Why Do Some Dogs Experience A Mild Stomach Upset In Boarding Kennels?

Posted on: 12 August 2015

A stay at a boarding kennel can leave some dogs susceptible to developing a mild stomach upset that typically lasts a day or so. There are several reasons this can happen, but it's not generally considered a sign there's a problem with the kennel or the care your dog is receiving. Kennel staff will contact you to let you know if your dog experiences an upset stomach during their stay, and they will have your dog checked over by a vet if their symptoms don't improve within the first day. Here's an overview of three common reasons a dog may experience a stomach upset during their stay at a boarding kennel:

Changes To Their Diet

A change to your dog's diet, regardless of the quality of food being offered, can leave them with an upset stomach until their digestive system adjusts. This can occur because the digestive enzymes in your dog's stomach are used to metabolising a specific type of food. When the type of food your dog eats suddenly changes, their digestive enzymes need to adjust to ensure the new food is digested efficiently and this can take time. If you'd rather your dog was fed the type of food they're used to, you can provide the kennel staff with enough of that food for the duration of their stay.

Stress Related To Changes To Their Environment

A sudden change to your dog's living conditions and environment in general can create short-term stress that usually disappears when they settle into their temporary home. An upset stomach can be an indicator of increased stress levels, and although you can't completely eliminate stress from your dog's life, there are some things you can do to make their transition to a boarding kennel less stressful. For example, consider taking your dog to visit the kennel before their stay and take a few of their home comforts, such as a favourite toy and blanket, with them when you drop them off, which will help them feel more at home. You should also check what steps the kennel takes to settle in new boarders and how they calm a stressed dog. For example, do they spend extra one-on-one time with unsettled dogs?

A Virus

With several dogs all boarding in close quarters, an occasional outbreak of illness is inevitable. The kennel won't accept any dogs that don't have up-to-date vaccination cards, so any illness your dog is exposed to should be no more than a mild bug and shouldn't last very long. Before boarding your dog, ask the kennel to go over their procedures for managing illness such as how they isolate sick dogs and when they would call on the services of a vet. You should also confirm who will be liable for veterinary bills if your dog does develop a virus while boarding.

As you can see, none of these three potential causes of an upset stomach are down to problems with how a boarding kennel is run. A good boarding kennel will keep you informed about your dog's well-being and be happy to discuss their operating practices with you ahead of your dog's stay.

Contact a local kennel, such as Dogdayz Country Club, for more information.