Stress in Dogs: Things owners need to know!

  1. goodspeeches

    December 18, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    this makes lots of sense. hope all dogs are going to be happy this Christmas if they are boarding…

     
    • zerobitesdogtraining

      December 19, 2012 at 10:37 am

      Thank you, I hope so too but alot of people don’t realise what their dogs can go through. Thats why I wrote the article, long overdue I think.

       
  2. John McNeil

    June 20, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    Hi there, please let me post one small note to be able to thank you so much over once more for all the extraordinary advices you have discussed in this article . This has been so incredibly generous of people like you giving free just what most of us might have promoted for an electronic book to make some dough on their own, particularly seeing that you could have attempted it in the event you wanted. All the recommendations ones more performed to become easy way to fully grasp that some bloggers have a similar desire the same as myself to recognize get more and more with thank to this matter. I would like to create a better dog runs supplies concept and I would appreciate your advice How would you rate my shop. I’m sure you will find several more enjoyable occasions ahead for your followers who will find your blog.

     
  3. Grace

    August 23, 2014 at 3:47 pm

    I’ve been using the same kennel for years, my dogs are very used to them. My one dog is very nervous but they are amazing w him and both go for regular daycare while there.
    I need to leave for a 6 days and the kennel suggested another up the road. They don’t offer daycare, say they walk them 2-3 times a day, and dogs must be kept in separate runs entire time.
    The facility is not nearly as new but I’m finding no one is quite like my regular place.
    I am extremely afraid of putting them in this place and coming home to dogs that hate each other & are aggressive.

    Is this something that can happen when you separate your dogs like this? Should I be worried they will be looking at but unable to play with the others?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!

     
    • Zerobites Dog Training

      August 27, 2014 at 10:00 am

      Hi Grace, have you thought about doing a day stays with your dogs at the other kennel just to see how they get on? Also ask if your dogs could be kennelled next to each other. The Kennel sounds like they are being responsible, less chance of dog fights etc

       
  4. Gwen

    December 30, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    Thanks for the article. This provided a little insight as to why the boarding facility called about my dog being aggressive. He is 4 and has never shown aggression towards anyone or anything, and he has been around a lot of other people and other dogs. They advised he was growling and lunging at them when they would try to open his cage. I was taken aback by that since he is such a big baby and never wants to do anything but play with anyone he sees. I’m guessing this was just due to anxiety and stress. Do you have any recommendations for the next time I board him (usually only once a year at Christmas time)?

     
    • Zerobites Dog Training

      January 1, 2015 at 11:34 pm

      Hi Gwen, Thank you for your message, I would suggest you have a read below of the few things you can do to make your dogs stay in kennels more enjoyable. If you are not happy don’t be afraid to try another kennel. Just because they run a boarding kennel doesn’t mean they understand dogs and dog behaviour.

      What you the owner can do to make your dog’s stay less stressful and more enjoyable

      1. Condition your dog to going into kennels, day stays at a boarding kennel are a good way of getting your dog used to it. If you have a kennel and run at home or some other form of containment, such as a garage, small bedroom or a dog crate, use it.

      2. If you are a multi dog household make sure your dogs are independent of each other and can cope on their own. Separate kenneling or confinement goes along way, in helping with that. Doesn’t mean that they can’t hangout together, just means they are ok with being alone. The same goes for dogs who are too attached to their owner, they too need to be made independent.

      3. Visit facilities, talk to the kennel owner, are they knowledgeable and friendly do they understand dogs and dog behaviour. Just because they run a boarding facility, doesn’t mean they understand dogs and dog behaviour.

      If you have a nervy, anxious or dog aggressive dog or a dog who just needs space. Ask if the kennel owner is experienced in handling these types of dogs and can accommodate them. Introducing these dogs to kennels may take a bit more time on the part of you the owner and the boarding kennel owner. Some kennels may not take them because they are not set up to do so. Also certain breeds of dogs, may not be welcome.

      4. To make your dogs stay less stressful and more comfortable, ask if you can bring a blanket or toy etc of theirs.

       
    • Zerobites Dog Training

      January 1, 2015 at 11:38 pm

      Part 2 of my answer, hope the information helps.
      Cheers,
      Elayne

      5. Ask how your dog will be exercised, some kennels walk the dogs, others let them out to run in large compounds with other dogs. If they are let out to run with other dogs, ask if they are supervised in other words is someone physically present, while the dogs are being exercised. Even friendly dogs can fall out and a dogfight may ensue, also signs of stress or distress maybe missed, so it is important, that someone is standing there watching, with their Eyes Wide Open at all times. (Refer AsureQuality Ltd Kennel Code of Practice). Also, ask if they exercise small and big dogs together in groups. Small & Big dogs should be exercised in separate groups.

      Be aware some kennels leave dogs to run together unsupervised. In other words there isn’t anyone watching them all the time, while they are out running around. So don’t just ask, if the dogs are supervised while running together, ask if someone is physically present, all the time, while the dogs are being exercised.

      Also, read the boarding kennel contract before you sign. Most state that they are not liable for anything that happens to your dog while in kennels. Which is fair enough because they are running a business but the risk can be reduced if there is someone watching with their Eyes Wide Open for signs of distress, aggression, stress etc if dogs are let out to run in groups.

      After all, when dog and cat owners for that matter, place their pets in these establishments, they trust that they have their pets best interests at heart.

       
  5. nomadictraysah

    January 7, 2015 at 8:05 pm

    This is actually the article that drew me to your blog – spot on with how my dog reacted post-kennel (depression, refusing to be alone) but we are doing pretty good so far.

     
    • Zerobites Dog Training

      January 8, 2015 at 2:28 am

      Thank you, that article is the most viewed article on my blog. I must admit I wrote that out of frustration and concern. I used to board dogs, I don’t anymore but the stories dog owners told me about the experiences with some kennels, was shocking to say the least. Dogs being attacked, behaviour changes, no supervision the list is endless. Pet owners trust these places with their animals, they assume that the owners of these establishments know what they are doing. Sad to say a lot don’t, just because they run kennel doesn’t mean they understand dogs/cats or behaviour. Then on the other hand you have owners, who assume they can just pop their dog/cat into a boarding environment and it will be ok. So now I give a copy of the article to all my dog training clients as part of their info pack.

       
      • nomadictraysah

        January 9, 2015 at 5:41 am

        Smart! I actually did my research with the place I boarded him at and he really was fine – the depression on his end has proven to be short-lived. He’s not been away from me for longer than a week without having another chaperone he knows in his own home, so this was a BIG change for him. The place I did go to was great; they even bathed him free of charge on the last day and it worked out. The place I chose was because everytime I go in for grooming, I see the same people working there and those people are HAPPY. There is always someone in the room and big/small dogs are not kept in the same room. Perfect? No, but the best I could have asked for in a not so perfect situation.

        Thanks for all the sound advice!

         
    • Zerobites Dog Training

      January 8, 2015 at 2:30 am

      Day stays or half day stays, doggie day care etc are a good start, I wish you luck

       
  6. Tracie

    January 12, 2015 at 10:40 pm

    I really enjoyed reading your article my dog has come back from kennels after a week not eating and extremely timid before he went he was a very energetic little foxy I don’t know what to do he did go twice previously for 2 days at a time which went well :)

     
    • Zerobites Dog Training

      January 14, 2015 at 9:51 am

      Hi Tracie, thank you for your message, I was talking to someone the other day and nearly the exact same thing happened to her dog, he barked a lot when he was there this time, which he didn’t do before and he didn’t eat properly. I put a lot of this down to Christmas boarding, a lot more dogs in kennels than he was used to. Could be the same with your boy, Also depends who they let him socialise with, whether anything bad happened to him while he was there. Maybe have a look around for a smaller kennel, so there isn’t too many dogs in, even if they are full. He needs to have a good experiences again. Why not try a day stay and see how he goes or get a pet sitter next time. Cheers, Elayne

       

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
Galen Leeds Photography

Tips for photography (and kayaks) ©Galen Leeds Photography

Rabbits Nest

A journal about Life - as a home educating mother, mixed media artist, and land & marine farmer living in the paradise of the Marlborough Sounds New Zealand

Smart Animal Training Systems...

Smart Technology for Positive Training

Kate goes Global

global expat and adventurer

mymegaedog

Living, Loving and Learning with my German Shepherds

Fearfuldogs' Blog

Positive help for fearful dogs

The Humane Society of Indianapolis

Explore Canine Training with Connie Swaim

My Girls On Tour - UK Fashion Blog

Fashion, Style, Travel, Outfits

TravellersPlanet

To travel is to Live - To blog is to Share

Aotea Media

Photo Blog - New Zealand

Training Mojo

#trainingmojo

Living Through The Lens

Edmonton Pet and Lifestyle Photographers. Our passion shows in our work.

theCHIVE

Funny Photos and Funny Videos - Keep Calm and Chive On

Conservation blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at DOC's conservation work and send us your comments.

nomadic traysah

on a mission to be happy

The VetCare View

The 'tails' of hope and survival from VetCare Tauranga.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: