Although there are lots of dog kennels and pet boarding centers in northern Virginia, dog barking can make some of these places far from pleasant for your animal. All it takes to understand the problem is to walk into a typical dog kennel. The raucous barking will be so loud that you have a hard time hearing the staff, and you will start to feel uncomfortable within minutes of walking in. But that’s you, a human—is the constant dog barking bad for pets boarded in kennels? And if so, what’s the solution. At Healthy Hound Playground, we’re in a unique position to understand the needs of dogs and why traditional cramped kennels are bad for them. Here are some of the things you need to know.
First of all, the answer is that, yes loud barking in kennels can be a real problem for the dogs who stay there. Dogs are social animals and barking is part of their nature, but when it becomes a constant and disruptive part of their environment the strain on their health becomes very real. Barking can signal a threat or a cry for help and when kenneled dogs can hear it all around them, they become stressed. They will join in the barking themselves, even barking themselves hoarse, but may not understand why. And the human presence that usually calms them down—their owner—is not there for them. This becomes an especially big problem when barking goes on all night, depriving your dog of sleep and leading to stressed behavior.
However, this kind of stressful dog barking is not inevitable. It is caused when a kennel is poorly designed and does not feature adequate care and exercise for the dogs. Dogs at kennels bark for several reasons:
- Confinement – If you’ve ever seen a stray dog walk past a confined dog, you know that the confined dog will start barking like crazy while the stray will simply stare at them with curiosity. Dogs will bark more when they are confined because it’s the only action they can take in response to stimuli outside their confinement. Less confinement time means less barking.
- Lack of exercise – Dogs have a lot of energy and naturally want to explore and play. Getting cage-free play time means they use up that energy and feel more satisfied when they’re back in their kennel.
- Discomfort – Dogs shouldn’t feel like they’re in “doggy prison.” Uncomfortable, cramped surroundings make dogs anxious and leads to excessive barking.
The solution is a different kind of kennel. The best dog boarding facilities give all their residents cage-free play time during the days, and more spacious and comfortable kennels at night, with features like their own doggy blanket, soft rubber floors, and privacy walls. This leads to less stressed dogs who will sleep through most of the night and react less intensely to occasional barking or small disturbances.
If you would like to know what makes us at Healthy Hound Playground different from your average kennel, take a look at our photo gallery. There’s nothing like lots of space and exercise to keep a dog happy and healthy!