Boarding Your Pet 101

Great Information to know when boarding your fur baby!

Dog Boarding 101 tipsWhen dogs are away from home and out of their routine, stress plays an important role regarding your pet’s health. When boarding your pet, the most common things we see as a pet care facility are generally stress induced. Diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, and illness are very common when your pet is away from his/her natural home routine.

Stress can be caused by a variety of factors: being away from home and loved ones, a new environment, other dogs, new noises, different smells, the people associated with a pet care facility, a change in food or water…the list goes on. Whatever triggers a stress reaction also triggers physical changes in your pet.

The pituitary gland releases a hormone called ACTH into the bloodstream, which in turn signals the adrenal glands to release epinephrine and other natural steroids. Each of these products serves to get the body ready to react (the old “fight or flight” pattern). So the hormones have effects on various body systems. For example, blood pressure increases and the heart has to work harder; the kidney and urinary systems slow down; the immune system, which fights off disease and infections, shuts down temporarily. We may see physical signs of vomiting, diarrhea, lack of appetite, lethargy, or increased respiration.

Stress helps animals (and people) cope with a situation. However, when stress is not relieved or reduced sufficiently, the body does not have a chance to rest and cleanse itself of the excessive hormones. The possibility of shut down or failure of one or more body systems becomes greater as the stress continues, especially if there is any underlying or previous disease. Since the immune system stops working, even bacteria or viruses that might not normally affect your pet can now cause illness. This is why your pet can become ill away from home, even when he or she appeared normal when you dropped them off.

“But the boarding facility must have made him sick…”

In reality, no one person can make your pet ill. Your pet care provider is responsible for providing a clean, safe environment and monitoring the health of the pets left in their care. Unfortunately, a boarding facility has no way of preventing a pet from becoming ill from the effects of stress.

BOARDING GERIATRIC PETS

Being away from home can be more stressful for older pets than for younger ones. They are more set in their ways, and their patterns more deeply ingrained. Dogs love patterns—knowing what is going to happen, and when—and changing those patterns can upset them. Additionally, geriatric pets are more likely to have underlying health problems.  Kidney, heart, and liver disease are often associated with age. Arthritis and other degenerative conditions can make it difficult for them to get around. Boarding, especially if your pet has never been boarded before, may cause these conditions to become apparent or worsen.  Boarding your geriatric pet should be a last resort.  Unless they are used to being boarded you should consider the very significant health problems that can arise in your senior pet.

IF YOUR DOG BECOMES ILL DUE TO STRESS, MORE TIMES THAN NOT, THEY WILL NOT SHOW ANY SYMPTOMS WHILE IN OUR CARE.  THEY LIKE TO LEAVE THAT FOR THEIR PARENTS TO TAKE CARE OF RIGHT WHEN THEY GET HOME!  SO IF YOU HAVE A SICK PUPPY WHEN YOU GET HOME, PLEASE LET US KNOW SO WE CAN MONITOR AND TRACK ILLNESSES.

AS A DOG OWNER, MUCH LIKE HAVING A CHILD, ACCIDENTS, SCRAPES, ILLNESSES, BITES, ETC. CAN HAPPEN.

WE ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR BELONGINGS FROM HOME.  THINGS HAPPEN AND SOMETIMES BEDDING, COLLARS, ETC. GET SHREDDED INTO LITTLE BITS!  SO, JUST IN CASE, DON’T LEAVE ANYTHING THAT YOU WANT BACK.

For more information on how stress plays a role on your dog while boarding at Puppy’s Playpen in Overland Park, please feel free to contact us at (913)648-DOGS(3647). And remember to always contact your Vet.