Stress and Dog kennels

kennel

At Gudog we are certain there is no better experience than to share your life with a dog. We are also aware the modern day lifestyle does not allow us to be with them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Whether it be for work, holidays, airplane trips, places in which dogs are not permitted or simply situations that would not be comfortable for them.

It’s a reality that in any moment we could need someone to care for our four legged friend.

The number of dog kennels in the UK has increased at an uncontrollable rate in the past few years. All you need to do is a quick search of the internet to see what we are talking about. Strong competition from dog kennels who do nothing more than house large quantities of dogs in small spaces and questionable conditions.

One thing clear is that for a dog it’s not easy to be separated from his owner, unsurprisingly this separation generates anxiety and stress.

¿What is stress in a dog?

Stress is nothing more than a natural physiological reaction to a situation that requires a response, with higher intensity than normal.  In normal doses it’s harmless and necessary to live, however it can become a serious problem when it is a constant part of our daily lives.

Raise your hand if you have not endured the wrath of stress one time or another: long work hours, exams, a never ending retention of traffic, over demanding bosses. Many things can provoke stress and curiously we don’t find it difficult to recognise the symptoms like headaches, gastritis and muscle tension etc.

Well our furry friends also use this system to manage stressful situations. Strain put on the body can result in long lasting problems. That is why it’s very important we learn to observe them and pick up symptoms, helping to avoid further problems.

How can you recognise stress in your dog?

When a dog is stressed usually it is shown through certain behaviours which we will list now, but it is useful to keep in mind the context of the situation, and discard those that are a question of physical exertion, like heat, exercise, allergies etc.

Behaviours to look out for could be: yawning, quickly licking of lips, shaking, panting, salivating, scratching, hyperactivity etc..

Curiously, looking through Youtube we found a video of an American dog kennel filmed by one of their workers, in which they show a number of dogs. Although the goal is not to support this type of establishment, we realised many of the dogs showed signs of these stress reactions. What about you? Do you notice it?

These behaviours can worsen when the stress continues, unleashing aggressive fear reactions from everyday things such as strangers, noises and objects. Even more, the immune system can be affected, as well as the ability to learn and sleep cycles disrupted.

Why dog kennels generate stress?

To understand why dog kennels provoke stress in our dog, we have to keep in mind what necessities our canine friends require. For this we need only turn to the wolf, as their closest ancestor the wolf has passed on a big genetic burden.

  • Dogs, leaving to one side their breed, are hunting animals. Some will develop a greater hunting instinct than others, but all have that component in their genes. A characteristic of the hunting gene is protection of resources, and although not all display this reaction, some can generate conflicts with others. It is typical to see fights in parks, dog areas, or other types of enclosures for a ball, toy or treat. Confrontations are common in dog kennels, over crowded areas for extended periods of times become a melting pot for aggression. For a doggy having to be constantly alert can wear down the immune system, and become very stressful.
  • Like the wolf, the dog is a social animal, they need to interact with others in order to survive. With domestication, the human has become their inseparable companion, where the doggie now relies on this daily contact. One of the most common known problems in this day is separation anxiety. In a dog kennel human contact is minimal, due to this the time spent with a carer will depend on the number of dogs there are and the season in which your dog stays.
  • In addition, our furry friends need fixed routines to feel safe and not expect large changes to their daily lives, for example lunch time, sleep and walks. Something only possible to achieve when you have someone exclusively caring for them.
  • On the other hand, a mature dog needs to sleep 14 hours a day to rest, vital for their physical and mental health. It is also very important to have everything your dog will need in one place as to not disturb the residences from constant barking. The majority of dogs are not accustomed to dog kennels and for them the barking never stops.
  • A lack of invigorating walks. For all the space dog kennels have, we should keep in mind the necessity for them to explore new places in order to use their strong sense of smell. A dog with a rich sense of smell is more balanced in general. One way or another, almost all our dogs have a particular or specific need. Maybe a medicine, allergy, or known tension with certain races… In the majority of dog kennels, the possibility to give care to those specific needs is unlikely.

At Gudog we share our lives with our dogs too, that’s why our objective is to offer a solution to meet the needs of both, owners and doggies. We are convinced for them it is necessary to be thoughtful of their needs, not just physically but emotionally too. Always trying to reduce the possibility of stress.

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