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Will my dog be kept in a kennel or a crate?

Updated: May 30, 2023

When inquiring about where your dog will be housed with a pet sitter in

their own home it’s good to know where the pups will spend their time.

Most pet owners that are inquiring about having their pets stay with a pet

sitter in a private home setting are interested in doing so because the idea

of a kennel for their dog is unappealing.

There is a difference between a kennel and a crate.

A kennel is a structure or a shelter for pups to be housed and maintained.

Used in the plural, the kennels, the term means any building, collection of

buildings or a property in which dogs are housed, maintained. (Wikipedia).

There are several reputable kennels located in most cities and its nice to

have options for your pet sitting needs. Some pet owners are content and

very satisfied to have their pups cared for in a kennel setting.

A kennel setting isn't for everyone.

Dogs can be very stressed by staying in a kennel for a variety of reasons.

A kennel can feel very restricting, and the dogs don't get the same one on

one attention that they would just by the very nature of being able to hang

out at the pet sitters home much in the same way they do in their own


Kennels generally have multiple dogs of various ages, sizes and breeds

staying at the same time and often with limited if any contact with one

another. There generally isn't any scheduled play time for them to interact

and socialize with one another.

Kennels are not set up like a doggy daycare is where pups do get an

opportunity to play together. Their main purpose is to provide housing for

your pet in your absence.

In a kennel setting the dogs can hear and sometimes see one another

however, they're in separate kennels and don't have contact with one

another. This can add a certain amount of stress to all the dogs when

they're in a kennel and have no access to outside activity or one another.

It can stress a dog it they can hear other dogs, sense them and yet not be

able to see them.

The peace and quiet of the dogs once they're settled can be interrupted

each time a staff member enters the space which can cause excitement,

anticipation and in turn anxiety for all the dogs.

They start barking, pacing back and forth in their kennels waiting for

attention to either be let out for their pee break, a short walk or to be fed.

It can create a lot of havoc and unrest for the dogs and the staff


The premise of boarding your pup with a pet sitter in their own home is to

provide a stress-free environment for the pet which in turn gives you, the

pet owner peace of mind while your pet is cared for in your absence.

It's reasonable to ask will my dog be in a kennel when they're at the pet

sitters’ home.

If there are kennels of any sort on the property, then it's a good idea to

ask how much time your pet would stay in the kennel and what's provided

in the kennel? Such as their food, water, bedding, or toys.

These are a few other questions that you could ask.

What are the kennels made of? Are they wooden kennels? Are they wired

or chain link kennels? A combination of building materials? Are they long

and narrow kennels that have an indoor and an outdoor access? Do they

have cement floors?

How often are they cleaned? Are the pets expected to do their business

inside the kennel? Or are they taken out of the kennel and given access to

the yard/garden/grounds outdoors to do their business?

How often are the dogs checked on?

How often are they walked during the day and how long is the walk?

Some pet owners aren’t aware that pet sitters generally don’t use kennels

to board their pet guests.


Yes, there is a difference between crates and kennels.

Crates provide multiple options for the safety and care of your pets.

They can provide a space for eating, sleeping, resting, down time,

separation from other pups, a space for training, and transportation to

name a few.

Transportation: Crates are provided for transportation for safety

purposes for the pup, the pet sitter, and other drivers on the road.

If for any reason the vehicle may have to come to a sudden or unexpected

stop the pet is safe inside the crate and this avoids any possibility of the

pet being thrown around inside the vehicle. The pet could sustain an injury

from being loose inside the vehicle and the pet could cause injury to the

driver because of being tossed unexpectedly.

Traveling in a crate also protects the dog from any outside distractions or

stimulation that may attract the dog’s attention. For example, if they’re at a

stop light and the dog notices a person walking past the vehicle with a dog

they quite often will start barking or lung at the window to interact with the

other dog.

Or if the car in the next lane has a dog barking or hanging out the window

this can be a trigger for the dog to start barking and/or darting back and

forth on the backseat.

This unexpected behaviour can startle the driver and detract from their

focus as the light changes. It also puts the dog at risk of falling off the

backseat as the car is in motion and the dog could sustain an injury.

It puts the driver, the pet and the other drivers on the road at

risk for a potential accident.

If the little dog decides to reach out the drivers window the drivers

handling of the steering wheel is impeded and the dog could potentially be

the cause of an accident. The dog itself could go flying out the window and

get seriously injured or worse.

Elderly people often tend to own small, adorable lap size dogs. The reality

is that with age our reflexes and reactionary time slows down for both the

dogs and the owners. The potential of something going wrong is a reality

that can be avoided by having the dog travel in a comfortable crate.

Training: For younger pups crates are a great tool for training for

behaviour and for meals.

A crate is a great way to toilet training your pup(s). Dogs consider the

crate as their safe and clean space. They don’t have any interest in

defecating in the same space they sleep in.

Training a dog to do their business outside takes time, patience, and

consistency to teach them how to indicate to you that they need to go out.

There are many great resources available online and offline through books,

courses, classes, and one on one trainers to help you train your pup.

Training a pup to eat their meals inside their crate with the door closed

gives them an opportunity to feel safe and protected while eating and

allows them to enjoy eating their food without distractions or feeling

hurried if there are other pets in the household.

Sleeping/resting: A crate offers a dog a great place of refuge. A place to

feel safe and secure. Some dogs more than others tend to be ‘den’ dogs

and it gives them the option to have a spot that is comfortable that they

can relax in.

Some dogs like having the crate covered with a blanket during the night

while they’re sleeping for that extra cozy feeling. Some dogs like being in

the crate with the door open and others prefer it closed and locked.

There are many benefits of your dog getting comfortable with crates for a

variety of reasons and one of the extra benefits is if there was ever an

emergency you could transport them in a safe manner that they’re familiar


It’s also a great place for your pets to hang out in if you have unexpected

visitors show up to the house.

You can attend to the guests in your home and not have to be concerned

with your pup being nervous, uncomfortable, or getting under foot when

you least expect it.

What areas of the home will the dogs have access to?

What does a look like for your pup when they're at the pet sitters’ home?

Are they allowed on the furniture or on the bed?

Some owners have very strict rules with their pets in which they are NOT

allowed on the furniture at any time.

It will be important for those owners that their expectations are met during

the pets stay. Consistency of the same rules will be important for the pets

comfort and the owner’s peace of mind.

As a pet owner you're not going to be very satisfied to return to pup whose

behaviour has changed because they didn't have to follow the same

expectations they do at home.

A lot of pet sitters are very comfortable with their pet clients sleeping on

their bed or laying on their furniture.

It’s important to know where and how your pet will be housed when in the

care of the pet sitter. Ask will my pet be in a kennel and/or a crate. And if

so for how long and why?

The aim of the pet sitter is to ensure your pet is safe, happy, and

comfortable during their stay.

Ask the right questions and be satisfied with the answers when deciding if

your dog being in a kennel or a crate is right for both Fido and you.

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