This has happened twice in the past two months. I dropped my female, 1 year old, spayed dog off at the boarder for a week. When I picked her up, she was lethargic (just laying down), hot and sweaty, and had a runny nose. I think her breath smells mucusy, like a human's when they have a cold.

The first time, this went away after a few days. I attributed it to being in close continual contact with many other dogs, for the first time in her life. But, I just picked her up today, and it's happened again.

This boarder has "open" boarding. They don't crate them, but rather let them run around in an indoor area with a concrete floor all day. I assume they sleep on that floor. The boarder is staffed 24/7. The workers seem nice. The place has good reviews online.

Is this normal? Would a dog often get sick after a week of boarding (continual play, exposure to other dogs, sleeping on the floor)? Might she have been too cold at night? Or could something be wrong?

Edit: She's lethargic for a few days after coming home from the kennel, both times I've left her there for a week. It's strange because, we can watch her on the webcam playing and having fun, which she seems to do often.

  • 1
    I agree with Bret, it sounds like shes just tired, playing with other dogs continuously for days is tiring! Its like humans having a holiday, and youre tired when you get back. With the breath thing it could just be a difference in diet while there, the food maybe different to what shes and you are used to.
    – UIO
    Commented Nov 22, 2018 at 9:56

4 Answers 4


No it's not normal for a dog to be sick after boarding, if you think she is running a fever then a vet visit is warranted. Dog's don't get colds or the flu, most common illness we see from boarding is kennel cough (bordetella). The main symptom is a continuous cough that can develop into a lung infection.

  • She's been vaccinated against kennel cough. The boarding place requires proof of vaccination for that, actually Commented Mar 5, 2017 at 15:01
  • The kennel cough vaccines is similar to the flu shot for us, it lessens the effects. Not as good of a guarantee as the Distemper or Rabies vaccine. Not saying your dog caught a virus, just what we routinely see happen in doggy daycare. Commented Mar 5, 2017 at 15:29
  • would it make sense that this would happen both time's she's been for a week? I mean, is it likely that she's just getting sick because she hasn't been around other dogs much, but will soon be stronger against the virus'? Commented Mar 5, 2017 at 16:52
  • I doubt she caught a virus though we can't say for certain over the internet, the only way to know what's truly wrong is to go to your veterinarian for a physical exam. If she feels like this after doggy daycare I would look for another place to board her. Commented Mar 5, 2017 at 17:01
  • I might consider a different boarding situation. I would talk to the manager where she's been sick and tell them you intend on writing a yelp review about what has occurred. They may have been slacking off on either cleaning or actually checking vac. records for boarders. Ask if they REQUIRE bordatella vac for potential boarders.
    – M.Mat
    Commented Mar 9, 2017 at 8:24

I think it's normal for dogs to be tuckered out after boarding. When my dog comes home from the kennel, she goes right to her 'place' and sleeps for hours. Playtime is hard work!


My opinion is that it is not normal buf it does happen a lot to dogs and I would stop. Taking him to that kennel

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    please expand your answer,more details about what illnesses dogs can get and the reasons for it,as your answer is now it is at risk of being removed it is too short. Commented Oct 20, 2018 at 17:35

My dog has gone to a kennel twice as well and came back both times extremely exhausted, presumably from much playtime, but had no other symptoms of illness.

It is most certainly not normal for any of these symptoms to be present in a dog at all...boarding or not. I did notice your comment about his Kennel Cough vaccination, and though he was vaccinated, this does not guard against it completely but rather lessen the affects. In addition to Kennel Cough, it could also be "Canine Influenza," which according to avma.org

"Canine influenza is caused by the canine influenza virus. It is a relatively new disease in dogs. Because most dogs have not been exposed to the virus, their immune systems are not able to fully respond to the virus and many of them will become infected when they are exposed. Canine influenza is spread through respiratory secretions.Dogs can be shedding the virus before they even show signs of illness, which means an apparently healthy dog can still infect other dogs. Dogs with canine influenza develop coughing, a fever and a snotty nose, which are the same signs observed when a dog has kennel cough."

This is the most common explanation of his behavior I could find. The source is linked above, so you should probably look there some more. No matter what it is, it is definitly worth a visit to the vet!

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    Thanks for answering this old question. We eventually figured out she was just completely worn out from play. She acts the same after returning from any sitter / boarding facility, or after a hard afternoon at the dog park. Commented Apr 16, 2021 at 20:26

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