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Risks & Common Concerns

Risks & Common Concerns

Diarrhea & Weight Loss
Loose stool and diarrhea, as well as weight loss, are extremely common while boarding. Dogs away from home get excited and stimulated by new sites, sounds, surroundings and being around other dogs. All of these factors can affect appetite and the physiology of their bowel, much like change and stress does to humans. Therefore, loose stool, diarrhea and even colitis with mucous and blood are very common in dogs that board. These conditions are not caused by improper sanitation, and generally clear up on their own or with minor treatment. Boarding related diarrhea is typically easy to treat and covered by our Veterinary Limited Warranty.

Beware: Colitis, which is usually caused by opportunistic overgrowth of bacteria commonly present in the bowel, can be brought on by the excitement of seeing you again and getting to go home. A dog having a totally normal boarding visit breaking with diarrhea in the car on the way home because of excitement is very common.

Water / Food Phenomenon
While boarding, your pet will always have access to fresh water. And even though most pets keep themselves well hydrated during their stay, many dogs, especially larger breeds, commonly go straight to their water and food dish (or any water source) and gulp large amounts of water and ingest large amounts of food as soon as they get home or see their owner. This is because they are excited and happy to be home. They are glad to be back in familiar surroundings and able to do what they normally do. This is not because they weren't properly fed or watered while they were boarding. This is a common and normal post boarding behavior.

Respiratory Infection / Kennel Cough
Like kids trading invisible germs in school or daycare, dogs trade germs when in close proximity. Some dogs carry germs, such as Kennel Cough germs, without showing any symptoms (carriers) so it is impossible for us to prevent possible exposure of your dog to potential respiratory pathogens, even with perfect sanitation. This is why we require Bordetella vaccination every 12 months and recommend it every 6 months because it does not last a full year. This immunization decreases the chance of infection and minimizes the severity of infection once it occurs. Coughing dogs are immediately isolated, but transmission is rapid so respiratory infection is always a risk, but a manageable one.

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