We get a lot of questions when pets return home after staying with us.

We have decided to write a few of them down so you know what to expect (or at least not be alarmed by). Here are some of the most common 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, in the amount instructed. If his owner didn’t provide his normal 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.

"Bailey drank a whole bowl of water when she got home... was she allowed to drink water while she was there?"

All pets, whether here for boarding or daycare, have access to water during their stay. Things like outside temperature and your pet’s energy exertion during playtime on a particular day can impact how thirsty they are. 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. Should I be worried?"

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’s the great thing about boarding your pet at a veterinary hospital…if they develop problems, the issues are addressed immediately.

Being in a new environment with unfamiliar surroundings and other dogs can be stressful for some dogs. Stress and anxiety can disrupt their digestive system and lead to loose stool, sometimes not showing up until after your dog is already back home. 

Another common culprit of loose stool is dietary change. If you elected to have us feed your dog “House Food” during their stay, they will be fed a high-quality, dry dog food specifically formulated to be gentle on your pup’s tummy and help prevent GI upset. However, upon returning home and going back to their normal food, some dogs may experience GI symptoms.

If your dog's loose stool persists for more than a day or is accompanied by other concerning symptoms like vomiting, lethargy, or loss of appetite, it's essential to consult your veterinarian. They can help identify the underlying cause and recommend appropriate treatment or dietary adjustments for your furry friend.

"The dates of my stay have changed. Can I have Butch stay 2 extra nights?"

We understand that plans may change and unforeseen events can occur, so we always strive to be flexible and accommodate our clients' schedule changes whenever possible. It's important to note that our capacity is comparable to a hotel with a limited number of rooms. During off-peak times, we can often accommodate requests to extend reservations. However, during our busiest periods, such as extended weekends, holidays, and spring break, our facility is frequently fully booked, with another dog likely scheduled to take your pup's spot on the day you originally planned to pick them up. As much as we would love to spend more time with Butch, regrettably, we won't always be able to extend your reservation.

"I picked up my dog, Winnie, from boarding a few days ago and I just noticed that she is coughing. Was she coughing during her stay? Should I be worried?"

We can assure you that if the staff had noticed Winnie coughing, or exhibiting any other signs of illness, you would have been notified immediately.

Winnie may have contracted Kennel Cough. Kennel cough is highly contagious and easily spreads in places where dogs come into close contact with each other. It’s similar to a child contracting a cold from school or daycare.

River City Veterinary Hospital takes very thorough precautions to minimize the risk of kennel cough outbreaks by requiring up-to-date vaccinations, segregating dogs showing symptoms, and maintaining strict cleaning and disinfection protocols. However, despite our best efforts, kennel cough can still occasionally occur.

In most cases, kennel cough is a self-limiting condition, meaning it will resolve on its own without specific treatment. However, it can take anywhere from 1 to 3 weeks for the symptoms to improve and for the dog to fully recover.

During this time, it's common for the dog to experience a dry, hacking cough that may be more noticeable when they are excited or engaging in physical activity. In some cases, there may also be nasal discharge and mild lethargy.

While most dogs recover without complications, in some instances, the cough can persist or become more severe. If your pet’s symptoms worsen or they develop difficulty breathing, loss of appetite, or other concerning signs, it's essential to seek veterinary attention promptly. Your veterinarian can assess your dog's condition and recommend appropriate treatment, which may include medications to alleviate coughing or manage secondary infections if present.