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Kennel stress: how climate control impacts stress in pets

balaton_Boarding kennel stress can be extremely dangerous to dogs. In fact, the impact of stress can be seen in the behaviour of dogs as they deteriorate while in captivity in shelters. While there are a number of factors that may contribute to pet stress during kennel stays, there is one important factor that is often overlooked: temperature. 

Kennel stress

Kennel stress can be caused by leaving the dog in a place that they haven’t been before, changed conditions, lack of stimulation, and separation anxiety from their owners and/or other pets. Change of diet and routine are also contributing factors, as is the smell of other dogs and cats. The presence of other animals that may be barking can cause stress in dogs too.

Owners often don’t realise that their dog may be stressed under these conditions, especially when their dog doesn’t display signs of stress under all these conditions within their presence.

Temperature

While clean, outdoor air is great for dogs and cats, in a boarding kennel you can expect that your pet will be comfortable and that temperatures will remain within an indoor temperature range of between 10 and 28 degrees Celsius. This temperature range accommodates for all breeds, including long and short haired breeds.

Humidity

As well as temperature controls, pets need to be kept in conditions between 30 and 70% humidity. This is to minimise stress and improve their comfort and well-being.

Signs of stress

When a dog is stressed, you may see the following behaviours:

– Aggression

– Excessive barking or whining

– Loss of appetite

– Excessive licking

– Pacing or escape tactics

How to reduce kennel stress

  1. Try to bring the animal for a short day or overnight visit, without leaving them there for a long time on the first visit.
  2. If you are a multi-dog household, try separate confinement for periods to make sure the dogs can each cope on their own. The same goes for dogs that are overly attached to their owner – try to provide periods where they are OK on their own.
  3. Condition your dog by confining it for short periods – say in a garage or a small bedroom.
  4. Visit the kennel and speak to the owner. Just because they run a healthy facility, it doesn’t mean they are adequately prepared for your dog’s behaviour.
  5. Check the reviews about the kennel – make sure they know how to handle kennel stress.

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