3 Reasons Dogs Can Experience Stomach Upsets in Boarding Kennels

An upset stomach is a common issue experienced by dogs during their first day or two at a boarding kennel and can manifest as vomiting, loss of appetite or diarrhoea. If it's not generally considered a sign your dog is unhappy at the kennels or that they've had any negative experiences there, what causes it? If you call the boarding kennel during the first day or two or your dog's stay and they mention your dog has had an upset stomach, it's likely a result of one of the following:

Altered Diet

Your dog will be fed whatever brand of food the kennel serves as standard, and while there's probably nothing wrong with the quality of this food, a change in diet can upset your dog's stomach for a few days until they adjust. This happens because your dog's digestive enzymes adapt to metabolise the food they're used to eating, so when they eat a new type of food their digestive system can struggle to cope with the food until their digestive enzymes adapt.

You can eliminate this cause of stomach upset by providing the kennel with an ample supply of your dog's own food. Additionally, leave clear instructions about permissible treats and details of any special dietary needs.

Change-related Stress

A change of environment can lead to temporary stress as your dog gets to grips with their short-term home and new routine. Abdominal upset is a common manifestation of stress, and while some stress at various points in your dog's life is inevitable, there are steps you can take to minimise the stress your dog feels when starting their stay at a boarding kennel.

First, prepare your dog for their stay by taking them to visit the kennel and get acquainted with the staff. This will introduce them to the strange noises and smells when they feel safe with you and they'll remember visiting with you.

Second, take a few of your dog's favourite toys and a blanket to the kennel when you drop them off. These items will comfort your dog and also have the familiar scent of home.

Third, choose a kennel that recognises the importance of stress management and has protocols in place for settling new dogs such as additional one-on-one time with the staff and time set aside each day for petting and playing.

A Virus

Contagious bugs are inevitable in kennels in the same way they are in schools. With lots of dogs boarding in close quarters, it only takes one dog with a virus to infect the whole kennel population. Thankfully, viruses tend to last just a few days and shouldn't be serious as long as your chosen kennel has strict admittance criteria and checks the vaccination records of all potential boarders.

Before settling on a particular boarding kennel, check what procedures they have in place for isolating dogs that are ill, how they arrange care for sick dogs and who's liable for any vet bills incurred as a result of illness caused by another dog.

A good boarding kennel will have transparent operating practices and will let you know if your dog has experienced a stomach upset during their stay, so ask them to outline their process for this. If your dog does experience a stomach upset while you're away, try not to panic as most last for just a day or two. Instead, stay in touch with the kennel and ask them to arrange for your own vet to examine your dog if that would put your mind at ease. 

For more tips or assistance, contact boarding kennels like Dogdayz Country Club.

Share