Are Kennels Bad for Dogs

November 1, 2022by DOGuide0

New dog owners often ask, “Are kennels bad for dogs?” Understanding the reasoning behind the question and knowing if it truly is bad or when it is bad will help uncover the answer.

Why People Ask, “Are Kennels Bad for Dogs?”

It’s a cage. No matter how you look at it, it is a cage. Does that make kennels bad for dogs? Not necessarily.

It’s all in how the boarding kennel is used when answering the question about whether or not kennels are bad for dogs.

Are Kennels Bad for Dogs?

No, kennels are not bad for dogs, as long as they are used correctly. Kennels should be used as a place for a dog to relax and feel secure. It should not be used for punishment. It should be comfortable.

Below you will learn how not to make a kennel bad for your dog.

The Size of a Boarding Kennel

Boarding kennels that are too small are bad for dogs. It can cause joint problems and anxiety (think how claustrophobic you would feel if you were enclosed in a tight space).

Boarding kennels should also not be too big, as that can cause behavior problems, which is one of the benefits of crate training. The more space a dog has, the more he can do to get himself into trouble.

Dog owners can identify the correct size for a crate by having their dogs turn around in one. There should just be enough space to turn 360 degrees.

The below chart identifies a good kennel size for all dog breeds.

kennel sizing chart

Amount of Time Spent in the Crate

One of the reasons kennels can be bad for dogs is when pet owners leave their dogs inside one for extended periods. A dog should not spend more than 8 hours inside of a kennel at one time, and even that is a long period.

If possible, do not exceed 5 hours. Dog owners who have to work an 8-hour shift with travel time added, consider asking a family member to let the dog outside during lunch.

Pet sitters or dog walkers are other good ideas for pet owners who aren’t available during the day to let their furry friends outside.

Doggie daycare is growing in popularity because of the demands people have on them with work hours. It works just like childcare does – people can drop their dogs off at the boarding facility and pick them up after work. The kennel staff will ensure your dog gets plenty of exercise, relaxation, and playtime with other dogs.

Keep in mind – just because your furry friend may have a canine companion, it doesn’t make it okay to leave a dog crated for extended periods. A dog crate is meant to be used for short periods of time.

Some dogs will start to lick their crate when they spend too much time in it. That’s a sign to look for in your pup.

kennels are bad

Kennel Environment

A dog’s crate should be clean and safe whenever used. There should be no urine or feces inside of it when the dog is placed inside. It should also be free of any choking hazards.

Punishing your four-legged friend inside of a dirty kennel is abuse. Just imagine being placed inside a small room with excrement all around you. That disgust you’re feeling is what a dog feels.

The kennel environment should be just like a well-kept home. It should be perfectly clean with freshly washed towels or blankets. A pee pad is okay to place inside of it, as long as it is replaced regularly when used. Toys can be placed inside as long as they do not pose a choking hazard.

Dog Crating as Punishment

Dogs are den animals. In other words, they instinctually enjoy small, enclosed places. They feel safe and comforted in them. This is why a crate-trained dog often doesn’t suffer from separation anxiety as opposed to those who are not used to it or have been punished with dog crates.

Throwing a dog in a crate for punishment confuses the instinct. This can lead to unpredictable dog behavior. The dog may become sad and whimper or mad and exhibit aggression. In either case, it’s not a good situation for the dog owner or dog.

Make the crate a positive experience. Punishment should be approached in different ways such as with negative reinforcement (not being able to play with a favorite toy or not receiving a treat). Positive reinforcement is the best option with canines, according to most dog trainers. Encouraging good dog behavior will lead to more of that behavior.

When your dog doesn’t see the crate or kennel as a prison, he/she will start to go into it at will. Many dogs will lie in their crate with the door open because it’s where they feel most at ease.

Pet Boarding

Many readers are likely thinking about pet boarding facilities and whether their kennels are bad for dogs, especially those who keep their four-legged guests locked up for more than 8 hours a day.

This is why it’s highly important to research and tour the pet boarding facility you choose before your dog’s stay. The pet boarding facility should communicate how long their guests spend in the crate and what activities they are involved in throughout the day.

Many pet boarding places will encourage canine companion time, in which their guests can play together as long as they get along well with other pups. This means more time outside of the crate, which is always great.

Kennel cough is a concern when boarding a dog, so be sure all immunizations are up to date and the pet boarding facility requires them so that other guests are also protected. Speak to your veterinarian for more information about kennel cough and other illnesses that can be contracted during boarding.

are dog crates bad

Are Kennels Good for Dogs?

Are kennels bad for dogs? No, only if they are used in a bad way. So, are kennels good for dogs? Yes, kennels are very good for dogs. That’s why many dog owners decide to crate-train their dog as a puppy.

Crate training is beneficial in many ways.

  • It can correct bad dog behavior.
  • It’s a great way to housetrain since a dog will not usually use the bathroom in close quarters.
  • It can reduce separation anxiety because of its calming effects.
  • Provides a calm place to relax since dogs are instinctually denning animals.
  • Dogs often feel as though their crate is their home.
  • It gives adult dogs and older dogs a familiar place when traveling away from home.
  • Reduces dog owner frustrations during house training because accidents are contained inside the crate. It can sometimes be used as a last resort for potty training.

A misconception is that dogs won’t poop inside their kennel because they won’t do it where they sleep. In the article, Do Dogs Sleep In Their Own Poop? learn more about why and what you can do about it.

Buying a Good Kennel for Your Dog

Now that you know how to use a kennel in the right way so it’s not bad for a dog, you likely want to buy one that’s right for your pup. You can find many in your local pet shops, but there are some much better ones online you should consider.

Many dog owners purchase dog kennels that look like end tables, so they don’t stand out when guests come to the home.

dog crate with shelf


book shelf table dog crate

Of course, if you’re looking for a classic wire kennel, that will be the least expensive. Check out the MidWest Homes for Pets Dog Crate for some quality ones that can be taken apart for traveling purposes.

wire crate

For those looking for a quality dog kennel to use as part of their living room, check out this wood dog kennel end table.

Take your time in choosing the best kennel for your dog. This will be a place of peace and comfort for him/her. Always remember… Happy Dog ~ Happy Owner

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by DOGuide

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