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's starving! Did he get fed while he was there?”

Of course!! Your pet was either fed the food brought when he was dropped off or our high-quality dry food if none was brought with him. Occasionally, dogs and cats do not eat as much while they board, so it is “normal” for them to play catch up once they return to their homes.

At doggie daycare, (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 or dental visit, 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, such as for daycare or grooming, 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!"

If we did our job, your pet had lots of play time and exercise while boarding or in doggie daycare and is worn out! There's so much activity in our hospital that your pet is likely over stimulated and excited. Because of this, his sleeping pattern can change in the time spent with us, and he just needs to catch up on his zzzzz’s!! I usually feel like sleeping a lot when I come home from vacation as well. Typically after a good night’s sleep, Fido feels like playing again within the next 24 hours.

“Maggie’s stool is loose. Has she been having diarrhea while there?”

First of all, if your pet was having diarrhea, the staff and doctors would have contacted you and started them on medication. That's the good thing about boarding your dog or cat at a veterinary hospital - if they develop problems, the issues are addressed immediately.

Secondly, pets often experience excitement when returning home and are often rewarded with treats. So this “excitement” leads to colitis, a common cause of loose or watery stool. Some pet owners expect it and we arrange to send them home with preventative medicine.

We take every precaution at Tri City East Veterinary Hospital to prevent viruses and parasites from being passed to your pet. Stalls, runs and cages are sterilized. We also 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.

To recap, loose stool or diarrhea is not uncommon but please let us know if it continues for more than 24 hours once your pet returns home.

"I had my kitty neutered today. I can't say enough good things about the treatment. The doctor is truly concerned about your pet. Very satisfied. I would recommend them highly."

Martha Stoffel

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