At What Age Can Puppies Go To Kennels?

If you’re going on a vacation for a week or two, traditionally, the popular option would be putting the dog in a boarding kennel rather than a pet sitter. It can be a great place to make sure your dog stays safe while you’re away. You might be worried about leaving your dog in an unfamiliar place, but believe me, it works out very well. You can think of it as a summer camp for your dog. So, at what age can a puppy go to a kennel? And what should you know about Dog Kennels?

“Most dog kennels will accept puppies starting from the age of 4 months old. Beware that most of them will ask you to make lots of check-ups on your dog before landing him there. If they do so, then you can be really confident about such a kennel because the dogs there will be healthy and your dog won’t catch any disease there”

I remember the first time I left Kira in the dogy daycare. Later that day, the girl there sent me a text message with Kira’s photo, taking her shoes and running away from the people in the daycare. They said she was very energetic and playful, and it was a fun day.

Although Kira was angry with me for leaving her, she was happy there. Before leaving your dog at a daycare, you should be familiar with the requirements of the kennel.

Kennel Requirements for Puppies

Most of the certified kennels accept dogs of 12 to 17 weeks old (4 months). The reason for this is they require the incoming puppy to have its first round of adult shot at 12 weeks, which would be followed by the second round at about 16 weeks.

Most boarding kennels require proof of rabies vaccination.

Some of them also ask for a check-up of some common diseases like distemper, parvovirus, bordetella, and flea protection. However, this means that you can’t leave your puppy in most kennels if he was younger than four months old.

Types of Boarding Kennels

There are several types of dog kennels which are:

Traditional Kennels:These kennels have individual fully indoor facilities. Built-in dog runs, indoor and outdoor large fenced areas for dogs to play when the weather is good. Some of them are attached to the veterinary office for emergencies. The sleeping areas are usually private for overnight safety.
Private Kennels:These kennels tend to house fewer dogs than traditional ones. May be fewer than ten dogs at a time. These are more suitable for socially anxious dogs, special needs dogs that require extra individual attention as well as groups that prefer to stay and play together.
Luxury Kennels:These kennels are luxurious with heated swimming pools, fresh-baked treats, and massages. They have more on-site staff with individual care and, for sure, an increased price.
Doggie Daycare:These kennels are more suitable for energetic breeds. There is no resting and sleeping, but there are programs that provide your dog with some exercise, attention, and social interaction.

Pros and cons of Brining Your Puppy to A kennel

Pros Of Kennels:

Although boarding kennels are most likely to be a crowded environment for the dog, yet it’s cheaper than using a dog sitter unless you’re choosing to select a deluxe suite for your dog. They also offer many benefits, such as:

  • Professional Care: You can be sure that your dog will be well taken care of by highly trained pet caretakers. They know how to deal with dogs better than a pet sitter, and they will tell you if your dog is adapting or not.
  • Medical care: The caretakers of the pet boarding kennel will make sure to carry out your directions if your dog is under specific medication. Or, if your dog has any special needs, they will give him extra care and attention.
  • Works very well to reduce the stress of the dog. So, you don’t have to feel guilty about leaving your dog there. It’s a useful tool for owners to teach their dogs the right conduct. They may also offer grooming and training services for your dog.
  • They provide safe shelter and well-ventilated fencing as well as enough space for the dog to play. Experts have agreed that insufficient outdoor activities can lead to various behavior problems such as destructive chewing, depression, over-excitability, and so on. With boarding kennels, you can be sure that your dog gets a daily exercise, either in an off-leash open space or supervised walks. However, some dogs are best kept isolated for a lot of reasons. They may be fearful or aggressive around other dogs.
  • Potty training is one of the big problems dog owners would have to handle, but they can quickly help you with this issue by using positive, reward-based training to do this.

But I would highly recommend that when you leave your dog at the boarding kennel, make sure to put a tag with his or her name and your telephone number for any emergency. These places are safe and secured, but accidents may happen.

However, for sure, there may be some cons with these kennels that you should be aware of.

Cons Of Kennels:

On the other hand, boarding kennels can be stressful for some dogs when they change their familiar environment and probably won’t be getting individual attention as before and that can lead to:

  • Health problems can arise. Some dogs might go through some health problems when given a different kind of food, which may lead to vomiting or diarrhea. 
  • Exposed to viral infections. Being in a crowded environment, your dog may get infected with some viral infection, like kennel cough. So, to minimize this risk, make sure your dog gets all the necessary vaccinations.
  • Stressful environment. There is pretty much stress put on the dog while kept in a boarding kennel, the loud noises, strange cage, and likewise. This stress may cause some dogs to develop some behavior issues, like excessive barking, biting, fear, nervousness, destructiveness, and a tendency to flee. But, these are only temporary problems due to the change of environment, and the dog won’t have any problem if you left him in the kennel for a short time.

Tips & Advice

I would give you some tips to reduce any risk when putting my dog in a boarding kennel as I am sure that you worry about your dog as much as I do.

  • You have to be careful with the type of food that is given to the dog. You might hand over the dog’s food while boarding him/her, or you can make sure to leave instructions with the type of food that your dog used to eat.
  • To minimize the risk of your dog getting infected, make sure your dog gets all the necessary vaccinations. You may even hand over the dog’s food and water pots and the dog’s sleeping cushion to ensure cleanliness and minimize getting infected with viruses or likewise. 
  • The dog’s personal belongings for food and water pots may also ease the stress that the dog may feel. These things may make him feel a bit comfortable.
  • I would recommend staying with your dog some time there on his first day to make sure that he is comfortable and to have a look at the dog’s there to make sure that they are being cleaned and they’re not aggressive.

How to choose the best Kennel For a Puppy?

You might be wondering what makes a boarding kennel suitable, I mean, if I were to put my dog in a boarding kennel, what should I look for? How do I choose the best Kennel for a puppy?

Well, to start with, the day you drop your dog in a boarding kennel shouldn’t be the day to discover dirty conditions or broken fences.

Reputable boarding kennels usually allow inspection visits before admitting the dog there, if they refuse to allow you an inspection visit, don’t board your dog there.

Come on, will you really drop your dog in a mystery place!? I made a list of some questions that I personally asked my previous doggie daycare to make sure that they are good:

  • How often are the dogs taken out to play?
  • What if my dog gets sick? Is there a particular vet, or should you permit them to contact your dog’s vet? Do they have transportation ready to get the dog to the hospital in case of an emergency? Do they have certified staff in pet first aid? 
  • What about qualified staff to read the dog body language of discomfort or stress? This is really important for your dog! Like do they know when to terminate the dog’s play because one of them looks overstimulated and is going to attack the others!?
  • The cleanliness of the facility would be a significant issue too. The place should have the smell of dogs but not the smell of urine or likewise.
  • Drinking water readiness. Are the water and food pots always clean? 
  • Will there be staff for night shifts!?
  • Do they use safe powders to make their gardens flees-free?

I would ask about how frequently the dogs are given a bath. I wouldn’t be happy to take an unclean dog home.

How do they deal with excessive barking dogs? I’ve heard that some boarding kennels pour water on the dog to make him stop barking, so what do they do? How do they handle this?

and what if the dog caught some flees there? What would they do?

List of the best dog kennels in the U.S.

I have searched for the best dog kennels in the US depending on the reviews of the owners:

These are the resorts that are perfect in everything. I couldn’t find a single person indicating a problem with any of these kennels. They are known for high quality and their eagerness to keep pets safe as well!


Dog Kennels are very helpful whenever you are looking for a place for your dog while you are traveling. When you choose the best kennel, you are doing your dog a favor to have the most comfortable stay while you are traveling.

have to make sure that the kennel meets your standards and that the dog will never have any issue there!

Also, plan your travels well, because most of the kennels require your dog to be at least 4 months to take him!

Make sure to check our latest post to know everything about rabies shots for dogs! STAY TUNED FOR OUR NEXT ARTICLES 😉

Soheir Maher

Hi, I am Soheir. I have always been passionate about dogs. My first dog was Leo who was a wonderful Golden Retriever after that I got Kira another Golden Retriever who is wonderful too. My passion for dogs made me read a lot about them. Training them personally made me become an expert in everything related to them, that's why my writing is always a mix of experience and science. My writing about dogs isn't for the sake of earning a living but instead, for the sake of benefiting people around the world.

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