4 Common Injuries and Illnesses Your Dog May Get at Boarding Facilities and How to Prevent Them
Choosing a boarding kennel for your pet while you're away is a difficult decision. You must consider your pet's temperaments, how easily they adapt to change, what type of facilities are near and how long you're away, among other factors. Just like a child at day-care, most boarding facilities are optimised to minimise the risk of injury or illness to your pet, but these can happen sometimes. This article discusses common injury and illness scenarios and how they can be prevented or reduced.
1. Injury from other dogs
Your dog can sustain bites or scratches while playing with other dogs in the facility. While boarding staff are always on alert for violence triggers and dogs will often be matched with others that are similar temperamentally, accidents happen. Dogs can be playing one minute and fighting the next, and one can get injured before the staff are able to separate them.
It is possible to request that your dog not to be mixed with other dogs during playtime, although this may be impractical if the dog will be there for a while. This option is advisable if you have an overly-aggressive or overly-shy/timid dog, but only for short periods of time.
2. Self-inflicted injuries
Small injuries like scratches or ripped toenails are also fairly common. In fact, many times a dog will rip its toenail unknowingly or scratch their nose by hitting the door handle. Toenails can get ripped running outside in the yard, and they are easy to manage. Skin-deep scratches will be cleaned and then allowed to self-heal. Grooming your pet's nails is the best way to reduce the likelihood of ripped toenails, but there's little to be done to prevent small scratches, just like you can't completely prevent your own accidents.
3. Doggy soreness
Soreness and muscle tenderness will often be the result of playing too much in the kennels. This is especially true if you have a fairly inactive dog. He/she will be excited to interact and play with other dogs, but their body won't be used to that level of exertion. Such soreness wears away in a few days.
4. Kennel cough
Also called Bordetella bronchiseptica, kennel cough is an airborne respiratory illness spread through contact with an infected animal or carrier (infected but asymptomatic). It is very treatable, and it can also be prevented by giving a Bordetella vaccination before delivering him/her to the kennel.
In addition, ensure that your dog is free from all other illnesses by scheduling a vet appointment beforehand. This way, your dog won't get other dogs infected when they play/interact.
5. Diarrhoea/upset stomach
Stomach upsets are common because of the change in environment and food, and the stress that comes with that. It is common with pets that have never been away from home because it's a huge adjustment for them. Normally, the diarrhoea will run its course and clear out, but you can schedule a vet visit if it persists. Also, you should confirm that your pet is comfortable with the kennel diet and state any preferences and allergies before leaving them there.