Kennel Crazy Is Crazy Common and Problematic 

Written By Keyja Washington 

What Kennel Crazy Feels Like 

Extensive studies on the effects of solitary confinement of humans has shown similar symptoms  of mental disorders — with many considering the punishment to be a form of psychological  torture. Unfortunately, thousands of dogs experience something very similar to solitary  confinement. The shelter says that in some cases, there are overcrowded animal shelters in the  United States that are unable to give dogs the time and resources to be outside of their kennels. Those dogs experience isolation and unintentionally jeopardize their chances of adoption due to  what is called “Kennel Crazy” or “Kennelitis”. 

Defining Kennel Crazy 

Kennel Crazy is a stress-induced canine compulsive behavior disorder developed from confinement to their kennel. Physical symptoms and signs to look for are crazy movements in the  kennel, over chewing, and pulling excessively if on a lead…. Mental trauma signs may include self-mutilation, lack of appetite and lethargy ( Surprisingly, some dogs can  appear happy and still be suffering from Kennel Crazy. This is why it is important that anyone in charge of dogs should be very careful with how often the dogs are kept in kennels.

How Often Should Dogs Be Left In Kennels? 

Puppies generally need to use the bathroom roughly every 3 to 5 hours. Adult dogs should not be  left in a kennel longer than 6-8 hours. However, there are multiple factors that could alter the  length of time they can be kept in kennels.  

What Factors Into How Long A Dog Can Be Kept In Kennels? 

If you have a chronically sleepy dog, 6 or 7 hours in a kennel is the limit. If your dog is large and more energetic, they will need constant stimulation while in the kennel. Sick dogs should not be  left in a kennel alone unless the length of time is discussed with a veterinarian (  

Why We Should Fight Harder To Get Dogs Out Of Shelters And  Adopted? 

The location of a dog plays a significant role in the dog’s ability to develop Kennel Crazy.  Sheltered dogs are constantly surrounded by the sounds, sights, and smells of other stressed  dogs. While in their overcrowded cages that mostly likely has their waste, they hope someone  will come to take them anywhere else. Boredom, depression, and lack of exercise becomes too  much to handle and yet we still blame these innocent animals for acting the same way we would if  living in those conditions. I don’t know about you, but I would definitely freak out if I couldn’t  even get as much as a stretch or a bathroom break. 

Now You Know, But What Can You Do?

So now you know about Kennel Crazy, but how can we stop it? The first way is obvious, get  them out of that kennel! Don’t just get them out of the kennel, take them outside. Dogs love  getting fresh air and exercise. The best way to get that is by doing outside activities such as  playing fetch or swimming. Dogs quickly begin to hate their kennels. When bringing a dog back  to their temporary home, don’t be so quick to leave. Try doing different activities with them to  keep them calm and to help them readjust.  

Puzzle toys give dogs an opportunity to use their brain to access a reward. They can be used for  meals, as well as special treats. There are even DIY options made from cardboard cereal boxes if  you don’t want to buy one. Make sure the puzzle difficulty is appropriate to prevent frustration. 

Fostered dogs are much happier because they get to spend time in a new environment. Many  dogs enjoy a weekend break or even one night away from the shelter. Getting to relax in a home  can also provide useful information in placing a dog in the right home. An office is a great place  for a dog to practice the invaluable skill of relaxing with a person. 

Not all dogs enjoy the presence of others, but some do. For some dogs, having a little  companionship in a kennel can be a great comfort. It’s important to use caution in introducing  dogs and picking compatible roomies. Use management at feeding times to avoid resource  guarding issues. 

Games involving the movement of dogs’ noses are fun ways to stimulate the brain. Dogs use  their noses for things on a daily basis anyway, why not let them play games with their super sense of smell? There are various ways to do this, get creative! (  

Now We Know More, Let’s Create Change 

Remember, these dogs are helpless in these situations. They need our help and even if you can’t  adopt, there are other things you can do. Spread the word about Kennel Crazy, if you see people  letting their dogs experience that, try to inform them of it. Many innocent dogs are seen as  violent just because of conditions any of us would freak out in. This is not fair, and dogs can’t  tell us in any other way that they want out. By spreading this information, lives could even be  saved as these dogs can become dangerous. Save their lives now, spread the word about Kennel Crazy. The dogs would really appreciate it.


  1. Hello,
    I’m doing a five-minute student video to help the homeless in Pueblo, CO. I would like permission to use the image on your website. It is of the dog with a cardboard sign and a blue suitcase. I believe I can make a difference in my community.
    Thanks, Lee Miller 620-688-0960 Note: I’ve been homeless three times and want to help others.

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