It is not uncommon for dogs and cats to come home with diarrhea after spending time at the local pet boarding facility. The causes are varied and the first step to take is to call your veterinarian. You should also ask the boarding staff if they have seen any symptoms during their stay. Common causes include, change in food, stress, parasites, and infection.
1. Change in Food
A simple change in the type of food your dog or cat is used to eating can cause a bout of severe stomach upset. If you know your pet is particularly sensitive, it is best to bring a supply of their own food to the pet boarding facility.
Some animals tolerate being away from their homes much more so than others. If your dog or cat is a home-body and very attached to you, staying in a strange place can be very stressful. This can lead to physical signs such as diarrhea – a condition known as “stress colitis.” For this reason, it is a good idea to visit the boarding facility to see the accommodations prior to making your reservation.
Intestinal parasites are passed between animals more commonly in places that house multiple dogs and cats. If your pet is on a monthly heartworm preventative, the odds of infection become much lower. Ask the facility what type of deworming requirements they have to ensure your own pet’s safety.
4. Viral Infection
Just like a child going to daycare, dogs can pick up “bugs” (viruses) from other dogs. It is important to make sure your pet is vaccinated and just as importantly, that the boarding facility has a strict vaccine policy.
The good news is that most of the causes of intestinal upset are treated the same way (with the exception of parasites) typically, your veterinarian will prescribe a bland diet and medication.
However, in order to reduce the chance you’ll need to bring you dog to the vet for severe stomach issues, it is wise to keep in mind the following: keep your pet’s food consistent (even during boarding), minimize its stress and make sure it is fully vaccinated.
Contact Yorba Regional Animal Hospital for full service facility that also provides pet boarding. Check out website for hours and accommodations.