A kennel is a structure or shelter for dogs or cats. Used in the plural, the kennels, the term means any building, collection of buildings or a property in which dogs or cats are housed, maintained, and (though not in all cases) bred. A kennel can be made out of various materials, the most popular being wood and canvas.
This is a formal establishment for the propagation of animals, whether or not they are actually housed in a separate shed, the garage, a state-of-the-art facility, or the family dwelling. Licensed breeding kennels are heavily regulated and must follow relevant government legislation. Breed club members are expected to comply with general Code of Ethics and guidelines applicable to the breed concerned. Kennel clubs may also stipulate criteria to be met before issuing registration papers for puppies bred. A kennel name or kennel prefix is a name associated with each breeding kennel: it is the first part of the registered name of a pedigreed dog which was bred there. Likewise, a cat registry is an organization that registers cats for exhibition and breeding purposes. A cat registry is not the same as a cat club or breed society (these may be affiliated with one or more registries with whom they have lodged breed standards in order to be able to exhibit under the auspices of that registry).
This is a place where dogs or cats are housed temporarily for a fee, an alternative to using a pet sitter. Although many people worry about the stress placed on the animal by being put in an unfamiliar and most likely crowded environment, the majority of boarding kennels work to reduce stress. Many kennels offer one-on-one "play times" in order to get the animal out of the kennel environment. Familiar objects, such as blankets and toys from home, are also permitted at many kennels. Similarly, many kennels offer grooming and training services in addition to boarding, with the idea being that the kennel can be the owner's "one-stop shop" for all three services.
In the United States the term boarding kennel is also used to refer to boarding catteries and licensing agencies do not always differentiate between commercial boarding kennels for dogs and other animal or cat boarding kennels. It is estimated that in 2008 people in the US will spend $3.29 billion on boarding and grooming services. In 2007 actual market surveys showed that $3.0 billion was spent on these services. Annual kennel boarding expenses for dog owners was $225, and for cat owners was $149 according to a 2007-2008 survey.
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- Belpedio, Camille (2010). "Understanding Kennel Stress in Canines (Canis lupus familiaris)—A Review of the Literature" (PDF). Journal of Applied Companion Animal Behavior. 4: 7–14.
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- "Industry Statistics & Trends". American Pet Products Manufacturers Association, Inc. Retrieved 2008-07-26.