Maximize Your Dog's Comfort in Kennels
by Dakota Storage Buildings, on February 23, 2023
Some dogs love being outside while others need a place to go when their owner is out for short periods. Either way, a kennel is a valuable resource to keep your dog safe and happy. When your dog always wants to be outdoors, a kennel is a great choice to ensure she does not roam too far. Kennels create boundaries yet provide adequate space for your dog to play. However, not all dogs want to be outside or kept in a kennel. A kennel is a convenient option when the owners have to step away for a short period and cannot watch their dog. When a kennel is needed but your dog does not want anything to do with it, you can take some simple steps to make kennel time more enjoyable.
Common Concerns About Kennels
Kennels have a stigma of confining dogs, creating sad and lonely pets. However, that is not the case. While owners can misuse a kennel, it can also be a valuable resource to keep your dog safe and comfortable when you are away. Further, it gives outdoor and working and police dogs a space to retreat when they need to rest.
Another common concern about kennels is the space. While some kennels can be small, there is a wide range of sizes for you. Every breed needs different space requirements, and a bigger kennel will always be preferred over a smaller one. Give your dog room to stretch its legs. No matter how your dog spends their time in the kennel, you can give her ample space to rest and play.
Do not just purchase a kennel; see this as an opportunity to make it a fun space for your dog. Kennels do not have to be boring. Instead, you can add elements and treat the kennel as an exciting or cozy time. Don’t let your dog dread its kennel. Make it enjoyable, and a time she looks forward to every day.
Activities To Make Kennel Time Enjoyable
When you incorporate a kennel into your dog’s routine, they will likely be apprehensive and may even dislike it at first. For your dog to see the kennel as a safe space to relax, you need to show your dog that a kennel is not a form of punishment and is only a temporary space for when you are away. Here are a few helpful tips to get your dog on board with the idea of a kennel.
1. Make Kennel Time Positive
Some pet owners tend to put their dogs in a kennel as punishment. This can create negative feelings towards the kennel; your dog may want to stay far away. This is not helpful when you have no choice but to keep your dog in a kennel while you run errands or go to work. Reinforcing that a kennel can be a fun place to stay should be a priority. Treating it as a timeout location can make your dog anxious about going into a kennel. The goal is to make the kennel feel like a safe place to relax, not a cage to be reprimanded.
2. Align Feeding Time With Kennel Time
We all know that dogs are happy when they eat. Many pups will run into the kitchen once they smell their food or even your dinner. The excitement and anticipation that they experience while waiting on their bowl to be filled can be a benefit in making them comfortable in a kennel. Combining kennel time and meals can encourage your dog to have positive feelings towards the kennel.
3. Allow for an Adjustment Period
Kennel training, much like potty training, will not happen overnight. It is a slow transition that requires your dog to grow accustomed and comfortable with the kennel. When you immediately put your dog into a kennel for hours, they can become anxious and resent the kennel. However, starting with short periods can help your dog’s transition go smoothly. You can increase the time they stay in the kennel each week and adjust the schedule as needed. This will help your dog become comfortable in the kennel and even grow to enjoy kennel time.
4. Make the Kennel Cozy With Dog Bedding
A cozy bedding will make a kennel more comfortable for your dog. A plush pillow can help your dog relax and feel secure after a long day. Be sure that the bedding extends the entire length and width of the kennel floor. This will ensure that they have comfortable bedding no matter which side of the kennel they go to. It is also helpful to choose easy-to-clean bedding so that when there is an accidental mess, you do not have to worry about buying a replacement. Kennel bedding should be able to withstand a cycle in the washing machine. For an even more luxurious kennel, add a soft blanket your dog can cuddle up with in your absence.
5. Add Dog Puzzles
When you have to be gone for extended periods, your dog may get bored in their kennel. Adding dog puzzles to the kennel can stimulate and make the time you away pass quickly. While dog puzzles are a great way to keep your dog entertained no matter their age, this is especially true for puppies. Younger dogs have more energy, and giving them something to do will keep their attention. Dog puzzles can also be beneficial for dogs with anxiety. Providing a simple game can get their mind off of you being gone until you return.
A kennel provides a safe, cozy environment for your dog and gives you peace of mind while you are away. Knowing that your dog is secure and protected in a kennel lets you focus on your current task without worrying about her. When the weather is good, you may even find that your dog prefers to spend the day outdoors soaking up the fresh air. When you choose the right kennel for your dog, they will be happy and healthy.
Prioritizing Your Dog’s Happiness
Working dogs need special care and attention to maintain good health. Making sure that they will be happy and energized when they are properly socialized, stimulated, instructed, protected, and nourished. To prioritize and ensure your dog is going to be able to work to its potential while being happy while doing so, take a look at our guide that covers socialization points to go-to resources for dog owners.