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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Guest Post: The best dog boarding options this spring

The holiday season is a busy time for most people. If you have kids, the months of March, April, and May are filled with vacations, parties and family visits. Many people head out of town to spend spring break with their extended family. Loving dog owners may feel guilty about leaving their pet during the holidays but if they are not able to bring their dog with them, they have no other choice but to leave them behind. Since it can be extremely difficult to find a pet sitter during the spring holiday season people need to find a good overnight dog boarding facility that will take good care of their pet.

pet on bed Guest Post: The best dog boarding options this spring

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The difference between a kennel and a pet hotel

Kennels and pet hotels both care for dogs while their owners are out of town but they offer different levels of service. A basic kennel keeps dogs in cages. They do not supply pet beds or structured play areas. Kennels let dogs out into a fenced area but not all kennels walk the dogs or play with them each day. Kennels are the cheapest boarding option because they only offer basic care and services.

A pet hotel offers a more luxurious setting for dogs. Rather than staying in a cage, dogs stay in their own spacious suites that include lighting and a comfortable bed. Staff members do their best to make the dogs feel secure. Some dog boarding facilities even play soft music at bedtime to help dogs relax in their new environment. Staff members monitor pet hotel guests 24-hours a day and if any sudden health issues arise, the animals receive professional medical treatment right away.

People who have an energetic dog should choose a dog hotel that offers doggy daycare services for boarded dogs. Not all dog hotels offer doggy daycare but they do take the dogs for daily walks and give them the opportunity to run and play in an indoor or outdoor play area. Pet hotel staff members take the time to talk to and play with all of the dogs in their care. Some pet hotels also offer grooming services.

How to select the best facility

Whether people choose to take their dog to a kennel or pet hotel they need to find out more about the facility before dropping off their pet. People should always take the time to walk through the entire facility, including outdoor dog runs or play areas to see if the environment is safe, clean and cheery. Pet owners should take note of how the staff treats the animals and check for signs of a poor quality facility such as empty food and water dishes, foul odor, lack of bedding and toys or unhappy staff members. If the pet owner wouldn’t dream of spending one night at the facility they should not leave their pet there.

All good dog boarding facilities have strict rules and requirements. They ask that boarders and doggy daycare participants be up to date on their vaccinations and they do not let mature animals participate in group activities unless they are spayed or neutered. These rules are put in place to protect all of the dogs staying in the facility. People should never leave their dog at a boarding facility that does not ask to see a copy of the animal’s immunization records.

Nobody likes to leave their dog but people who find an excellent dog boarding facility can relax knowing that their favorite animal is in good hands. Many modern facilities even give their customers the opportunity to view the different rooms of the pet hotel online via webcam so they can check on their pet anytime they please while they are away.


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

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Guest Post: Pet Sitters vs. Boarding – Which is Better?


Leaving your pups behind when you travel is difficult enough without having to worry about who’s caring for them while you’re gone. You don’t want to leave your dogs in just anyone’s hands, but at the same time, cost is a factor. As a dog owner, you have three main options:

  • leave them with family or friends
  • board them
  • hire a dog sitter

But which is the best option? Let’s assume that leaving your dogs with family or friends takes care of both the trust factor and the expense, and focus on the other two possibilities. Is it better to board your dog, or hire a pet sitter? Each has its pros and cons.

Boarding Pros

  • Many vets offer boarding services. If your pet is injured or becomes ill while you’re away, he’s already in a place where he can be cared for, and receive any pet meds he may need.
  • If the boarding facility offers daycare or playtime, your dog doesn’t have to spend the entire time in a cage or run, and can interact with other dogs.
  • You don’t have to allow a stranger access to your home to care for your dogs.

Boarding Cons

  • It may be more stressful for your dog to be alone (without you) in an unfamiliar place with strangers handling him.
  • Your dog is more exposed to infectious diseases like Bordetella, also called kennel cough.
  • Boarding can be expensive, especially if you do want to add on extras like playtime.

Dog Sitter Pros

  • Your dog get to stay in her own home where she’s comfortable, which reduces stress.
  • There is no exposure to other animals, reducing the risk of infectious diseases.
  • Some pet sitters will perform other small household tasks such as retrieving mail, watering plants, dusting, etc.

Dog Sitter Cons

  • You must allow a stranger access to your home; even if they’re bonded and insured, this can be cause for trepidation.
  • Aside from the short time period the pet sitter will spend in your home, your dogs will be there alone, which can be stressful for them.
  • For the convenience of having someone come to your home, dog sitting can be a bit expensive. Costs vary from dog sitter to dog sitter.

The decision of whether to board your pets, or hire a dog sitter is one you must make after doing some research, weighing all the pros and cons, and deciding what is best for your pet and you. If you do decide to hire a dog sitter, choose one that is bonded and insured. You may even want to try to find one who is a member of the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters. For boarding, check online reviews and ask around to find reputable facilities that will take good care of your pets. If all else fails, find a pet-friendly hotel, and take your four-legged family member with you!

Jackie Roberts is a writer for 1-800-PetMeds, and loves to help and support the pet community. You can find Pet Meds on Twitter or connect with Pet Meds on Facebook.

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