Did you just pick up your dog in boarding? Is he a little bit lethargic?

Maybe you're asking, “why is my dog tired after boarding?”.

In this article, we'll discuss the reasons why your pup is feeling a bit exhausted after boarding and what you can do to help them feel better.

There are some trips where we can't bring our pets. These are times when we have no choice but to put our dogs in boarding kennels.

But before you panic, keep in mind that it's not unusual for dogs to nap or sleep a lot after coming home from boarding.

You're not the only pet parent that notices this.

Many dog owners notice that their dog seems a bit lethargic after boarding. And that's because dogs are busy in boarding.

Unfortunately, this is not always the case. In some instances, it can be a sign of sickness or stress.

As dog owners, it's our job to monitor our pets. I know we all want what's best for our dogs. That's why you're here, reading this article.

You're might be feeling stressed or worried. But don't worry, because we've got you covered.

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Why Is My Dog Tired After Boarding

Dog boarding establishments that take care of your dog will keep them active and busy.

That's why you don't have to worry that much if you see your pet tired or lethargic after boarding.

This can just mean that they had plenty of time socializing and playing with other dogs.

After all, dog boarding is not just about housing and feeding dogs until their owners come to get them.

An excellent boarding facility will exercise and play with dogs to avoid boredom, being restless, or constantly thinking about their owners.

If you notice your dog is sleeping after boarding, this can mean that they are catching up on hours they lost playing and exercising.

Moreover, here's a quick list of a few possibilities on why your pup is exhausted after boarding.

Physically Tired

Similarly to what we've discussed above, a great boarding facility will not just be a house that looks after your dog.

Their job is also to keep them entertained by exercising, training (depending on the facility), socializing, and playing with other dogs.

Boarding for dogs is not exactly a relaxing vacation or a spa day for dogs.

It is full of activities and toys that dogs can enjoy and run around with other pups.

So if you're wondering why is my dog tired after boarding, it might just be because they are physically tired from all the activities.

Most of the time, they'll just need to sleep it off and regain their energy.

They'll be back to their mischievous ways after a good night's sleep.

Mentally Tired

On the other hand, your dog can also be lethargic due to mental exhaustion.

Just like in humans, a dog's mental fatigue can cause physical tiredness.

When your dog goes into boarding, it'll encounter a change in its routine.

They're basically in a new environment and they're soaking it all up. They're processing new smells, sights, and sounds.

It is also possible that the boarding facility has interactive puzzle toys to exercise dogs' brains.


Unfortunately, there are some cases where dogs can get sick after going into boarding.

That's why it's still important to monitor your dog and not always conclude that they are just tired.

A few possible illnesses that they can get from boarding are:

Getting illnesses from dog boarding is one reason you should check whether other dogs in the center are vaccinated.

That way, you can avoid these illnesses that your pooch could get from other dogs.


Furthermore, stress can also be a factor in their lethargy after boarding.

Keep in mind that not all dogs will enjoy boarding. Some dogs get stressed out in crowded places.

They can also be stressed out because they're in an unfamiliar environment.

Stress can also cause fatigue and insomnia. It is also possible that your dog will not be sleeping in their usual pattern.

Give them some time to catch up on sleep once you're home.

Holding a Grudge

Believe it or not, your dog might be punishing you for leaving them behind.

According to this 2019 research, dogs have the cognitive and emotional capacity to hold a grudge.

So if you've noticed that your dog is ignoring you after boarding, this is their way of telling you that they are upset about being left behind.

Who wouldn't be upset if they were left behind on a vacation trip?

But they also could've thought that you were abandoning them and they were unsure if you were coming back.

If your pup is ignoring you once you get home, it could mean that they are trying to guilt trip you.

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How to Take Care of a Dog Tired From Boarding?

If your dog is exhausted after coming home from boarding, there are ways for you to take care of them.

One of the ways is you let them sleep it off. Exhaustion after boarding is not unusual for dogs.

They are just often tired physically from all the play and exercise that happen in boarding.

They can also be mentally tired due to a change in routine and environment.

And after all of those activities, your dog just needs to get some rest once you get home.

Give them the chance to regain their energy. Set hip up with a cozy and quiet space for them to rest.

Make sure to find their favorite pillow or blanket for a peaceful sleep.

Another thing you can try is feeding them after boarding. However, be cautious when you do.

Go easy on the food and water that you'll give. Because tired dogs don't realize what their limits are.

They may eat fast and that can upset their stomach. The same goes for drinking too much water.


When Should you Call your Vet for Post-Kennel Lethargy?

There is a possibility that dogs can get sick after they get home from boarding.

As pet owners, we have to monitor for these symptoms of illnesses.

There are plenty of diseases that dogs can pass on to each other.

A few of them are the Canine Flu, Stomach Bugs, Ringworm, and Kennel Cough.

When it comes to dog sickness, exhaustion is not the only symptom that will arise.

It is best advised to contact your vet right away if your dog is still sleeping a lot after 24 hours.

A few symptoms in addition to exhaustion that you should look into are:

  • Not eating
  • Not drinking
  • Excessive whining or barking
  • Pacing
  • Shaking
  • Panting
  • Hiding

Keep in mind that the symptoms above can also be signs of stress.

If these symptoms don't disappear after a day and you still notice your dog's tiredness after 24 hours, it would be best to consult with your most trusted vet.

Another thing that you should take into account is the moment you've picked up Fido in the boarding facility.

If your dog was happy and excited seeing you and then went straight to bed once you get home, it is most likely that they are just exhausted.

However, if your dog greets you with no energy or if he was sleepy, sickness is a possibility.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do dogs miss their owners when boarding?

Boarding your dog is not as easy as it sounds. There's always the thought of guilt and regret when we leave our pets behind.

But most of the time, these are the best scenario for both owner and the dog.

But your pup will always remember you. Dogs don't just forget about their owners, even after days, months, or years apart.

That's why when it comes to boarding your dog, it's important to choose a facility so your dog can have a positive experience.

High-quality boarding facilities can help distract your dog from missing you.

They'll be able to take care of them and play with them while you're away.

Do dogs get lonely in boarding?

Just like humans, dogs can get lonely and depressed when left behind.

Dogs don't understand why we're leaving them in the first place. They might think that you're abandoning them forever.

Pet owners should visit these daycare or boarding facilities in advance before their vacation trips.

Advanced research can help you keep your mind at ease that your dog will be happy and taken care of.

What to do with a dog that can't be boarded?

Fortunately, there are plenty of alternatives to dog boarding.

For instance, you can ask a relative or a trusted friend to watch your dog over the weekends.

If you have the budget, maybe hire a professional pet sitter or a house sitter.

Or if possible, look for somewhere to stay where it's dog-friendly.

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Why Is My Dog Tired After Boarding: Summary

There are times when our dog seems a bit exhausted after we get home.

That's why we ask ourselves “why is my dog tired after boarding?”.

In this blog, we've discussed that there are plenty of reasons why your pup's a bit lethargic after boarding.

Some dogs go straight to their beds after boarding because they are physically or mentally tired from all the activities they've done in the facility.

Some dogs can be tired from stress due to a change in routine or environment.

Unfortunately, there are also cases where dogs can get sick after boarding.

And some pups go straight to sleep just because they're ignoring you for leaving them behind.

As their guardian, we must monitor them in these times to know whether they are just tired or in need of medical attention.

Hopefully, next time when we plan our next trip, let's consider choosing a dog-friendly vacation.

Or even letting them stay with a relative or a close friend that knows your dog pretty well.


Toby loves spending time with his dog and two cats. They are the best stress reliever and affectionate pets, especially his Belgian Malinois, Shawie. Shawie's favorite activity is running or jogging. But their go-to spot is to chill and swim around a nearby river.