Kennel Stress in Dogs & Diagnosis

Written by kay curtis
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Kennel Stress in Dogs & Diagnosis
Kennel stress in dogs is natural. (excited dog image by Janet Wall from

Kennel stress in dogs is a reality. Any change in routine can create stress in dogs. When a dog is taken to new surroundings with unfamiliar people and pets, it's natural for the dog to feel ill at ease. Doing whatever you can to ease the transition will help alleviate the stress your pet (and you) may experience.

Symptoms of Stress

Sometimes simply the lack of space or unrecognisable scents in a kennel can be enough to send even the most relaxed dog into hyperventilation. Severe stress, however, has significant symptoms. First and easiest to monitor is food consumption. If the dog lacks an appetite for an extended period of time, this could be stress-related. Another obvious sign is shivering, or shaking involuntarily. The dog may appear restless and agitated, unable to focus on even basic commands. In addition, there may be bouts of diarrhoea or constant itching.

Kennel Stress in Dogs & Diagnosis
Loss of appetite and lack of energy are common symptoms of stress. (Tommy dreaming image by glass 86 from

Find the Right Kennel

One of the most important steps you can take to minimise your dog's stress is to find the right kennel. Visit a few with your dog and see how the staff interacts with him. Ask if they are licensed and if a veterinarian is on staff. Make sure the kennel is clean, well ventilated and not too crowded. Note the staff-to-dog ratio: Do they have enough help for all the dogs they keep? Also, make sure there is plenty of exercise room. Some people opt to leave their dogs overnight for a trial run.

Kennel Stress in Dogs & Diagnosis
Dog kennels should provide plenty of room for exercise. (dogs image by lena Letuchaia from


Another way to help minimise your pet's stress level is to pack some familiar items from home. Packing up your pooch's (unwashed) bed, favourite toys and maybe even an unwashed article of your clothing is recommended. Your dog will appreciate the reminders of home and hopefully feel a sense of security while you're away.

Kennel Stress in Dogs & Diagnosis
It's a good idea to bring along your dog's favourite blanket or bed. (woman and dog sleeping on bed image by nextrecord from

Minimise Your Own Stress

Dogs are sensitive beings that can pick up on their owner's moods and feelings. If you're running around the house like a maniac, packing and yelling, this will put your dog under stress before you even leave for the kennel. Try to maintain a calm approach with a happy attitude--this will be better for you as well. If you're running late and just can't control your frustration, consider putting your pet outside or in a room away from you until you are ready to go.

Kennel Stress in Dogs & Diagnosis
Dogs feel your stress. (Sitting Pug image by LOLA from

Saying Goodbye

When leaving your pet, it's best to make a quick exit. It's also a good idea to have one of the staff members play with your dog while you slip out unnoticed.

Kennel Stress in Dogs & Diagnosis
It's good to make your goodbye quick. (boy and his pet image by Renata Osinska from

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