Dogs enjoy holidays just as much as we do
According to research published in the journal Physiology and Behaviour, dogs may enjoy spending time in a kennel in a similar way to people enjoying their holidays. Canines might actually find these dog houses exciting places to visit.
How the dog study was carried out
The study was conducted by a team of British researchers from a variety of different universities: University of Birmingham, University of Lincoln, The Royal Veterinary College and Queen’s University Belfast. They measured a range of stress symptoms in 29 privately-owned dogs, both at home and in private boarding kennels.
The hypothesis was that not all dogs find kennels to be stressful.
Based on existing research, it was assumed that dogs would show higher levels of stress in the kennel compared to the home environment. The goal was to test a range of behavioral, physical and physiological indicators, and develop a baseline of dogs’ happiness once the pets were admitted to the kennel.
The team looked at many different variables:
- Skin dryness
- Core body temperate
- Nose temperature
- Food intake
- Levels of hormones and epinephrine in the system
Researchers also looked at spontaneous behaviours such as lip licking, paw lifting, yawning, shaking and restlessness.
The research revealed that dogs have higher levels of arousal, colder noses and were generally more active in kennels than when they were at home. Urinary cortisol, a hormone secreted as a major response to stress, is the most commonly used physiological indicator of a dog’s welfare. The chemical was found to be on the higher side when participating dogs were in the kennels, but the researchers suggest that this is not due to negative experiences, as previously thought.
The findings appear to suggest that the dogs in this study did not see staying at the boarding kennels as a stressor. To put it another way, the arousal which previously was thought of as negative stress is actually just your dog’s excitement, which can be caused by any number of reasons. The new environment, new smells and new people may actually be stimulating instead of frightening.
Not all dogs feel stressed out when left in a kennel. It’s like a vacation to them, and like all of us, dogs enjoy holidays. Kennels could be viewed as an exciting change of scene and a well-deserved adventure.
Lead researcher Dr. Lisa Collins from the University of Lincoln had this to say;
“Many owners find leaving their dog at a boarding kennel to be a stressful experience. However, this study suggests that although dogs appeared to have a higher level of overall arousal or excitement in kennels compared with their state at home, this arousal is not necessarily due to dogs experiencing kennels as negatively stressful. The emotional reasons for the behavioral and physiological responses of the dogs were ambiguous and no definitive evidence was found to suggest that dogs were negatively stressed by kenneling.”
Staying in quality
Just as you enjoy a brief stay at a hotel, your dog may enjoy a stay away as well. And just like you, your pooch would much prefer to stay in a quality establishment where their every need is catered for. Which is why dogs so enjoy staying with us at our South Auckland kennels & cattery.
Your dog will be well looked after at our kennels. Whether cavorting with mates, playing with toys, exploring the yard or just basking in the sun, dogs enjoy holidays at our place.