Guest Post: Essential dog vaccines to obtain before boarding

Dog Vaccine Doctor Guest Post: Essential dog vaccines to obtain before boarding

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Editor’s Note: Keep in mind, dog vaccines can be beneficial to your pet whether they are being boarded at a large facility with many dogs or a small home with maybe only one other pet. You can’t control what other people’s pets have been exposed to, but you do have control over how an exposure could affect your dog. Check with a trusted veterinarian to determine the best plan for your pup.


For dog owners intending to leave their beloved canines in a pet boarding facility, it is important to get all your bases covered. Keep the pet’s health in mind, and get your dog vaccinated before sending your pet to a dog boarding facility such as a kennel. Kennels have varying requirements when it comes to vaccinations and pet care so it is best to ask them before getting your pet vaccinated. Here are some of the more common ailments and vaccines given to pets bound for boarding.

Common Dog Ailments

Kennel Cough – Aptly named kennel cough, this ailment is often caused by the Bordetella bacteria or the parainfluenza virus. The disease is commonly found in poorly ventilated kennels, but kennel cough is transmitted in a similar way as the common cold in humans. Dogs can easily get infected when they come into contact with another canine that has the virus.

Parvovirus – A parvovirus infection is a fatal disease commonly found in unvaccinated dogs. The virus can affect both the cardiac and gastrointestinal areas in the dog’s body. It is highly contagious and can set in quickly. Puppies are the most susceptible due to their weak health.

Distemper – Canine distemper is caused by the distemper virus. The ailment commonly affects the gastrointestinal area and respiratory system. Although commonly found in dogs, the virus can also infect other types of animals such as ferrets, wolves, foxes and raccoons. The disease is spread by inhaling or coming into direct contact with secretions from an infected animal.

Rabies – Rabies is a fatal disease caused by a virus which can affect all types of animals. It is easily transmitted by getting bitten by an infected animal. The virus attacks the victim’s nervous system, causing the person or animal to act wildly or unusually fearful.

Common Dog Vaccines

C5 – For kennel bound dogs, ask for the C5 vaccine. This vaccine will help protect the canine from kennel cough, distemper, parvovirus, parainfluenza and hepatitis. If the dog’s vaccinations have lapsed or if the canine has never been vaccinated before, a booster shot is also required. The booster shot is commonly given approximately two to four weeks after the initial vaccination has been injected. Inter-nasal formulas are available and work quicker. These can work as last minute vaccinations for dogs bound for the kennel.

 It is important to note that although the vaccination can help increase the dog’s resistance from acquiring the kennel cough, it cannot make the dog fully immune from the disease. Similar to the common cold in humans, in a few cases, getting vaccinated can also produce symptoms similar to kennel cough. This can occur around three to ten days after getting the shot, which is why vaccinations should be given at least two weeks before the dog is left at a dog boarding facility.

C4 – This type of core vaccine can protect dogs against the parvovirus, hepatitis and distemper. It can also provide protection against the parainfluenza virus, one of the causes of kennel cough. In some cases, dog boarding facilities will allow dogs to be boarded as long as they have been injected with this vaccine.

 C3 – The C3 core vaccine provides protection against the parvovirus, hepatitis and distemper. This type of vaccine will not provide any protection against the parainfluenza virus or the Bordetella bacteria. As such, dogs will still be susceptible to the kennel cough even after being injected with the C3 vaccine. On its own, the C3 is not a suitable pet care vaccine for a dog entering the kennel facility.

Rabies vaccine – The rabies vaccine is given separately from other forms of vaccines. Puppies that are at least 4 months old can be given the rabies vaccine. For optimal pet health, rabies vaccines should be given once every 3 years while the booster can be administered once a year.

It is important to remember that it takes several days before the dog vaccines take full effect. As such, you need to plan ahead and send your pet to the vet at least two weeks before leaving it at the kennel. Keeping your pet’s vaccines up to date ensures that your canine remains healthy even when left at a pet boarding facility.


Written by Robert Gold, a writer for Paradise 4 Paws DFW.

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