Boarding your pet can be both stressful and wonderful all at the same time. Knowing your pet is in the capable hands of boarding staff can help put some of your fears to rest while also giving you anxiety of leaving behind your fur-child. Just like taking a child to daycare, while uncommon, there is always the possibility of your pet coming home with an injury or illness.
Now don’t let this scare you away from using a boarding facility! This is not a common occurrence, but at the same time, we do not want you to be naïve to the possibilities.
Common injuries that occur at a boarding facility include bites from other dogs, scratch from the fence or door, toenail ripped off, limping after playing too hard or running wrong, etc.
- At many facilities, you have the option to let your dog play with other dogs while boarding. Even though there is always staff watching the playtimes and we try our best to match your dog up with ones with similar temperaments, things happen. Dogs can go from playing to fighting in the blink of an eye; even the best trained professional could miss the smallest trigger. The staff will do their best to break up the fight as quickly as possible, but dogs are quick, their instincts take over and sometimes injuries occur.
- There are also smaller injuries such as a simple scratch on the nose your dog got because they got a little too excited near the door handle.
- It also happens more often than you would think for a dog to rip out one of their toenails. Most of the time, we have no idea how they did it, but somehow they do! It usually occurs when they are outside in a yard running around, having a good time. Then they come back in only to have their paw bleeding; trust me when I say it looks and sounds much worse than it is. But do not fear, facilities have the appropriate means to stop the bleeding and your pet may or may not just go home with a tender toe.
- And of course, there is always a possibility of your dog going home sore. It is usually only because Fido isn’t used to playing so much for so long! Not to worry, they will be back to themselves in no time at all.
The most common illnesses your dog might go home with are Kennel Cough and diarrhea.
- Kennel Cough, also known as Bordetella bronchiseptica, is a highly contagious respiratory disease spread through direct contact or even just the air. If your dog has received its Bordetella Vaccination prior to their stay and it is still up to date, they should be fine.
- Another side effect of boarding is your pet coming down with an upset digestive tract. It can be caused by many things, but the two most common culprits are the change in food and just plain ol’ stress. If your pet has never been away from you before, it is a big change for them; especially since no matter how many times you tell them, they don’t quite understand that you will be back for them. The diarrhea may even start right when you get home depending on your dog. Also remember, most facilities do not watch your dog’s BM’s every time they go out, but they do notice if they have an accident in their room. The diarrhea will either run its course or you will need take your pet to your veterinarian to make sure it isn’t something more serious. Also keep in mind, once your pet knows you do actually come back, the next time they board, they are usually perfectly fine!
Like I said at the beginning, it is very unlikely these things will actually occur, but we want you to be fully aware of the possibilities. So do not let this scare you! This is more of a ‘just in case this happens, don’t panic’ type informational.
And of course, do NOT be afraid to ask the kennel staff questions or for updates on your pet to make this easier for everyone involved.