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 Wilmington Animal Healthcare 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.

Who can board at Wilmington Animal Healthcare?

Wilmington Animal Healthcare Veterinary Hospital is happy to offer boarding and daycare to patients of our hospital!

What vaccines are required for boarding?

All boarding guests must be up-to-date on vaccinations and must have a current Physical Examination with one of our Wilmington Animal Healthcare Veterinary Hospital Veterinarians.

Canine Requirements:

  • Canine Distemper/Parvovirus (DAP)
  • Rabies
  • Bordetella (Kennel Cough)
  • Intestinal Parasite Profile (IPP)
  • Canine Influenza
  • Dogs that would like to play in Doggy Daycare must be pre-approved and be spayed/neutered by 9 months of age.

Feline Requirements:

  • Feline Distemper
  • Rabies
  • Intestinal Parasite Profile (IPP)

Do I need to bring my own pet food?

Wilmington Animal Healthcare Veterinary Hospital does provide food at no cost to you during your pet's stay. For our kitty boarders, we feed Science Diet Feline Optimal Care, and for our canine friends, we feed a sensitive stomach diet.

If your pet is known to get GI upset with food changes, or if your pet is on a prescription diet or canned diet, please bring food with you.

Can I bring my own bedding/bowls?

Our boarding includes raised up Pet Cots in all canine boarding rooms, and West Paw Brand soft beds in Doggie Condos. Our cat boarding includes soft West Paw bedding. We provide stainless steel food and water bowls for both dogs and cats, and litter pans/cat litter are also provided and included in the cost of their stay. 

We ask that any bedding that is provided from home be machine washable in case of accidents. Please do not bring large or foam beds that cannot fit in a standard washing machine.

Wilmington Animal Healthcare Veterinary Hospital cannot be held liable for any personal items being damaged or broken by your pet during their stay. Please label your pet’s personal belongings with their names if they are provided from home. You are welcome to bring toys, which will be offered to your pet during our daytime hours. We do pull up all toys overnight for safety purposes.

Can you administer my pet’s medication?

Our kennel staff is trained to administer oral medications, insulin, and subcutaneous fluids when needed. There is an additional fee for medication administration while boarding.

We ask that all medication be provided in the veterinarian provided vials/containers and be properly labeled.

Please do not bring medication in baggies or in daily pill containers. Please bring enough medication to last the duration of your pet’s stay. If your pet is on insulin, please provide correct syringes from home.

What is your cancellation policy?

Our boarding facility is reserved solely for our wonderful clients! We are honored to have so many families that trust us with the care of their furry family members! We are, however, a small facility with limited capacity.

Due to high demand and a desire to meet each of our clients’ needs, boarding reservations that are not canceled with at least a 24 hour period of advanced notification may be subject to a cancellation fee of $30.00. Thank you for your understanding!

How do your check-out times/fees work?

Our boarding operates similarly to human hotels; payment starts on the day your pet checks in, regardless of time of drop off. On the day of check-out, you are not charged if your pet is picked up prior to 10:00am. Check-outs after 10:00am do accrue another day charge.

Feel free to call and speak to our boarding and daycare team if you have further questions!