Dog Kennel Safety Tips

Many dogs benefit from spending part of their day outdoors and providing a kennel or enclosed run is a good way of allowing your dog to enjoy the fresh air.  However, dogs have a habit of getting into scrapes so it's important that your pet's kennel is safe, warm and dry, especially if your pet has recently had surgery or is recovering from an illness.

Here are some simple dog kennel safety tips to make sure that your pet stays safe whilst enjoying his time outside.

Choosing the right kennel

If your dog is to feel comfortable in his kennel, it must be big enough to allow him to turn around, stand up and lay down.  A kennel that's too small will discourage your dog from using it and one that is too spacious can allow drafts to creep in, making it chilly during the winter months.

Although you can buy plastic/vinyl kennels, these can become extremely hot during the summer and don't hold the heat will during the winter.  The best option is a wooden kennel with a properly waterproofed roof.  Wherever you decide to site your pet's kennel, always ensure that there is adequate shade throughout the day during the summer and put the kennel on high ground if possible so that rainwater flows away from the entrance, rather than into the kennel.


If your dog is not used to using a kennel, he may be reticent at first.  Gradually introduce your dog to spending time inside the kennel and don't leave him alone in it for long periods.  Dogs are natural denners, and once your dog realises that the kennel is a safe, warm place for him to rest, he'll probably use it all the time.

Safety tips

  • When you put your dog in his kennel, always remove collars or tags before you leave him alone because if the collar becomes tangled or caught-up, your dog could risk serious injury.  
  • Never shut your dog outside in his kennel during spells of very hot weather unless he has free access to plenty and of water and to an area where there is plenty of shade as dogs can very easily suffer from heatstroke, which can be fatal.  
  • During the winter months, make sure that the kennel has a warm blanket inside it and that it is free from leaks and drafts, and in very extreme weather, limit your dog's time outside.  
  • If you're planning on leaving your dog outside in his kennel for the day or overnight, always leave clean water for him and make sure that he has been fed before you leave. (If you're leaving for a prolonged period of time, also consider taking your pet to a boarding dog kennel where he will receive professional care.)

You can make sure that your dog enjoys the benefits of an outdoor kennel by following the tips and advice given above.  If your pet has received veterinary attention, always ask your vet if it's safe for your dog to return to using his kennel.  Sometimes it may be necessary for your dog to recuperate indoors where he has human company, until he's fully recovered.