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

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


I originally wrote this article in 2014, it is now November 2018. I keep an eye on the stats and search terms and the number of views have increased greatly. In fact I would have to say “Boarding Kennel Stress in Dogs: Things owners need to know!” is one of my most viewed (181,966) and read articles to date.owners need to know!”  The search terms, phrases and words have stayed, pretty consistent.  It goes without saying, the more traffic the more views but for people to seek out and read this article, does mean, people are still having issues and concerns over boarding kennel facilities and their dog’s welfare, worldwide.

In my opinion, one of the major problems, is anyone can open a boarding kennels or doggy day care, these people may have good intentions and love dogs but having a love of dogs isn’t enough. They need to understand dog behaviour, dog safety and do their research on how to set up and run a good facility. They also need to have a good training program in place for their employees, if they employ staff.

Pet parents on the other hand, need to do their research, and don’t take things for granted, after all they trust the facility will take care of their pets, while they are away. Pet parents should also do some work, by introducing their pets to a boarding facility, before they need to use one. Instead of leaving things to the last minute because dog/cats need to be acclimatized. Day or night stays are a great way of doing this. This also means pet parents will have an opportunity, to check out facilities. 

Below is the original article I wrote in 2014 

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 there, someone physically present, “standing  & watching”, while the dogs are being exercised.

Even friendly dogs can fall out and a dogfight may ensue, also signs of stress, distress & bullying 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 not be exercised together, they both should have their own exercise areas. Some big dogs may see small dogs as prey, so there is a possibility, they could chase and kill them.

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.

Auckland dog daycare shuts down following deathé-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


87 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.

      • rena

        November 19, 2015 at 9:10 pm

        It’s sad to see and leave the dogs in the kennel..

      • kerry

        July 15, 2016 at 6:59 am

        My dog has just been in a well recommend kennel for a week and he seems fine in himself apart from peeing like a girl all round the house? Its like going back to puppy training again? Is he marking his territory again? Or could he have a water infection? Not sure what to do?

      • Zerobites Dog Training

        July 17, 2016 at 11:21 am

        Hi Kerry, you may have to re house train again. Also if he is still doing it, it may pay to take him to your vet and have him checked out, as he may have an infection.

  2. John McNeil

    June 20, 2013 at 2:57 pm

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  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.

      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

  7. Caroline Chaytow

    April 29, 2015 at 8:03 pm

    I have really enjoyed reading your posts which I only found yesterday! I wanted your advice as puppy recently went into a boarding kennel on Friday for 2 nights. I have booked him in for the summer for 2 weeks so I thought it would be good practice for him. He has been there for an induction and for grooming and is also booked to go back at the end of May for the weekend. I rang the kennels on the Saturday morning and they said he had hardly eaten and said he is quite shy, which he is. He is only 6 months old and I am sure he got quite nervous when there are lots of unfamiliar bigger dogs barking all around him. I rang on the Sunday morning before we collected him and they said he had eaten a bit more and on the Saturday they had taken him out for a little play and walk. We collected him first thing on the Sunday morning, he was sat in the corner looking afraid and didn’t stop crying for about half an hour, but we think this was because he was so happy to see us.Since coming home on Sunday he has hardly eaten. He was sick on the Monday and is not so keen on going in his crate at night time, whereas he usually jumps straight in at bed time and we have never had a problem with him going to bed since day 1. Do you think this is stress from the boarding kennels? I am quite worried about him and not sure what to do.

    • Zerobites Dog Training

      April 30, 2015 at 12:10 am

      Hi Caroline, thank you for your message. I am glad you enjoyed my articles and you found them interesting and helpful.
      I think it could all be related to the boarding kennels. In the sense he was in a new environment, eating strange food, the noise from the other dogs could have upset him. Did they let him run and play with the other dogs? if so, was there someone watching the dogs, he could have been picked on or just been generally overwhelmed by it all. For him a scary place. When I have had dogs who are a bit shy, its a slow introduction over a few weeks, they have to have good experiences. they come for a couple of hours or so and we go from there. Some kennels have separate sections for big and small dogs others don’t. Which can create a problem in itself. Eg, A dog lunging or barking at him as he was walking past or having barking dogs on both sides of him.
      I would suggest making the crate a fun place to go again. maybe feed him in there but leave the door open. Try some different food, something he really loves. Even if its just a few special treats. Dogs do get depressed and stressed same as humans, so have a bit of fun with him, take him out play games, go for a walks etc. Don’t dwell on everything, dogs are very good at reading your body language and sensing how you feel, so if you are anxious or upset he will be too.
      Also have a look around and see if there are any smaller kennels in your area that don’t board a lot of dogs at one time. Otherwise you may have to look at a pet sitter.
      Let me know how you get on with him.
      Hope all goes well, if you need anymore help just message me.

  8. justin

    September 21, 2015 at 10:17 pm

    We have 3 staffs. Mum, son and a younger one not related. All three are all well trained good behaved dogs.
    Recently we put them in a kennel while we went away. For mum and son they have been a few times previously. A first for the younger one. Before we went away the mum was the dominant one of all three in the house. Then her son then the younger as expected. All knew there place so to speak.

    We knew the oder 2 would be fine in the kennel as been previously and like the staff etc there. Got loads of runs etc.

    However when we went to collect them one of the members of staff said that the younger one and the son were ganging up on the mum. We thought this was really weird. Once been home a day or 2 we just thought it was the fact they all had kennel cough and not feeling 100 percent. So they would want time alone. However we been back a few days now and something definitely isn’t right. Although they still have kennel cough.
    The mum hasn’t showed her place as the obvious dominant one. And both the younger one and mum seem to go opposite ways. I find this strange as these two were really close. As the mum brought her up as her own as we got her at a really young age. They would always play together sleep together cuddle each other etc. I don’t know what to make of it.

    I’m Hoping that withing the next week or so things will get back to normal once they are kennel cough clear.

    Is there anyone that has any suggestions etc to help.

    • Zerobites Dog Training

      September 23, 2015 at 11:38 am

      Hi there, I think you need to re-establish the hierarchy amongst your dogs again. Its a different situation when you put dogs in kennels, its not the same environment, rules and boundaries they have when they are at home. Dogs, like humans, need boundaries, rules and consistency. I am guessing they had more freedom at the kennels and because the boys ganged up on her, while they were in kennels she has become wary of them. I have to say that shouldn’t have been allowed to happen, incidents like that can and do cause behaviour changes in dogs. Even friendly dogs can fall out, they have to be watched all the time when dogs are run together. I suggest if their behaviour doesn’t improve, you contact a trainer/behaviourist in your area as they can give you some hands on help. Good luck, let me know how you get on. Cheers, Elayne.

  9. Chirashree

    October 17, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    Hi..I have a 1.5yr pomeranian dog, today I just put her a kannel for 10 days but she is crying a lot.i already spent time with her on dat kannel for 1-2 days.but today her crying just break my heart.dont know what to do.i just ask you a question, is there any life risk for her.the kennel owner are very good.they assured me, but im afried.

    • Zerobites Dog Training

      October 18, 2015 at 9:57 pm

      Hi there, some dogs may need a bit more time than 1-2 days to get used to a kennel environment. She should be ok though. Although she may be a bit stressed. Hard to say, depends what the kennel owners are like with her.

  10. Adam Lambert

    November 21, 2015 at 6:26 am

    My dog was in a kennel for about 40 days, it’s a good open space kennel. Bit he no longer wants to come to me. What is this behaviour and how should I go about it?

    • Zerobites Dog Training

      November 25, 2015 at 2:16 am

      Hi Adam, he probably had a lot of space and time to run around doing his own thing. Unlike when he is at home with your rules and boundaries.
      Most dogs need occasional refresher training. Start, daily working/training him, so he listens and focuses on you and it maybe, you have to start using a long line for distance recall for a while. Start out with small distances, set him up to achieve not fail, if necessary use a toy or a bit of food as a motivator to begin with, then after a while a pat/praise and occasional treat.

  11. Grace

    December 22, 2015 at 8:59 am

    This makes me feel so much better! My dog is going to the kennels in 2 days for his first time and I was so worried until I read this! I will defiantly ask the questions about when the dog is exercised and if they are exercised in small and big groups! Thank you doll much!!!

  12. Laurie

    March 15, 2016 at 8:28 am

    I have been taking my dog to a doggie day care for about 4 months, and when I went in for the inner view.I told them right then and many times there after that I did not want my dog ever to be put in a crate. She has never been crated and so I asked them if I liked the place, where would she go when the dogs took a nap or break.
    They said most dogs didn’t mind crates so those dogs would be crated. But they assured me she would never be crated.
    I noticed when I left her there most of the day she acted depressed when we got home,I just thought maybe she was just worn out.
    I stopped taking her for the past couple of weeks, cause my husband said he had this feeling at the end of the day,he didn’t see any dogs out in the main area.
    Told me about it ,and told him they assured me she would never be crated.
    Well was I totally wrong,the other day I took my dog there after 2, and I asked the woman if they had ever crated my dog,and she told me if she was brought before 12:00 they were all crated for TWO hours, and she told me my dog did fine!!!
    To make a very long story short they had been crating her,and she didn’t know why they told me they would never crate her.
    I am so upset, why would they do this knowing I reminded the more than a couple of times.
    To me that is animal cruelty,I cried all night.
    I can’t quit thinking of my dog in a crate for 2 hours, it breaks my heart!!!! I want to know if anyone else has gone through what I just did and what did they do.Im really having a hard time dealing with this!!!!!!

    • Zerobites Dog Training

      March 15, 2016 at 9:10 am

      Hi Laurie, thank you for your message, I am very sorry to hear your dog was crated which caused her to become depressed, when you specifically asked them not to crate her and what is worse that the kennel in question assured you they would not. If they had said to you, “we crate all our dogs” you would have probably gone somewhere else but they did not. You could make a complaint, as I can’t say if anyone else has gone through this. I do know of other situations where owners have not been happy with the doggy daycare/boarding and have just stopped taking their dogs to these establishments. Some have complained, unfortunately you trust these people with your pets and that they are going to do right by them and its not always the case. There are some very good daycare’s out there. I think you should have a look around at a few, maybe ask your vet or friends for recommendations and go and check them out at different times and look at the set up.

  13. Misheru

    March 25, 2016 at 3:20 pm

    I left my two pups together at a kennel. They visited before hand to get used to it. They stayed 5 days and the lady said they were doing great. But now that my lab is home her whole demeanor has changed. She used to get excited for food now, I pretty much have to force her to get it down. She seems depressed and is always laying on me. It’s breaking my heart and makes me never want to leave her again.

    • Zerobites Dog Training

      April 2, 2016 at 4:22 am

      Hi, Get her back into the routine you had before you put her in the kennels. Don’t baby her, take her for walks play with her etc Put her food down for 15 minutes, if she doesn’t eat it, pick it up and don’t feed her again until her evening meal. If you are still worried it may pay for you to take her to your local vet and get her checked out.

  14. Peter mcshane

    May 13, 2016 at 9:25 pm

    Could someone give me some advice on my problem my dog got run over and someone took her to council kennels now they are saying she needs a vet and cause I can not get any money till tomorrow they said she will have to wait till then to be seen when I pay them then I can take her to the p d s a

  15. Hetty van Tonder

    May 21, 2016 at 3:15 pm

    I enjoyed reading all of the problems and answers. I have a 3.5year old duckshund who rew up very protected. I took her to our local kennels from time to time, but every time we ake her, she will start to shiver on our way there and hide under the car seat. the people a the kennel assure me that she is okay while she is there, but I am worried. we want to go on leave for 12 days and i really don’t know how se will react to the stay in a kennel for so long. the intended kennel keep the small dogs in seperate cubicles in a large shed. they take the dogs out 2 day to wee etc. but I wonder if the indoor confinement wont be to hard on my dog. She loves the sea and free running on the beach.

  16. Amy

    July 11, 2016 at 12:01 am

    Since boarding my dog for the 2nd time, after his 7 day stay he seems to be sleeping a lot. Is this normal ? Could this be a sign he was stressed while there? They have play 7-8 times a day. Or maybe he’s just exhausted ?

    • Zerobites Dog Training

      July 17, 2016 at 11:25 am

      Hi Amy, Your dog, could just be plain tired as he may not be used to playing for long periods of time on a daily basis.

  17. Andrea

    July 19, 2016 at 5:05 am

    Hi i had a question…my daughters grandma has a boarding kennel in this small town..and when i started heloing her clean the kennels out..i noticed this big black dog there..and noticed him there more often afterwards…then over heard that he was there for a while now..and i asked her about it..and she told me the lady was from white river which is an hour from here..and he has been there for a year and a half now because she cant have him in her apartment..i was agitated by that…why not get him a new home ? So i asked cant she surrender him to a shelter to find him a better home? She said no bacause she is paying..but still…..thats no life for a dog…at all…his name is thunder and hes a very big dog..he is staying in the biggest kennel but still..i offered to walk him more then 3 times a week..and she said she would let me but ive asked more then 3 times to take him and she said dont worry about it…which pisses me off so bad..that poor dog has not seen outside that kennel since being there !!!!!! Is this even legal? Can i try do something for him??????? It makes me sad 😦

    • Zerobites Dog Training

      July 23, 2016 at 6:57 am

      Hi Andrea, I am not sure you can do much about it, from a welfare point of view, he is being looked after, re fed & housed. Mental enrichment & exercise another story, why don’t you instead of walking him go and visit him and maybe play some games with him or do some canine parkour, on the kennel property.

  18. Esther

    July 30, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    Hi how much for 8 dogs for 3 days and 2 nights small dogs

  19. ryan lameyer

    August 4, 2016 at 1:39 am

    Hey Zerobites. so my 11 month old labradoodle was boarded for the first time for two full nights in AZ and i watched the cameras from time to time on the trip and they seemed to be out playing indoors all day long but he followed around the kennel technician the entire time since he loved people. We picked him up on sunday evening and seemed a little off or really tired. On Monday night he seemed to be even more lethargic and drooling but no other symptoms (he normally is bouncing all over the house wanting to play constantly leading up to boarding) we went to the vet they couldnt determine anything was wrong. Tuesday morning our dog could barely even stand up and seemed very disoriented and low heart rate so we rushed him over to the vet since he seemed critical. They did a barrage of tests (all blood work, electrolytes came back totally perfect and xrays didnt show anything either) and did two rounds of iv’s and a flush for toxins just in case he got bit/stung by something along with a prednisone dosage. He left that afternoon returning to 70% but by night he was lathergic again until the next prednisone shot. Returned to vet this morning and the addison disease test they ran came back negative as well and the vet wanted to keep him on prednisone doses twice a day for the rest of the week. He seems like he is trying to be himself but still wants to sleep all day after the predisone kicks in but then crashes 6 hours later. Have you ever seen this from a healthy dog going into a kennel? does it sometimes take a week to recover after a kennel stay if the dog was traumatized?? would you recommend sticking with the vets treatment or visit a specialist vet for a second opinon???

  20. Keith Brazil

    August 16, 2016 at 8:28 am

    I totally agree. We have kennels near us and some daysvwe get really upset due to continuous barking and screeching we have and still are in dispute with them due to the noise distubance.

  21. Jaspinder Kaur

    January 4, 2017 at 5:32 pm

    I left my German shepherd in kennel for 6 weeks because I have to go overseas but all off sudden in 3rd week I got sad news that he died. The reason of his death they say is twisted stomach. I don’t know what to believe why this twisted stomach happen. Is it due to stress or he started missing us. Plse help he was my baby he was only 4 yrs old

    • Zerobites Dog Training

      January 5, 2017 at 4:16 am

      Hi Jaspinder, I am very sorry to hear that. Twisted stomach is also know as bloat. It can come on very quickly and it can kill very fast because your boy was in kennels there is a chance the kennel owners didn’t see he was in distress right away. I have enclosed a link to an article that explains everything in detail and is easy to read. It may have been brought on due to stress but there are other reasons as well. The article explains everything, I hope it helps. Again I am very sorry.
      Regards, Elayne.

  22. Bruce Elias

    March 2, 2017 at 2:32 am

    We only had one stay at a kennel
    We went to Florida Tues to Sunday
    Lola my mixed pit/Lab/greyhound is very nervous in other environments
    From Sunday 4pm to Wed she’s still not herself
    Did not eat much of her good
    I hope they fed her our good
    Threw up twice and still has diarea
    I hope it’s Anxiety only
    On top of all this we moved all are furniture to living and dinning room to put New flooring in.
    What do you think??

    • Zerobites Dog Training

      March 2, 2017 at 7:35 pm

      Hi Bruce, thank you for your message. I think you have just answered your own question.
      You say Lola is very nervous in other environments. Lola has had to contend with 1.) leaving home and going to an unfamiliar kennel to board for a few days.2.) moving your furniture around your home, may have upset her as well. Dogs don’t like change plus kennelling a dog who is especially nervous, will have added to her stress level.
      If Lola is still generally unwell, I would suggest you take her to your local vet.



  23. Jacqueline Mutlow

    March 5, 2017 at 1:13 am

    Hi ineed my dog in kennels for couple of days next week can u help me thanks

    • Zerobites Dog Training

      March 5, 2017 at 5:37 am

      Hi Jacqueline,
      Where do you live, I am in NZ?
      I am not boarding dogs at the moment but if you live in NZ, I maybe able to refer to a kennel.


  24. Jenny

    March 12, 2017 at 5:42 pm

    Hi could you please advise me ?
    I have a lovey little Pug puppy, I have my daughters wedding to attend to in August, so obviously I can’t take Harvey ( pug ) with me. I hate the thought of leaving him & haven’t a clue who I can leave him with. He will be 9 mths old, he is adorable but being a Pug & still a puppy I am so worried about his safety leaving him with a boarder who has dogs that will find him annoying due to his over keen playfulness. I really don’t know what to do 😏

    • Zerobites Dog Training

      March 12, 2017 at 8:32 pm

      Hi Jenny, Thanks for your message There are a few things you can try with Harvey because you have the time to find out what suits. 1st, you could go around and see and view the kennels in your area and visit them. Then if you find one you like, give it a trial run. Day stay maybe? Ask if they supervise the dogs, by that I mean is someone watching them all the time. Also and this is a big one too, make sure they don’t run the big and small dog together, little dogs can get hurt or killed. 2nd, Maybe ask your daughter if there are any kennels near where she lives that maybe suitable for Harvey. Then you can take him with you and put him in a local kennel for a couple of days. 3rd have you thought of getting a pet/house sitter, you have time to look for a reputable sitter. Interview a few maybe to see how you and Harvey gets on with them and whether the person is a good fit.4th, Do you have any really good friends that you trust to leave Harvey with while you are away? Also, if you do find a kennel which suits, ask if you supply Harvey’s food will they feed it to him. Some kennels do this some don’t. That way his diet isn’t changed, saves having tummy upsets or him not eating due to the change of diet.
      I hope these suggestions are of some help to you.

      Best regards,


  25. Jenny

    March 13, 2017 at 6:04 am

    Thank you for your advise, I was thinking on those terms too as I would never forgive myself if any thing happened to Harvey while at boarding. My previous dog who was a Sprocker had anxiety issues so I never felt able left him alone or at any boarding. Sadly he got knocked over by a car early December this year as he ran out into the road chasing a cat. He was only 4 years old, & died in my arms & to this day I am still grieving plus feeling so guilty. I know that I rushed in to buying Harvey which I don’t regret, as I needed to fill the emptiness. But I should have allowed my self enough time to grieve & I miss him so much. I am now so over protective with Harvey. I don’t have any friends that are in a situation to look after Harvey. Fortunately though my daughter only lives down the road to me & as you said I have enough time to look around. Sad thing is I would rather not attend my own daughters wedding than put Harvey to any risk ( how bad is that ? ) I walk & board a few dogs that I have known for 3 years. so I am aware of how the adult dogs find Harvey annoying due to his over playful nature. I have to separate them from him as they snap & snarl at him. I needed your reasance & apreciate your reply & excellent advise. I will try & find a home boarder but as you suggested get to know them first in order to be aware of there boarding skills & to feel happy that I can trust them to take good care of Harvey for a day. Thank you once again 🙂

  26. Jenny

    March 13, 2017 at 6:06 am

    Able to leave him alone ( I meant to say )

  27. Irene

    June 27, 2017 at 5:16 pm

    My French bulldog is a two year old male and has become aggressive he was ok before but now he bit a human the other day and aggressive to other dogs not sure if it was because he was in kennels! Can u advise?

    • Zerobites Dog Training

      July 1, 2017 at 7:53 pm

      Hi Irene, thanks for your message, its hard to say, the kennels could have had something to do with it. Also check out my articles on socialising your dog. Socialising your dog the wrong way can also influence your dogs behaviour.

  28. Tammy Persson

    July 12, 2017 at 2:24 pm

    My dogs came home sick because they let all the dogs drink out of the same water bowl. She also said they try not to have sick dogs but they can’t control it. Not good!!! And she’s also scared to eat. I’m scared something else happened also but I will never know.

    • Zerobites Dog Training

      July 13, 2017 at 4:18 am

      Hi Tammy, thank you for your message, my personal opinion is, all dogs should have their own water bowl. As for your girl being scared to eat, could be she didn’t like the other dogs around her even if she was fed separately or maybe they fed some together. Another thought is maybe she was next to a dog that gave her a hard time, when she was eating. Were the kennels next to each other and could the dogs see each other?
      Regards, Elayne

  29. Nancy

    July 12, 2017 at 8:39 pm

    My name is Nancy, A week ago me and my husband went to trip for 3days, we have a 3 yrs old full grown French bulldog, we put him in a kennel dog boarding house around the place were we lived, they are very friendly and promise us that they’ll gonna taking care our frencie, but when we came back and pick him up we noticed that he lose lot of weight he wasn’t interested to play anymore that he used to be and he sleep all day and not active anymore the way he is before, am really worried and thinking to my self, I think bring him on place is a mistake.

    Thank you


    • Zerobites Dog Training

      July 13, 2017 at 4:10 am

      Hi Nancy, thank you for your message, maybe not a mistake to take him there. maybe your boy, could have been playing all the time with the other dogs, so hence the loss of weight and the fact he is sleeping a lot. As its something he isn’t used to doing. Also did you ask the kennel owners if he ate all his food. If he doesn’t improve I would suggest taking him to your local vet.
      Regards, Elayne

      • Nancy

        July 14, 2017 at 12:52 pm

        I really appreciate you response it ease my worries.
        My husband and I were planning to undergo our French bulldog into a nose surgery because his breathing is not that good but not as bad too, but am too scared what’s gonna be the outcome of the surgery, I read lots of comment and some article here in internet that surgery might gonna cause there death.
        Am just only curious what is your suggestion on that. Thank you very much.


      • Zerobites Dog Training

        July 14, 2017 at 6:17 pm

        Hi Nancy, I used to have Bullmastiffs, some had pinched nostrils/narrow airways and it was always a concern, especially in hot weather re exercise and the like. I never had any of my dogs operated on but having said that I know a few who did and they were ok. The secret it to get a very good vet, who possibly specialises in Brachycephalic breeds. Also with some dogs if they are given the wrong amount of anesthetic they may die on the table. The BM’s are a good example of that as are many large breeds. They only need enough to put them under and bring them out quickly, so not your regular dose as you would think for a large dog. Also there could be reactions, some can be quite ill after surgery. So I would suggest do more research, before you say yes to the op. I have included an article below which I think you may find of interest.
        Best regards, Elayne

  30. Denaee Eastwood

    July 30, 2017 at 7:34 pm

    We boarded our 13 year old dog and our 8 month old puppy for 7 days. 13 year old has been kenneled several times but this was 1st time for puppy. We requested they stay they stay in same run. Puppy had play time every day about 1/2 the day. She has not been herself since she has been home. She takes her treats and is eating fairly well but doesn’t really want to play which is usually non stop or interacting with us. Seems like a different pup. They have been home 2 days. Older dog is acting fine . I’m assuming this is stress because she has never been away from us and we got her when she was 5 weeks old.

    • Zerobites Dog Training

      July 30, 2017 at 8:39 pm

      Hi Denaee, thank you for your message, It could be she was playing a lot, everyday for 1/2 a day, for 7 days with other dogs. She maybe is just worn out, as it is something, she doesn’t normally do. Plus a new environment on top of that can impact on her behaviour. If she doesn’t improve in a few days, it may pay you to take her to your local vet and get her checked out.

  31. David Allen

    August 22, 2017 at 1:53 am

    I have a friend who takes good care of two mid sized dog, well feed, shots, noodered, and spades. BUT they both stay in a large kennel,
    2′ × 3′ for 20 hours a day six days a week and she lets them out of the kennel on Sunday’s when she doesn’t have to work. The dogs are well behaved, and their kennel is clean, they go out side to use the bathroom twice a day, and their is No per or crap in the kennel. Is that life still healthy for the dogs ????
    I just feel sorry for them.

    • Zerobites Dog Training

      August 26, 2017 at 12:05 am

      Hi David, thank you for your message. Out of a 24 hour day dogs most often sleep or just lie around for about 18 – 20 hours. You say your friend looks after her dogs very well, so she is a good dog owner and also a responsible one by keeping them in their kennel she knows where they are and no harm will come to them. If they were to running around with no supervision, they may get off the property or someone may open the gate and let them out. Which may cause untold problems.

  32. Kelly

    August 22, 2017 at 1:21 pm

    Hi my 7yr old Jack Russel has started becoming snappy and bit a kennel worker on her last visit, she has stayed there 5 times in total with my other dog and is fine going in and happy to see them, I just don’t want her getting a reputation as an aggressive dog because that’s the last thing she is. We have 3 kids at home and she’s never bit once

    • Zerobites Dog Training

      August 26, 2017 at 12:16 am

      Hi Kelly, thank you for your message. There could be many reasons why your dog bite the kennel worker, even though she has been there a few times.
      Could be the kennel worker approached her the wrong way, dogs are very good at reading body language. The kennel worker may have been new to the job. She could have been a bit stressed, hard to say. What were the circumstances surrounding the bite? Dogs don’t usually just bite, most, not all warn first. eg: a growl, or there is a change in body language, facial expression etc.

      • Kelly

        August 26, 2017 at 12:58 am

        Hi it happened putting her harness on, she did growl at the first person to try and bit the second , I’m going it was just because her glands needed doing and she was just abit temperamental

  33. Bobbi

    September 27, 2017 at 3:47 am

    We just picked up our two dogs from being kenneled for 6 days. One is 2 and the other is 6 months. Both have been to this kennel before for very short stays, usually a night. Our 2 year old is doing great, no problems there. The 6 month old had diarrhea before we had even left the parking lot of the kennel, is noticeably skinnier, and generally acts like he doesn’t feel good. He is eating and drinking, but not at all like he normally does. He even refused a bite of egg we made him. He just kind of mopes around. And tonight when we put him in his crate he growled at our other dog and cat when they walked by, which is not normal for him either. This dog is a very happy go lucky puppy normally, but is a more nervous personality. Could this all be stress related? Is there anything more to do besides letting him get out of his funk? Thanks for any advice

  34. Watson Williams

    May 21, 2018 at 5:48 pm

    My wife and I are going to be taking a trip soon that we can’t take our dog on. We want to leave him at a kennel, but we are a little worried he might be too stressed out. We’ll definitely take your advice and visit the kennel in person in advance to ensure they can handle our pet appropriately if he starts to get nervous.

    • Zerobites Dog Training

      May 21, 2018 at 10:52 pm

      Thank you for your message Watson, it always pays to check, well before you leave, so you know your dog is going to be ok. A few day and night stays, maybe a good idea.

  35. Racheal

    July 27, 2018 at 5:27 am

    I had took my dog to the pound for a week, whenever I got him back he has been acting funny, he sleeps a lot like to much and he just wants to be by me? Will him sleeping so much go away? Just worried about him. And it was his first time going there, and he is usually really active and he isn’t anymore..

    • Zerobites Dog Training

      July 27, 2018 at 9:55 pm

      Hi Rachel, thank you for your message, that was his first time in a new a environment, not like home at all. Imagine if you were taken and dropped off in a place you were unfamiliar with and you didn’t know anyone and told, you would be picked up in a week, how would you feel? Dogs like routine, consistency, boundaries, they like to know where they are in the scheme of things, very similar to humans.
      So, he had to get used to a new routine, maybe more dogs than he is used to, different food, he may have played with more dogs, than normal, the list goes on. He is very likely tired and worn out and needs to rest. If he doesn’t improve in a few days, I would suggest a visit to your local vet and get him checked out.


  36. Michael s

    October 13, 2018 at 7:04 pm

    I had to put my buddy blue (2yo shepperd/collie mix) into a kennel last weekend. Three weeks total while I complete a school. I brought him with me to Atlanta and choose a kennel here. I felt like I put him in prison. The lady there told me it’s best not to visit him alot because it will reset his anxiety. But I’m going today because MY anxiety is so high. We haven’t been apart more then a work shift since I’ve had him as a puppy. I’m bringing him a new toy and some treats. Do you think it’s a bad idea to even visit on the two weekends while he is there?

    • Zerobites Dog Training

      October 13, 2018 at 7:24 pm

      Hi Michael, thank you for your message, I have to say the lady at the kennel is right. If your dog is stressed and anxious, seeing you could make him worse. I know its hard for you but and I say this to my clients quite frequently, your dog has to be independent, in the sense he has to be ok with being on his own. Separation anxiety can become a real problem. Life can throw you a curve ball at anytime. What if you had to go to work somewhere and couldn’t take him, what if you got sick and had to go and spend some time in hospital, there are many scenarios. I have had many dogs and I still have them. I am personally a big believer that dogs and their owners should have a great relationship but also be independent enough and ok with being on their own. As we all need our own space from time to time.
      Regards, Elayne

  37. Katie

    October 22, 2018 at 9:14 am

    Hi there,

    I have just accepted a job a boarding kennels and while I’m excited and confident handling, feeding and cleaning out kennels of the majority of dogs. I was really nervous to go into a couple of the kennels as the dogs were showing fearful and aggressive behaviour on approach.
    What could I do to reduce risk, and stress for the dogs upon approach and entry?


    • Zerobites Dog Training

      October 22, 2018 at 4:21 pm

      Hi Katie, thank you for your message, first off I surprised you asked me this question, as I would have thought the boarding kennel owners would have taught you how to approach a dog who is showing signs of being fearful or aggressive, for your safety as well as theirs.
      If a dog is fearful, it may respond in either of two ways, fight or flight, if it feels threatened and can’t get away it may fight. If the dog is aggressive it may have a go at you.
      Having said this, if you are nervous the dogs will pick up on your energy, so you have to be more confident. Seeing as I don’t know what set up the kennels have, here are a few tips: don’t stare at the dogs, always stand side on, so you are saying via body language you are non confrontational, speak in a calm voice and give them space. I would suggest you do some research on how to communicate with dogs via body language and maybe tell the owners if you are not comfortable with handling these dogs.
      Regards Elayne.

  38. Angela

    December 16, 2018 at 8:57 am

    Hi. We have just had our 3 year old border terrier in kennels for two weeks. It is a kennel we’ve used lots of times before and he’s always happy to go in and is perfectly normal when he comes out. However, since this last visit he has started poo-ing over night, something he only did very rarely before. Is it a question of retraining?

    • Zerobites Dog Training

      December 17, 2018 at 7:12 am

      Hi Angela, thank you for your message, it could well be a matter of retraining because his routine was changed for 2 weeks, while he was in the kennels. Dogs like routine, they like to know where they are in the scheme of things. So I would give the retraining a go. Let me know how you get on.


  39. Mac

    March 18, 2019 at 6:40 pm

    We recently had our 2 dogs in a kennel for 9 days. 1 is 7 yr old chihuahua and 2nd is 1yr old bulldog. My bulldog was extremely happy to see us and we’ve noticed he’s very very lazy and won’t leave my (husband) side. He was affectionate b4, but this is an entire new level.. also the chihuahua was the dominant one but now my bully can walk over to him and he drops the toys and moves on.. is this type of behavior normal? As I type this my bully is on my lap sleeping yet again. Will not leave my side but I don’t mind as I love him so much but it’s crazy how much they’ve changed in 9days.

    • Zerobites Dog Training

      March 18, 2019 at 11:10 pm

      Hi Mac, thanks for your message, it can be especially if they have never been in kennels before. Dogs can become stressed and as you probably know, if we (humans) become quite stressed, our behaviour can change. New, sights, sounds, more dogs than they are used to being around etc can be mentally challenging. That is why I suggest short stays in a kennel environment, to get them used to it. Dog boarding kennels aren’t for every dog. Your Chihuahua, may have felt intimidated by some of the other dogs, also. Again, a lot of factors have to be taken into account, their behaviour may change back to normal once they have been home for a few days. If it does not change, your bulldog may develop separation issues.
      Regards, Elayne

  40. Brid Breathnach

    April 28, 2019 at 6:36 pm

    Hi – thanks for this article. My situation is a little different. I currently commute between UK and Ireland, home to Ireland on Friday night and return to UK Monday evening. I do this as my frail 90 year old father lives in Ireland and is doing well there, I am an only child, single no children, so I go home to supervise him at weekends (he has a care package during the week). Currently, when I am away my 18 month old labradoodle, Finn, is looked after at my home but over the summer I plan to bring him home to Ireland and board him 4 days weekly at the local kennels where he has been before and see how this goes. Finn has stayed there many times and is always really excited to be there, tail wagging, never looks back etc. and comes home happy so I hope this could work. My circumstances mean I have little choice and for obvious reasons this is not a situation that will go on for ever – do you have any thoughts in terms of potential kennel stress etc.? Thanks Brid

    • Zerobites Dog Training

      May 9, 2019 at 5:40 pm

      Hi Brid, I think its just a matter of seeing how it goes, if you get a good routine going and he has a happy time, it should go well. Bit of a holiday for him.

  41. Karen

    September 1, 2019 at 10:15 pm

    I think all dog kennels should be avoided
    I had to put my 8 month old Labrador
    Puppy into a dog kennel for 5 days because
    I had literally nobody to have her. It was
    My last resort as I was going on holiday
    I checked out the boarding kennel and
    I was not impressed! When I entered it
    There was a dozen dogs of all breeds
    Stuck in their kennels just barking and
    Looking anxious ! That evening when I got
    Home I missed my dog so much I felt
    Like I had lost my child I kept thinking about my dog all night ! This is my own personal experience of
    A dog boarding place in the West Midlands
    I just wished now I had of made alternative arrangements for my puppy anything but a dog kennel


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