Why Pet Boarding Facilities May Require 2 Additional Vaccinations

29 February 2016
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Pet boarding facilities take on a huge responsibility when they take dogs in for overnight or weekly visits. They must protect and care for these animals, and one important step they take for this purpose is requiring that all dogs have certain vaccinations before they can come. While your veterinarian will provide all the suggested vaccinations to your dog, there are two additional ones that are not considered mandatory by vets. Your pet boarding facility may require these though, and here the two they may ask you to get for your dog.


The Bordetella vaccine, also called kennel cough, is commonly requested by pet boarding facilities. This vaccination is designed to protect your dog from contracting kennel cough from being around other dogs. Dogs do not need this vaccination if they will not be staying in a kennel, but it is extremely useful for dogs that will be boarded.

A veterinarian typically gives this vaccine to a dog by squirting it into the dog's nose. This is called intranasal, and it is needed only once a year. It is highly effective for preventing kennel cough, which is a common illness dogs can spread to each other while staying at a kennel.  

Kennel cough is an illness that is not usually life-threatening, but it can make a dog sick. Kennel cough leaves dogs with chronic coughing and sneezing, and it can make them feel tired and uncomfortable. If your dog gets this, your vet may suggest letting the condition run its course, or he or she might treat it with medication.

Flu Vaccine

The second vaccination your pet boarding facility might require is the flu vaccination. This too is not a vaccination your vet will require, but many pet boarding facilities are now requiring this for all dogs. The flu vaccine for dogs can help dogs stay safe while at a pet boarding facility because the vaccine is useful for preventing a dog from getting the flu.

The flu vaccine for dogs is designed to keep your dog safe from newer types of flu viruses, and they require two treatments initially. Your vet may want to spread these two treatments out by three weeks, and he or she will then suggest getting one treatment per year after that. This vaccination is usually called the H3N2 vaccination, and it is designed to protect against the most common forms of flu viruses that dogs can get.

When a dog gets the flu, it typically is not a life-threatening situation; however, it can make a dog feel miserable. Dogs that contract the flu may have difficulty eating and may feel tired. They may also vomit and experience a fever.

This vaccination is especially important for dogs with existing health problems or for small dogs. Dogs with smushed-in faces, such as Pekinese dogs, can have a hard time recovering from the flu too. This is primarily because of the way their respiratory tracts are set up.

Flu viruses in dogs are extremely contagious. They can spread through the air or through physical contact, and the germs from the viruses can linger in pet boarding facilities for many weeks. If you want your dog to stay safe while at a boarding facility, talking to your vet about the flu vaccination is a great idea.

It can be difficult to leave a dog while you go on vacation, which is why you should look for a pet boarding facility you trust. A pet boarder that requires these two additional vaccinations is probably a good one to choose, because you can be certain they are requiring these for your dog's safety and wellbeing. To learn more, contact a pet boarding facility like The Pets Place Animal Hospital today.