Stress Colitis

Diarrhea After Boarding: How to Help Avoid Stress Colitis

Disclaimer: We are not veterinarians and are only offering information based on the experiences we have had. Contact your veterinarian before proceeding with any of our suggestions.

Have you had problems when boarding your pup where they break with stress colitis (diarrhea) after coming home? You think that there must be something going around the boarding facility or veterinarian’s office that has caused your dog to get sick? While that is a possibility, it’s more likely the excitement (stress) that your pup feels when seeing you and coming home that wreaks havoc on its body and leads to diarrhea. 

(Most important to keep them hydrated and visit your veterinarian if doesn’t get better after offering a bland diet for 12-24 hours or if they become lethargic–puppies should visit a veterinarian as they can become dehydrated quickly and withholding food to give their stomach a chance to settle down can be dangerous).

What to do about it?

1. Prepare their Mind: Bring them to daycare. If a dog gets used to being away, getting attention from others, and having friends to play with and then going home; it won’t be as big of a shock on their bodies when they do come home after boarding.
2. Prepare their Gut: Get them a really good pre and probiotic to balance their gut health. We’ve been recommending Lifeway Original (not flavored) Kefir. If you add a few tablespoons in each meal, it will get them a good active probiotic that will help to balance their gut and boost their immune system so that they can better handle a shot of excitement when they go home.
3. Prepare their Body: CBD treats/oil. A few days before they board, get them on a twice-a-day cbd dose. Then when they board, you can ask the facility to add a CBD-infused treat to each meal, if you continue it for a few days after they get home that should “take the edge off”. CBD is also linked to helping with pain, inflammation and mood swings (I sometimes take it to help me sleep and it works great).
4. Parasites?: The last thing to mention is that sometimes a body (dog and human) can live with a certain number of parasites without any symptoms. Its also a good idea to test for worms or single-celled protozoa such as Giardia and Coccidia. A dog can live with a certain number of these in their bodies without any symptoms but when their immune system gets “stressed”, it can materialize into diarrhea. It’s a good idea to have your dog on a worm preventative and also occasionally treat with a mild wormer such as Fenbendazole (ask your vet about it) which in the right doses and for the right length of time, can kill Giardia as well as most other parasites.

So if your dog isn’t used to boarding, like many of our holiday guests who only come once or twice a year; they will be more prone to stress colitis when returning home. A cage-free environment, such as CoolWag gives them activities and exercise during the day so they are less stressed while boarding, but even in this fun environment, they can break with stress colitis upon returning home. Knowing there are things you can do to prevent it, makes for a better experience for everyone and keeps hour pup healthy!

Disclaimer: We are not veterinarians and are only offering information based on the experiences we have had. Contact your veterinarian before proceeding with any of our suggestions.

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