What Causes Dog Upset Stomach After Boarding?
It’s not uncommon for a dog to develop an upset after boarding. When you pick up your dog from the facility, you may notice your dog is happy to be back home but soon vomits or develops diarrhea. What’s going on? Was your dog given unsanitary water to drink? Did your dog catch an illness from other dogs? Was your dog stressed out?
There may be different possible explanations for a dog developing an upset stomach after boarding. Before you call the boarding facility blaming the owners for returning you a sick dog, read on for some possible explanations, and consider that it’s not always the boarding facility’s fault.
The Stress of Being Boarded
Yes, many dogs get an upset stomach when they’re boarded. If you ever worked for a kennel, you may have been quite familiar with seeing diarrhea in newly boarded dogs. This can be due to the stress associated with being in a new place, with new smells, new people and around new dogs.
Many dogs don’t do well with changes in their routines. This usually causes some diarrhea that’s short lived until the dog adjusts to his new surroundings. If your dog was boarded just for a few days, he may still be having the runs as a result of this stress. Some dogs may also develop mucus in the stool and blood in the stool due to stress.
Possible Dietary Changes
Many boarding kennels will request that you bring your own dog food, but if you forgot or the boarding kennel provides foods for dogs in their care, consider that switching foods or eating new treats is one of the most common causes of upset stomach in dogs.
The Stress of Coming Home
There are two different types of stress in dogs, bad stress, also known as (distress) and good stress (also known as distress). While the stress of being boarded in unknown surroundings is definitively distress, the stress of coming home is most likely eustress as your dog will likely be excited and overly happy. This type of stress is also temporary and will fade once your dog gets back into his routine.
As the bad stress, eustress can sometimes have an effect on the dog digestive system and can trigger an upset stomach too. Often a bout of vomiting is caused by the dog being overly excited and drinking too much water at once or wolfing down too much food at once. Best to provide water and food, only once the dog seems to be settled and calmer.
Underlying Medical Conditions
Sometimes, the stress of boarding may cause medical conditions to pop their ugly head as the immune system becomes vulnerable. Examples of certain conditions that may remain silent for a while and then may flare up during a period of stress causing an upset stomach while boarding include inflammatory bowel disease, presence of coccidia and pancreatitis.
Catching Something at the Kennel
Finally, your dog may have caught something at the kennel. Just as in child daycare, a kennel may harbor bacteria, viruses that may cause disease. Even if your dog was vaccinated, consider that vaccines aren’t always 100 percent effective.
While kennels try to do their best to lower the chances for transmission of disease by keeping their quarters clean and using disinfectants, consider that keeping a kennel 100 percent free of germs is near to impossible, despite the best precautions. However, before blaming the kennel, it’s a good idea to become familiar with the incubation periods for certain diseases.
So if you left your puppy at the kennel for one single day of day care, and your puppy developed diarrhea the same day you picked him up, it’s unlikely your puppy caught parvo there if that’s what your vet diagnosed him with. More likely it was caught in the past 3 to 7 days.
Also, consider that a dog doesn’t catch worms from another dog immediately. It takes time for the worms to evolve from larvae into adults before causing visible symptoms.
What to Do for Dog Upset Stomach After Boarding
The way you handle your dog’s upset stomach after being boarded, can make a difference on the outcome. It’s not a bad idea to give the boarding center a call and inquire on possible causes. They may be able to tell you if there are other dogs with the same symptoms.
Also, may be a good idea to inquire if there were any recent dietary changes, stressful events or if your dog could have ingested something he shouldn’t or if he was in direct contact with other dogs during his stay. Not only will this provide you with some insights and potential causes, but it will also keep the kennel informed so should other dogs in their care become sick they can further investigate the possibility for an outbreak of disease and make other dog owners aware of the potential problem. If your dog’s upset stomach is mild and you suspect it may stem from stress or a recent dietary change, you can try some dog upset stomach home remedies, but if there are other symptoms or the symptoms appear severe, best to play it safe and see the vet.