Whether it be after boarding or even surgery, we get a lot of questions when pets return home after staying with us.
We have decided to write a few of these down so you can know what to expect (or at least not be alarmed by). Here are a few of the comments/questions we get…
“Oscar is acting like he is starving! Did Oscar get fed while he was there?”
Of course!! Oscar was fed the food that his owner brought when he was dropped off, or if his pet owner didn’t drop of his food, Oscar was fed our high-quality dry food. Occasionally, pets do not eat as much while they board, so it is “normal” for them to play catch up once they return to their homes.
Unless it is a puppy, pets are not fed lunch. Just like my 3-year old son when he gets home from school, they have usually built up a huge appetite playing all day!
Of course, it goes without saying that after a surgery/dental, pets are hungry because they were fasted the morning of the procedure!
"Bailey drank a whole bowl of water when she got home... was she allowed to drink water while she was there?"
All pets have access to water during their stay. That being said, when they are here just for the day, they are given water when they are walked. This is to prevent them from splashing and turning over water bowls in the cages (and getting dirty). It is also normal for pets to feel more comfortable drinking water when they return home.
"Fido was really tired and slept the entire evening after I brought him home. He seemed worn out!"
Chances are, Fido is worn out! If we did our job, Fido had lots of playtime and exercise while staying with us. There is so much activity in our hospital that Fido is likely overstimulated and excited. Because of this, his sleeping pattern changes in the time he was here with us. He just needs to catch up on his zzzzz’s!! Typically after a good night’s sleep, Fido feels like playing within the next 24 hours. I usually feel like sleeping a lot when I come home from vacation as well!
“Maggie’s stool is loose. Has she been having diarrhea while she was there??”
We can assure you, if Maggie was having diarrhea, the staff and doctors would have contacted you and started Maggie on medicine. That is the good thing about boarding your pet at a veterinary hospital…if they develop problems, the issues are addressed immediately.
Additionally, pets often experience excitement when returning home. Plus, they are often rewarded with treats/chews upon arriving home. So this “excitement” leads to colitis, a common cause of loose or watery stool. Some pet owners expect it and we arrange to send home medication to prevent diarrhea.
We take every precaution at Helena Veterinary Clinic to prevent viruses and parasites from being passed along. Stalls/runs and cages are sterilized. We require dogs to be checked every 6 months for parasites (unlike annually at most vet hospitals). This is the reason: some of the parasites we see are easily spread between dogs (Coccidia and Giardia) and are not prevented by monthly heartworm preventatives. We have staff that clean/scoop fecal material as soon as it hits the ground.
So, to recap, loose stool/diarrhea is common but please let us know if it continues for more than 24 hours.
Our goal and hope is that your pet returns home happy and healthy! Of course, there is always a chance your pet may get sick while at our hospital, but we do everything we can to prevent it. We aim to have smiles and wags all around!