Do Dogs Like Being In Boarding Kennels?
We all love going on holiday and, writing this as foreign holidays start to seem like a possibility again after 14 months of pandemic, trips abroad can be even more precious as a means of getting away from the stresses of work.
But if you’re a dog owner, the immediate consequence of going overseas for any length of time is that your pooch will also need to go away – and that will usually mean a trip to the kennels. Naturally we look forward to and enjoy our holidays, but for many of us that enjoyment can be tempered by worrying about how our best friends are getting on without us. Of course, we miss them terribly – but do they miss us as well?
This month, then, we’re asking the question: does your dog look forward to going on holiday as much as you do?
Do your research
This should be obvious, but before you leave your dog anywhere, you need to do everything you can to ensure that you’re sending him or her somewhere reputable. All kennels are licensed but, like the hotels we go to, inevitably some are going to be better than others. If you have any concerns about how your dog is likely to get on, check out the kennels and talk to the owners about how they keep their guests occupied and how they deal with stressed dogs. While you can’t be 100% sure how your dog will react until they get there, you want to know they’ve got the best possible chance of being happy in their temporary home.
How your dog gets on in any kennels is inevitably partly going to depend on his or her character. Like us, some dogs are sociable and some are not. Perhaps an even better comparison is sending your children off to camp or nursery – some leap in and get on with it, while others sit in the corner crying. And you can’t always tell until it happens which category your dog or child will fall into.
Kennel stress is a real thing that some dogs get that could be the result of a number of factors, including a different diet, a change in routine, new sights and smells, and having to deal with aggressive other dogs. Some owners report changes in their dogs’ behaviour after spending time at a kennel, but these usually disappear within 24 hours of getting home. Choosing the right kennel that knows how to recognise and deal with the symptoms of kennel stress is essential if you think this might be an issue for your pooch.
Is my dog missing me?
There have been scientific studies into this and the conclusion is that dogs almost certainly do miss their owners. Brain scans suggest that the familiar scent of their owner triggers a positive reaction in the parts of the brain associated with, among other things, reward based behaviours. In other words, part of the reason they miss you is because they know they get fed by you. But you probably knew that.
Another test showed that dogs greet their owners with more intensity when left alone for two hours compared to just 30 minutes, which also suggests an element of ‘missing’ them.
Even if they do miss you, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re going to pine for you. Chances are that they’ll have a great time, and enjoy being fussed by new people and playing with the other dogs likely to be there. And then be overjoyed to see you on your return.
If you want to know how your dog is going to do without you, you can do a simple little test: when you get up to go out, does your dog try to follow you? If they do, then they’re more likely to miss you more, but if they’re relaxed about it, they’ll be fine.
At Green Lane Farm, we do everything we can to make all our guests as happy as possible, because their health and well-being is our main concern when you entrust them to our care. If you’re planning a holiday and need somewhere for your best friend to stay, then get in touch to find out more.