When you leave town and board your pup, it can be a tough adjustment for them. When you return and are reunited with your dog, they may seem a little off. Maybe they’re not eating or drinking like normal, or seem lethargic. These can all be signs that your dog is stressed from being boarded.
While this is somewhat normal, it’s important to be able to distinguish between a dog who is just readjusting and a dog who may be sick. Read on to learn more about what to look for and how to help your dog after being boarded.
Why Is My Dog Not Eating After Boarding?
There are a few reasons why your dog may not be as interested in his food after returning from a boarding center:
Your Dog Is Re-Adjusting To The Food
When your dog was away at the boarding center, it may not have been eating the same food or treats that it would at home.
Because of this, he may need some time to adjust back to his regular food. If your dog is in an overall positive mood and isn’t showing any negative symptoms, this is likely the reason.
Your dog may have also eaten too much food while away, which can be a coping mechanism for dogs when they are separated from their owners.
This means that your pup has enough calories and simply isn’t ready to chow down yet.
Your Dog Is Re-Adjusting To The Routine
When your dog was boarded, he was likely on a different schedule than usual. He may have been fed at different times or exercised at different times of the day.
It can take some time for your dog to get back into his normal routine and feel like himself again.
Your Dog Is Stressed
As mentioned above, it can be a lot for your dog to adjust to a whole new living situation.
Although your dog was likely over the moon to see you when you picked it up, it may still need some time to decompress and feel completely comfortable at home again.
Your Dog May Have Some Stomach Issues
Just like with humans, switching in and out of new environments can take a toll on our digestive systems.
This could be because of the food, being around other bugs, the temperature, and plenty of other factors that will affect a dog’s sensitive tummy.
Nervousness can also be a cause of tummy issues as well. This naturally leads to a short period of abstaining from eating or even drinking water.
Your Dog May Be Waiting For Treats
Perhaps your dog is used to being rewarded with treats every time it reunites with you. If this is the case, your dog may be holding out for these precious morsels and intentionally avoiding their normal meal of kibble.
What to Do if My Dog Is Not Eating After Boarding?
Give It Some Space
When you first get your dog home, it’s best to give it some space. Let them explore the house and backyard on their own and get reacquainted with everything.
Dogs love to sniff all of the new smells and feel like they are “back in their territory.” If your dog is showing any other negative symptoms, such as lethargy or diarrhea, it’s best to seek professional help.
Try Offering Your Dog Some Treats
Giving your dog a treat or two will help you really gauge if your pet isn’t eating because it’s uninterested in its food or waiting for something better.
If your dog is still not very interested in eating, this means there may be another issue at hand and you should seek professional help.
Add a Little Broth To Your Dog’s Food
Some savory broth may make your dog’s food seem more appealing and encourage it to eat.
It also helps to soften the food, making it easier to to digest and chew in case your pup isn’t eating because of a tummy ache.
Feed Your Dog In A Different Area
If your pup is feeling on edge after returning home, they may find their usual feeding area to feel uncomfortable.
Try to find another quieter and safer area to set up your dog’s food. Your dog may also appreciate having you nearby when it eats for an additional feeling of safety.
Go On A Walk Or Play
Your dog may need some energy to stimulate its appetite! Take a short walk or play a game of fetch in the backyard.
Make sure that your dog doesn’t seem too tired or lethargic during this time and take it easy. After 10 minutes, try feeding your pup.
Consult With Your Vet
If you’re really concerned about your dog not eating, it’s always best to consult with a professional.
They will be able to help you figure out if there is a bigger issue at hand and give you some tips on how to get your pup back on track.
Why Is My Dog Lethargic After Boarding?
If your dog is acting lethargic after a boarding trip, it’s most likely that it is simply tired. Think about it. When you return from a vacation, you’re usually pretty exhausted from all of the activities and traveling. It’s the same for your dog! All of the new sights, smells, people, and animals can really wear a pup out.
However, lethargy may be showing up for some problematic reasons. One reason is that it’s common for dogs to get dehydrated while being boarded.
This is because they may not have access to water throughout the day or they may be too stressed to drink. If your dog is dehydrated, it will definitely show in its energy levels.
Another reason for lethargy is that dogs can get sick while being boarded, just like humans do in social situations.
They may be exposed to new viruses and bacteria that their immune systems aren’t used to. If you think your dog may be sick, it’s always best to seek professional help.
Why Is My Dog Having Diarrhea and Not Eating After Boarding?
If your dog is experiencing diarrhea and not eating, this is a normal response.
Dogs often go on short fasts in order to let their bodies recover from an upset stomach. This is why it’s important not to worry too much if your dog skips a meal or two.
However, you should keep an eye on the situation and make sure that your dog is drinking water.
Diarrhea can cause dehydration very quickly, so it’s important to make sure that your pup stays hydrated. You can also try feeding your dog some bland food, such as boiled chicken and rice, to help soothe its stomach.
If diarrhea persists or your dog is showing other negative symptoms for more than 2 days, it’s best to get the help of a vet.
Why Is My Dog Not Drinking After Boarding?
One of the main reasons why your dog may not be drinking is because of stress. Dogs can get very stressed when they’re in new environments, especially if they’re not used to being away from their owners.
On the other hand, your dog may simply be excited! When dogs get home from boarding, they’re often so thrilled to see their families again that they forget to drink water.
Gently lead your dog to water and even put a small amount on its nose to try to get it interested in drinking.
Otherwise, it’s safe to leave your dog to drink on its own clock as long as they don’t abstain for longer than one day.