What Shots Are Needed to Board a Dog: A Complete Guide

If you are planning to board your furry friend while you are away, it is important to ensure that your dog is up to date on all necessary vaccinations. Boarding facilities have strict requirements to protect the health and safety of all dogs in their care. In this article, we will discuss the shots that are typically needed to board a dog and answer some frequently asked questions to help you prepare for your pet’s stay.

1. Rabies Vaccine:
The rabies vaccine is a legal requirement in most countries and states. It is crucial for protecting your dog against this deadly viral disease, and boarding facilities typically require proof of current vaccination.

2. Distemper-Parvo Vaccine:
Distemper and parvovirus are highly contagious and potentially fatal diseases. Vaccination is vital to protect your dog from these illnesses, and most boarding facilities require proof of the distemper-parvo vaccine.

3. Bordetella Vaccine:
Bordetella, also known as kennel cough, is a highly contagious respiratory infection that spreads rapidly in boarding facilities. This vaccine protects your dog from contracting or spreading the disease, and it is commonly required by boarding facilities.

4. Canine Influenza Vaccine:
Canine influenza, or dog flu, is another contagious respiratory infection that can be serious for dogs. While not all boarding facilities require this vaccine, it is recommended, especially if your dog will be in contact with other dogs.

5. Leptospirosis Vaccine:
Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection that can be transmitted to dogs through contaminated water or contact with infected animals. Some boarding facilities may require this vaccine due to the potential risk it poses to other dogs.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q1. How far in advance should I have my dog vaccinated before boarding?
It is best to schedule your dog’s vaccinations at least two weeks before boarding to ensure full immunity.

Q2. Can my dog be exempt from certain shots?
Some boarding facilities may make exceptions based on a dog’s age, health, or medical history. However, exemptions are rare, and it is always recommended to vaccinate your dog to protect their health.

Q3. What if my dog has an adverse reaction to vaccines?
While adverse reactions are rare, consult your veterinarian if you have concerns. They can evaluate your dog’s health and provide guidance on any necessary precautions.

Q4. Can I provide alternative evidence of vaccination?
Most boarding facilities require documentation from a licensed veterinarian as proof of vaccination. Some may accept titer tests or vaccination records, but it is essential to check with the facility beforehand.

Q5. What if my dog’s shots are expired?
It is crucial to keep your dog’s vaccinations up to date. If their shots are expired, schedule a visit to your veterinarian to get them updated before boarding.

Q6. Can my dog receive vaccinations at the boarding facility?
While some boarding facilities offer on-site vaccinations, it is generally recommended to have your dog vaccinated by your regular veterinarian for better medical history and recordkeeping.

Q7. Are there additional vaccinations recommended for specific regions or circumstances?
Depending on your location or travel plans, additional vaccinations such as Lyme disease or rattlesnake vaccines may be recommended. Consult your veterinarian to determine if your dog needs any additional protection.

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Q8. Can my dog be contagious after being vaccinated?
Vaccinated dogs are usually protected from the diseases they are vaccinated against. However, they may still carry and spread certain infections like kennel cough without showing symptoms.

Q9. What if my dog received vaccinations overseas?
If your dog was vaccinated overseas, ensure they meet the vaccination requirements of the boarding facility and have the documentation translated to English if necessary.

Q10. Are there any risks associated with vaccinations?
Vaccinations are generally considered safe, but some dogs may experience mild side effects like soreness or swelling at the injection site. Serious reactions are rare but can occur. Consult your veterinarian if you have any concerns.

Q11. Can puppies be boarded without all their shots?
Most boarding facilities have age requirements and may allow puppies to be boarded before completing their full vaccination series. However, they usually require at least the first round of shots, including the distemper-parvo vaccine.

Remember, every boarding facility may have slightly different requirements, so it is crucial to check with them in advance to ensure compliance. By keeping your dog’s vaccinations up to date, you can ensure their safety and the well-being of all dogs in the boarding facility.