My dog is exhausted after boarding, what can I do?

my dog is exhausted after boarding

Have you left your dog in a boarding facility recently? Is he exhausted now that he’s back home?

There are ways you can help your dog feel better if he’s exhausted from boarding. This article has everything you need to know on the topic.

Why is my dog exhausted after boarding?

As much as you might wish you could take your dog everywhere with you, there will be times when you have to leave him behind.

Ideally, you’ll be able to leave him with a friend or family member. But this isn’t always possible!

In situations like these, bringing your dog to a boarding facility can help. The staff at the facility will look after your dog for you while you’re gone.

Your dog will also get the chance to play with other dogs!

But what if your dog gets super tired after boarding? Why is that happening?

Before we get into why your dog is exhausted, here are some related articles on dogs being overtired:

Is it normal for a dog to be tired after boarding?

If your dog comes home tired from boarding, you might be wondering if this is normal in the first place.

There’s a lot going on when your dog is at boarding. There are so many other dogs to see and things to do!

It’s normal for your dog to come home tired after the excitement of boarding. Mostly he just will need to sleep it off, so prepare a quiet, cozy spot for him, like his crate. But if your dog seems utterly exhausted after boarding, watch out for signs of stress or even illness.

So, be mindful of how your dog is acting when he comes home from boarding, and be aware of these 18 exhausted dog symptoms.

this is a dog exhausted after boarding
Being a bit tired after boarding is normal.

He’s exhausted from all the activity

There are probably other dogs at the boarding facility where your dog is staying. The facility may also have lots of activities for your dog to do.

As fun as all of this is, it can also get pretty tiring. With so much going on all the time, it’s no wonder your dog is coming home exhausted!

If your dog struggles to stay calm around other dogs, this can make boarding especially difficult. Check out this related article on the topic that might be able to help you: Why Is My Dog So Hyper Around Other Dogs?

Your dog got sick while boarding

If your dog has come home and he’s super exhausted, then the problem could be that he’s sick.

With so many other dogs around, it’s possible that something has spread to your dog.

If your dog is exhausted because he’s sick, there will likely be other symptoms too. For instance, your dog might start coughing or vomiting. He could also have diarrhea, or seem very lethargic.

If your dog is sick, you should get him to a vet. It’s hard to say for sure what your dog might have picked up at boarding, or how serious it is. Your vet can tell you what’s wrong and help your dog feel better.

He is tired from the stress of boarding

While hanging out and playing with other dogs and people is fun for some dogs, for others it’s actually a very stressful experience.

And if your dog has had to spend several days with that kind of stress, then it’s no wonder why he’s so tired when he gets home!

Do you have some questions about stress in dogs? These are a few related articles that you should make sure to check out:

Stress can exhaust a dog at boarding.
For some dogs, boarding is pretty stressful.

He might be holding a grudge

Does your dog seem to hate you after boarding? When he gets home, is he acting like he wants absolutely nothing to do with you?

Dogs are super emotional animals. If you left your dog at boarding, he might be a pretty upset with you for leaving him behind.

His exhaustion could just be that he’s holding a grudge.

How to care for a dog who’s exhausted after boarding

Boarding is a great way to keep your dog safe while you’re traveling somewhere. But if your dog comes home exhausted, you might be wondering what you can do for him.

There are several great ways to care for a dog that’s exhausted after coming home from boarding.

If you have to board your dog frequently and he regularly comes home totally exhausted, then you might want to consider seeing if a friend or family member can take him instead.

Let him sleep it off

Your dog’s exhaustion problem isn’t going to get any better if he doesn’t get the chance to get some rest afterward!

When your dog gets back home, you should give him the chance to get the rest he needs. Set him up in a quiet space where he can sleep and recover from being so tired.

If your dog is having trouble settling back down when he gets home, then having a crate available for him can help. Haven’t started crate training yet? Here’s how to crate train a dog easily in 13 steps.

Here are a few related articles on tired dogs:

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Go easy on food and water

Your dog may be feeling hungry and thirsty when he gets back home from boarding. You should definitely give him the chance to eat and drink something.

But be careful when you do. Dogs that are exhausted may not realize what their limits are. That means that your dog could end up eating too quickly, and that might make him sick. The same is true for drinking too much water.

Let him have just a little food and water at a time to make sure he’s keeping it down.

You might also want to check out these other food-related articles if you have more questions about your dog’s eating habits:

Calming down an over tired dog after boarding

If your dog comes home from boarding and he’s zooming around the house, you might think that the last thing it could be is exhaustion.

But being excited and being over tired have a lot of the same symptoms. So if your dog won’t stop moving when you get home from boarding and he’s acting out, the problem could absolutely be that he’s exhausted.

Your job is to help your dog calm down and settle enough for some much-needed rest. Giving him a quiet, cozy space like a crate can help him understand that it’s time to get some sleep.

These articles may also be able to help you calm your over tired dog:

Hyperactive? Your dog might actually be exhausted from boarding.
Over excited back home? It could actually be over tiredness!

Watch for other symptoms of illness

If you’re worried that your dog might be sick from boarding, then keep a close eye on him.

Exhaustion will most likely not be the only symptom that your dog experiences. If he’s showing any other signs of illness, then make sure you call your vet right away.

There are a lot of illnesses and diseases that dogs can pass on to each other. Your vet will be able to identify what’s wrong with your dog and get him the treatment he needs.

There’s no denying that vet visits can get expensive, especially if your dog really is sick and needs treatment. These articles will help you learn more about saving on vet bills:

Dog exhausted after boarding FAQ

We’ve gone over the basics of dogs being exhausted after boarding, but you might still have some questions.

Check out these answers.

Why is my dog acting different after boarding?

If you pick up your dog and he’s not acting like himself after boarding, you’re probably wondering why.

There are lots of reasons why this could be happening. He could be pretty upset with you for having to leave him behind and that’s why he’s acting strange.

The problem could also be that your dog is tired and just needs to rest after coming home.

Whatever the issue is, once you identify it, you can make sure your dog gets what he needs to feel better.

tired dog on pillow
Exhaustion can change your dog’s usual behavior.

Is dog boarding stressful for dogs?

For some dogs, boarding is a really fun time to hang out with some of his doggy friends!

But for others, boarding is a really stressful experience.

It comes down to your dog as an individual. The place you choose to board your dog at will also play a role.

Make sure you do your research and choose the right boarding place. Talk to other people who have used the facility to see what their experiences have been like.

Do dogs get depressed when boarded?

Dogs are pack animals, and you are your dog’s pack! When he can’t be near you, that’s likely going to be a little upsetting for him.

Some dogs get pretty depressed when they’re not able to be near their owners. If your dog seems depressed when he comes home from boarding, this could be why.

Here is some more information on depression in dogs: Is My Dog Bored or Depressed? 5 Signs of Dog Depression.

Is boarding a dog traumatic?

Leaving a dog behind can be stressful for both of you. But could putting your dog in a boarding facility be traumatic for him?

Some dogs do well in these facilities and others don’t. It depends largely on the dog!

The facility you choose will also play a big role in your dog’s experience. Always do your research before choosing a facility. Sit down with the staff for an interview and ask questions about how they treat their dogs and what the staff to dog ratio is like.

Remember, you are your dog’s advocate! It’s your job to make sure the facility you are choosing is safe.

fearful dog
It’s crucial to evaluate boarding facilities before you put your dog with them.

Is 2 weeks too long to board a dog?

Whether or not 2 weeks is too long to board a dog depends on the dog! Some dogs don’t mind spending around 2 to 4 weeks in boarding. Other dogs struggle too much to be away from their owners for that long.

If your dog is in the latter group, then asking a friend or family member to care for him while you’re gone is a good idea. This will likely be a lot easier on your dog, and he’ll have a much better time while you’re away.

Will my dog think I abandoned him when I go on vacation?

If only we could explain to our dogs that when we leave, we’re coming back!

If you go on vacation, your dog might be confused about why you’re gone. But your dog’s brain works differently than yours does, and he doesn’t miss you quite the same way you miss him.

This comes down to the way his memory works. Dogs focus on what’s happening in the moment, rather than in the past like we do.

But don’t worry, when you come back home you can bet that your dog will be absolutely thrilled to see you!

Do dogs think you are leaving forever?

If your dog acts anxious or upset when you leave, is it because he thinks you’re leaving him behind forever?

Remember, dogs live in the moment. While he might not necessarily think you’re leaving forever, he knows that you’re leaving right now, and he probably doesn’t like that!

Also, dogs are routine-based animals. If you leave and come home around the same time every day, this will make departures a lot easier on your dog. Learn more here: Best Morning Routine with a Dog Before Work.


Leaving your dog at a good boarding facility can give him a safe space to stay in when you go on vacation. If your dog comes home super exhausted, there are several ways to help him get the rest he needs when he comes back home. Try the above tips to help your dog settle back down.

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