Why is Dog Lethargic After Boarding: What To Feed Lethargic Dogs?

Even though your dog may seem lethargic after boarding, this is quite normal. The reason for their tiredness is simple – they are used to being with you and having to do as you say – when you leave them at the kennel, they lose this “top dog” status and become just another of the pack. This can make them feel stressed, especially if there are other dogs around who are very dominant – this can cause them to be more submissive than usual and therefore less energetic.

Telling an owner that their dog lethargic after boarding can be a bit daunting, but he should research why. Dogs left alone in a new environment can be excitable and overexcited, sometimes even destructive; it’s reassuring for owners to know that their pet isn’t feeling poorly or is just being mischievous! But just adjusting to a new routine.

It’s also important to note that some dogs have had one or two days of intensive exercise before arriving at a kennel, which can make them tired. If your dog has been running around like crazy with your family before boarding, then he may not be able to keep up the same level of activity with his temporary canine companions in the kennel environment, meaning he’ll be much more.

dog lethargic after boarding

Man relaxing on sofa with his smartphone together with his Frenchie resting on his laps

Why Dog Lethargic After Boarding ?

Too much stimulation:

Many boarding facilities over-stimulate dogs by placing them in highly stimulating environments with many other dogs and people. If your dog tends towards separation anxiety, this may trigger it after returning home from boarding. Overstimulating dogs can also cause trauma that can result.

Extreme Temperature

The second reason could be that your dog has been exposed to extreme temperatures. A dog kept outside with heat or cold will be more lethargic than usual. In case you have boarded your dog outside, he/she must have spent long hours in extreme temperatures and, as a result, will be extremely tired.

Improper diet

The third reason you might notice lethargy in your dog after boarding is if he or she has been fed an improper diet during the stay at the kennel or pet resort. Most resorts feed the dogs with the same food they provide their customers, which can sometimes lead to allergies and stomach issues for your pet.

Forceful Interaction

Forced interaction with objects or surfaces that the dog doesn’t want to interact with. For example, some dogs might not like to be petted on their head, and when they do not consent to this type of interaction, they might be punished by the petting. This can lead to a dog feeling fearful of certain surfaces (like hands), contributing to dog lethargy after boarding.

dog lethargic after boarding

Frenchie puppy sleeping on man’s laps

What to Feed Lethargic Dog

Many of the foods we eat are not very good for our pets. Foods high in fat, sugar, and salt can cause stomach upset and weight gain in dogs. On the other hand, there are some foods that dogs can handle without much trouble.

The following are some suggestions for what to feed a lethargic dog:

Chicken and rice:

Chicken and rice are prime ingredients in many dog foods, and these mild foods sit well on upset canine stomachs. Chicken broth is also a good choice.

Shredded chicken:

Shredded chicken is easy on upset stomachs and acts as a huge eating incentive for dogs with decreased appetites.


Raw pumpkin contains fiber, which helps prevent constipation. It also contains alpha-linolenic acid, which helps reduce inflammation in the digestive tract. Pumpkin is an excellent food to give your dog if he suffers from diarrhea or an upset stomach of any kind.

Bone broth:

Bone broth contains collagen, which is easy on an irritated stomach lining, and minerals and vitamins that your dog needs to get better fast. Make sure you use organic bones when making bone broth to avoid introducing harmful chemicals into your dog’s diet.

Boarding your dog is stressful enough as it is, so you want to do everything possible to make your dog comfortable and secure while they are away from home so they will enjoy their stay. Small dogs may find themselves in a crate or kennel that they are unfamiliar with. It may be helpful to place the familiar blanket or toy in the kennel with them. This will help them feel more comfortable and secure.

Read About Why Do Pugs Eat So Much? The Dog Diet Mystery

dog lethargic after boarding


Q: Is it bad to board a dog for longer?

Boarding your dog for a week is probably no big deal. The longer you’re away, though, the greater the chance that something could go wrong.

Q: Why does a dog get depressed being outside?

Dogs are natural explorers and love to investigate their environment. If they’ve lost interest in their surroundings or seem preoccupied with something far away, they may be depressed.

Q: What is kennel cough in dogs?

Kennel cough, also known as canine infectious tracheobronchitis, is a common illness usually seen in dogs after kennel stays. Kennel cough is caused by a virus and is not considered contagious between animals.

It is also important to know if your dog has any special needs. If your dog has separation anxiety, it might be wise to board him at a facility that offers playgroups while they are away from home.


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