What Shots Does a Dog Need to Be Boarded?

If you’re planning a vacation or a business trip and can’t take your furry friend along, dog boarding can be a convenient solution. However, before you drop off your pup at a boarding facility, it’s essential to ensure they are up to date on their vaccinations. This not only protects your own dog but also helps maintain a safe and healthy environment for all the dogs staying at the facility. In this article, we will discuss the shots that are typically required for dogs to be boarded.

1. Rabies Vaccine: The rabies vaccine is a legal requirement in most countries and is vital for the protection of both dogs and humans. Dogs usually receive their first rabies vaccination between 12 and 16 weeks of age, followed by boosters every one to three years, depending on local regulations.

2. Distemper Vaccine: The distemper vaccine protects against a highly contagious and potentially fatal viral disease. Puppies typically receive a series of vaccinations starting at around six to eight weeks of age, with boosters given every three to four weeks until they are at least 16 weeks old.

3. Parvovirus Vaccine: Parvovirus is a highly contagious and often deadly disease that affects the gastrointestinal tract. Puppies should receive a series of vaccinations starting at around six to eight weeks of age, with boosters given every three to four weeks until they are at least 16 weeks old.

4. Bordetella Vaccine: Also known as kennel cough, bordetella is a respiratory infection that spreads rapidly in close quarters, such as boarding facilities. This vaccine is generally required and is administered either through an injection or nasal spray.

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5. Canine Influenza Vaccine: Canine influenza, or dog flu, is a contagious respiratory disease that can spread quickly among dogs in close contact. While not all boarding facilities require this vaccine, it is highly recommended, especially if your dog frequently interacts with other dogs.

6. Leptospirosis Vaccine: Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection that can be transmitted to both dogs and humans through contact with contaminated water or urine. This vaccine is often included in a combination vaccine, along with other common shots.

7. Canine Parainfluenza Vaccine: Canine parainfluenza is another respiratory infection commonly associated with kennel cough. It is usually included in combination vaccines that protect against multiple diseases.

8. Canine Hepatitis Vaccine: Canine hepatitis is a viral infection that affects the liver and can be transmitted through contact with infected dogs. This vaccine is often included in combination shots.

9. Lyme Disease Vaccine: If you live in an area where Lyme disease is prevalent, it is worth considering the Lyme disease vaccine. This bacterial infection is transmitted through tick bites and can cause serious health issues if left untreated.

10. Coronavirus Vaccine: Coronavirus is a highly contagious intestinal infection that can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and other gastrointestinal symptoms. While it is not as common as some other diseases, the vaccine may be recommended depending on your location and the boarding facility’s requirements.

11. Canine Adenovirus Type 2 Vaccine: Canine adenovirus type 2 is a respiratory infection that is often included in combination vaccines to provide protection against multiple diseases.


1. Are these shots required by law?
Yes, the rabies vaccine is required by law in most countries, while other shots may be required by boarding facilities to ensure the safety and health of all dogs.

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2. How often should my dog receive booster shots?
Booster shot schedules vary depending on the specific vaccine and local regulations. Consult with your vet to determine the appropriate timing for your dog’s boosters.

3. Can my dog be exempt from certain vaccines?
Some dogs may have medical conditions or allergies that make certain vaccines inappropriate. Discuss this with your veterinarian and the boarding facility to find a suitable solution.

4. Can I provide my dog’s vaccination records from my vet?
Yes, most boarding facilities will accept vaccination records from your veterinarian. Make sure the records are up to date and include all the necessary information.

5. How far in advance should I get my dog vaccinated before boarding?
It is recommended to get your dog vaccinated at least two weeks before boarding to allow sufficient time for the vaccines to take effect.

6. Can I administer the vaccines myself?
Vaccines should be administered by a licensed veterinarian or under their supervision to ensure proper handling and effectiveness.

7. What if my dog has an adverse reaction to a vaccine?
While adverse reactions are rare, if your dog experiences an unusual reaction after vaccination, contact your veterinarian immediately for guidance.

8. Can older dogs skip certain vaccines?
Older dogs may have already built up immunity to some diseases or may have health conditions that make certain vaccines unnecessary. Consult with your vet to determine the best course of action.

9. Can my dog still contract diseases even if they are vaccinated?
Vaccinations greatly reduce the risk of your dog contracting specific diseases but do not guarantee complete immunity. However, vaccinated dogs often have milder symptoms if they do get infected.

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10. Can my dog be boarded if they are not fully vaccinated?
Most boarding facilities require dogs to be fully vaccinated before they can be boarded. Incomplete vaccinations may put your dog at risk and potentially expose other dogs to diseases.

11. Are there additional requirements for boarding, such as flea and tick prevention?
Yes, many boarding facilities require dogs to be on flea and tick prevention to prevent infestations. It’s important to follow the specific requirements of the boarding facility you choose.

Remember, the health and safety of your dog should always be a priority. By ensuring your dog is up to date on their vaccinations, you can have peace of mind knowing they are protected while they enjoy their time at a boarding facility.