Owners usually cannot take their dogs on vacation. You must kennel your dog unless a friend is willing to dog-sit. Kennel stress can occur even if most kennels provide excellent care for the dogs they board. There are a few things pet owners can do to help their dogs feel less anxious while at the kennel.

How to Reduce Kennel Stress in Pet Boarding

Your pet may experience anxiety after just one night in a boarding kennel or a cat boarding, and more extended stays may make them feel even more stressed. Although not all dogs experience kennel stress, it is a natural and unpleasant experience for most dogs and a highly stressful event for their owners. 

Prepare Your Pet

Because dogs are accustomed to roaming the house and going wherever they please, kennel confinement can be highly stressful. The owner can begin preparing the dog for its stay to reduce anxiety. A crate, kennel, or small bedroom at home is an excellent way to train your dog for kennel time.

Avoid Separation Anxiety

A dog who suffers from separation anxiety from its owner, or other dogs may become distressed. The owner should spend a few hours a day away from the dog a few weeks before departure. If the owner has multiple dogs, separating them for a few hours each day is best to help them adjust to being apart. 

Visit the Facility

Nobody who runs a dog kennel knows every dog’s behavior. Dogs have unique personalities and preferences. Before leaving, the owner should stop by the kennel to discuss their dog’s temperament. The more information the kennel owner has about the dog, the better the dog’s accommodations will be.

Bring Something Familiar

To help the dog relax, bring something familiar and comfortable to the kennel. This could be anything your dog associates with you, such as a blanket or stuffed animal. When familiar objects surround the dog, he will feel less anxious.

Many dogs experience anxiety when they are boarded. A few preparation techniques should be familiar to the owner so that the dog feels less anxious while staying at the kennel.

Four Factors That Cause Kennel Stress

Anxiety in your dog can be triggered by changes in diet and routine, dog aggression, and the introduction of new sounds, smells, and people. Even the calmest dogs can become agitated by new surroundings and routine changes.

Routine Modifications

Dogs are creatures of habit and may experience distress if their routine is altered. Your dog’s eating, sleeping, and exercise habits will change in a kennel. If your pet still seems stressed, you should visit a full-service pet hospital for a consult.

Unfamiliar Individuals

While most dogs enjoy interacting with people, some are wary of strangers. The caretaker may change every hour in a kennel, increasing the dogs’ stress levels.

Lack of Regular Exercise

When a dog does not burn enough calories, his stress level rises. If your dog does not get enough exercise or is unwilling to play in the kennel’s outdoor areas, boarding anxiety may increase.

A Sudden Shift in Diet

A dog may become ill if it eats something unfamiliar, but it may also experience anxiety if its routine is disrupted. Diet is also crucial because it helps dogs maintain a healthy immune system. If your dog loses interest in eating, their nutritional status will suffer.

If you have an exotic pet, you can ask a professional exotic vet or visit their exotic pets page because they need specialized care.


Despite our best efforts to make dogs feel at ease, the kennel environment is often so dissimilar to their home that they experience anxiety. Following the advice above will make your dog feel more at ease while boarding.