Do Dogs Miss Their Owners When in Kennels? (Solved & Explained!) 

Dogs do miss their owners when separated for any period of time, including when boarded in a kennel. According to the RSCPA, dogs can be extremely stressed by separation from their owners and are likely to miss them if parted.

The rest of the article will look into reasons as to why your dog might miss you, how to identify the right kennel, how to make the stay easier for your pet and what alternatives are available to consider.

Will my dog find it difficult to be separated from me?

For many dogs, their owner is their best friend and point of reference in times of stress, and they are likely to miss you as much as you will miss them. Whether boarded in a kennel for a day or a week, a dog is going to feel your absence and may feel sadness and anxiety during your separation.

How long will my dog miss me?

While at first your dog may experience some sadness at being left behind in a kennel, after a couple of hours they are likely to come around and enjoy their time there. With the right care and attention, adequate exercise and plenty of distraction, most pets are likely to overcome the initial worry and anxiety that might occur at separation.

Will my dog think it has been abandoned?

Dogs have exceptional memories and will remember you from the second they are parted from you until you are reunited. However, studies like The Dog Project found that most dogs’ concept of time do not tend to stretch beyond a couple of hours, and so it is unlikely that most dogs would feel they have been abandoned after this point.

What are some signs that a dog is distressed by being in a kennel?

The Dog Project demonstrated that dogs experience emotions such as depression and worry and, along with happiness and excitement, these emotions can be heightened in relation to their owners. Such emotions may present in your dog as agitation, differences in behaviour and changes to eating or drinking – things to look for if you are able to check on your pet.

How will my dog be looked after in the kennel?

In any reputable kennel or boarding facility, your dog should receive the level of care they are used to receiving at home, making it vital to choose the correct place. This includes regular exercise, attention from staff, play time with other animals and an established routine which should be similar to the one they are used to at home.

Are there any issues I should be aware of?

Some of the main concerns owners face with kennel stays are illnesses such as kennel cough and flu, interaction with unfamiliar animals and disruption to habits and routines which can set your dog back. Most of these concerns can be addressed by choosing a reputable facility, which will be discussed next, and ensuring a routine is established from the beginning.

What should I look for when choosing a kennel?

Choosing the right kennel or boarding for your pet will alleviate your worries and ensure that your pet receives the best possible care. The RSPCA suggests some things you should look for when choosing the right kennel, such as vaccination requirements, appropriate (and up to date) licencing and insurance cover – don’t be afraid to ask to see evidence of these.

How can I make the separation easier for my dog?

The RSPCA provides some things you can do to ensure your pet’s time away is as easy as possible. Some of the things you can do are make sure whoever is responsible for your dog is aware of routines, provide updated emergency contacts plus vet contact details and ensure your pet is provided with adequate exercise, attention, and care.

What can I do ahead of time to settle my dog in?

Taking your dog to visit the kennels or setting they will be staying in is a great way to allow them to get a feel for the place and meet the people they will be staying with. It may also help you by allowing you to be able to check the setting first and ensure it meets your expectations.

Is a kennel stay right for my dog?

Most dogs are able to stay in a kennel, unless they are six months old or younger – most kennels will refuse to take them in as it is a vital time for bonding and becoming comfortable with you as their owner. In this case, it is important to find alternative arrangements for your dog, which will be discussed next.

What are some alternatives to a kennel?

If you are concerned about placing your dog in a kennel, the RSPCA says the best alternative option is to leave your dog with a friend or family member. A familiar, trusted face may alleviate some of the stress and worry of being left behind for your dog and make the separation easier on both the pet and owner.

Is my dog allowed to come on holiday?

On some occasions, your dog may be allowed to join you on your holiday, if you do not wish to be separated from your pet or suitable arrangements cannot be made. This could be something to consider if you are concerned about your pet’s welfare when boarded in kennels, although research should always be carried out before booking the holiday.

What will happen when my dog returns home?

After being parted from their owner, any dog is likely to be overjoyed to be reunited – anyone who works long hours will tell you of the reaction they receive at the end of the day. Your dog will be thrilled to see you, but it is important to look out for illness or lethargy and see a vet if necessary. You’ll want to allow yur dog some freedom once home – take them outside so that they can burn off some energy.