You’ve come back from a few weeks away on holiday and you are excited to pick up your dog from the dog boarding facility. Lots of pet owners who leave their dogs in care facilities are surprised to see all sorts of changes when they get them back. This is completely normal. Your dog has had to adapt to a new environment, get used to new people, get into new routines and even play and socialize with dogs that she is not familiar with. While some dogs will go back to their old routines and habits with no trouble at all there are some that will show marked changes. You shouldn’t worry – sooner or later your pooch will be back to her old self but it is important to know some of the common changes that you can expect.
If your dog has always been the independent, stoic type you may notice that when she comes home from dog day care she is clingy and wants to follow you around all the time. This is completely normal – she missed you just as much as you missed her. Some dogs show the opposite change – they may become withdrawn and even a little hostile for a few days. It is probably because they didn’t get that much human contact while they were boarded. The important thing to remember is that your dog will be back to her old self in no time at all – don’t put any pressure on her. Get back into your normal routine and give your pooch what she needs.
You may notice that once your dog is back home she eats more than usual. Don’t assume that this means that she wasn’t properly fed when she was in dog boarding care. She is happy to be back home around familiar a environment and people she loves and she expresses that by eating more. However, at times it could mean that she was indeed underfed, so if you notice a change in weight let her have her fill and give her lots of treats. You may also see that she changes her meal times. Don’t worry about this too much – go back to the old routine gradually and she will readjust.
Many pet owners get quite concerned when they fetch their dogs from dog day care only to realize that they have an upset stomach. You shouldn’t – all the changes in your dogs environment are likely the cause of this, not unsanitary surroundings. It is exactly like when you travel and your tummy doesn’t take it too well. If the problem is serious you can ask the vet for something to help settle it but in most cases a return to normal routine ought to do the trick.
Sleeping more than usual
Your dog came home and slept all evening and most of the next day – does this mean that she didn’t get much sleep in dog day care? Not quite; she played a lot, had lots of fun, was highly stimulated and that is why she needs to rest. Let her sleep for as long as she wants but remember to get her up and out for her daily walk as usual. The fresh air and exercise will help her feel like herself again.
She is happy and healthy
It only means that you chose a well maintained, well run dog day care center where dogs are happy. The next time you have to leave you should check her into the same one, but check to make sure that it is still run by the same people.