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Why does my dog get diarrhea after boarding?

Returning home from a vacation or business trip should be a joyous occasion. You've missed your furry friend and can't wait to give them a big hug. But soon, you notice your dog seems a bit off, and then the dreaded diarrhea starts. So, why does your dog get diarrhea after boarding?

Stress and Anxiety

One of the main reasons dogs might develop diarrhea after boarding is stress or anxiety. Although boarding facilities strive to provide a safe, comforting environment, it's still not home. Dogs thrive on routine and familiar surroundings. When they are suddenly left in a new place with unfamiliar people and dogs, it can lead to significant stress. This stress can cause physiological changes in your dog's body, including speeding up their digestive system, which can result in diarrhea. This is sometimes referred to as stress colitis.

Dietary Changes

Many boarding facilities provide food for the dogs in their care. If this food is different from what your dog typically eats, it can cause an upset stomach and loose stools. Dogs' digestive systems are sensitive to sudden changes in diet.

Infections or Parasites

Another possible reason for post-boarding diarrhea is exposure to infections or parasites. Despite the best efforts of boarding facilities to keep their environment clean and healthy, the risk of spreading germs can be higher due to the number of dogs in close quarters. Viruses like Parvovirus or infections caused by bacteria like Salmonella, as well as internal parasites such as giardia or worms, can cause diarrhea.

Preventing Post-Boarding Diarrhea

Understanding why your dog gets diarrhea after boarding can help you prevent it in the future.

1. Gradual Exposure: If possible, gradually expose your dog to the boarding environment. Start with short daycare visits and then overnight stays before moving to longer boarding times. This can help your dog adjust to the new surroundings.

2. Bring Your Dog’s Food: Ask the boarding facility if you can provide your dog's regular food. Keeping your dog's diet consistent can help avoid potential digestive issues.

3. Update Vaccinations and Parasite Prevention: Ensure your dog is up-to-date on all necessary vaccinations and parasite preventives. This can help protect them from infectious diseases and parasites that can cause diarrhea.

4. Consider Anxiety Solutions: If your dog is prone to stress or anxiety, have you tried Chillax or Chillax to the Max Bone? Speak with your vet about possible solutions. This could be as simple as bringing along a favorite toy or blanket or could involve anxiety medications or supplements.

5. Choose a Trusted Boarding Facility: Select a boarding facility that you trust and that meets all your dog's needs. A good facility will have procedures in place to reduce stress and maintain cleanliness to prevent the spread of diseases.

When to See a Vet

While post-boarding diarrhea is often short-lived and not a cause for major concern, it's essential to keep an eye on your dog's health. If the diarrhea persists for more than a day, if your dog seems lethargic or unwell, or if there's blood in the stool, contact your vet immediately.

Remember, diarrhea is not a disease itself but a symptom. It's crucial to identify the underlying cause to ensure your dog gets appropriate treatment.

Disclaimer: This blog post is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional veterinary advice. If your dog is experiencing diarrhea after boarding, please consult with your veterinarian.

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