Younger dogs: the kennel guide

Looking after our dogs is important, which is why dog boarding kennels are a regulated environment in which standards must be met so your dog is kept feeling safe and comfortable.

Summer has arrived and many of us might be considering taking a short (or long!) break away from home. If you are keeping your dog at home, then it’s best to be prepared by booking a dog kennel so you have peace of mind that your canine buddy is in safe hands while you are away.

We take a look at some features of a boarding kennel that you should be looking out for when booking your pooch in.

Dog kennel license regulations

Canine boarding kennels must provide a suitable environment for your dog to live in. This means that the room provided for them must be kept separate from other dogs (if needed) and must not be any sort of outbuilding such as a garage, shed or conservatory.

In accordance with licensing regulations, here are some rules that dog kennels should have in place when your pooch stays over with them:

Sleeping arrangements

Your dog should always have access to their own sleeping area and even their own kennel unit (unless sharing with another dog from the same household).

Sufficient space

A reasonable amount of space is needed for your dog to be able to sit and stand at full height, lie down and fully stretch as well as wagging their tail and fully walking around.


They should be having at least one daily walk outside their kennel, as appropriate for their age and health.


Your dog should have access to toys. Toys help to keep them psychically and mentally stimulated.

Assess before you book

If your dog is stressed about leaving you to stay at the kennel (especially if it is their first time!), there are a few things that you can check at the kennels that will help to keep them calm.

Check the temperature

Is it too hot? Too cold? The temperature at the boarding kennel should be at a comfortable level for your dog to keep them happy and calm. Is there enough sunlight? Areas of shade?

Plenty of outdoor space

Are there enough facilities at the kennel for your dog to exercise and run around in? Exercise and stretching their legs are extremely important to your dog.

Feeding times

How often will food be provided to your dog? Is it a similar routine that you have at home? If your dog is a fussy eater or has any specific food for health purposes, ensure you pack this for them.

First Aid

Do they have a first aid veterinary area just in case your dog gets hurt? Are their vet’s qualified?

What does your dog need to do?

Once you have found a suitable holiday home for your pooch, your dog needs to be assessed by the kennel. This is to assess whether they are scared or anxious around other dogs or in a new environment and to make sure they can access the toilet or an area to hide away if they don’t want to see any other dogs or people.

Here’s what you can do to prepare you and your dog for their kennel stay:

  • Keep them up to date with vaccinations
  • Pack their favourite blanket and toy (if the current COVID-19 guidelines allow you to)
  • Give the kennel some contact details of the place you are staying while you are away

Looking for more dog advice?

Find the information you need as we support you through every step of your journey with your canine companion.


Need dog insurance?

Dog insurance can help cover the cost of veterinary treatment if your dog gets injured or falls ill.


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