Now, this may seem rather a boring topic, but if you are at all unclear about vaccinations and wish to kennel your dog any time soon then I'd urge you to read on.
It doesn't happen often but there has been times where we have to turn dogs away because their vaccinations are not up to date. We're not being awkward we promise - but it's a legal requirement and the most important part of our licence conditions, not to mention a requirement of our insurance. We simply cannot take un-vaccinated dogs.
The poor owner will have their holiday all planned and arranged, and all of a sudden they will have to beg a friend or relative to take care of the dog, and they can't just go to another kennels either. In the UK all boarding kennels can only board vaccinated dogs - any kennels who takes in an unvaccinated dog is breaking their Kennel Licence conditions, not to mention putting the health of the dog and their other boarders at risk.
As part of our Boarding Kennel Licence conditions it is a requirement that all dogs staying here are vaccinated against Canine Distemper, Infectious Canine Hepatitis, Leptospirosis and Canine Parvovirus and other relevant diseases. These are covered by the normal vaccination injections your vet usually recommends.
Most dogs are vaccinated as puppies. The primary vaccination consists of 2 injections given 2 weeks apart. The dog is then covered for a year (starting from the 2nd vaccination) and will simply need a booster injection once a year to keep up the protection.
It is important that, when kenneling your dog, these vaccinations do not overrun whilst the dog is in kennels. For example, if your dog was last vaccinated on the 1st May 2014, and you have a stay booked from 30th April to 2nd May 2015, this means the dog must be taken for the booster vaccinations before they come in for boarding. In reality, your vet would not consider the dog to have truly 'missed' their vaccinations for up to a couple of weeks after the date, but with regards to boarding kennels, our records must show all dogs to be vaccinated, so even a day overrun is not acceptable.
If your dog has missed a booster vaccination (ie they were due in May and you didn't remember until July) they will need to start from the beginning again with the primary vaccination and they won't be able to stay in kennels until they have had the 2nd vaccination of the set. This means it will be a couple of weeks before they can board, so don't leave it until last minute before checking!
At Woodland View Kennels we also require all dogs to be vaccinated for Kennel Cough (I personally dislike the name 'kennel cough'. The truth is, your dog can catch kennel cough from anywhere, training classes, doggie daycare, or the local park). Now, be careful, because some owners presume kennel cough is covered in the normal vaccines mentioned above - it isn't! It is something you have to ask your vet to do in addition to their yearly booster vaccines.
The kennel cough vaccine is given via a little squirt up the nostril. It covers them for a year and so we always recommend doing both the normal vaccines and the kennel cough together at the same time. Not only do you only have to remember one date when you do this, but often vets give a discount for both done together.
When your dog has been vaccinated, your vet should give you a small record booklet. In which he/she will record the type of vaccine given, and the date it was given. When your dog comes to kennels we will ask to see this card as proof that your dog is up to date with their vaccines, and we will photocopy it for our records. Make sure your vet remembers to update the card with every vaccination given.
If you ever lose your vaccine card, don't panic! Your vet will have all your dog's medical history saved on their computer system and will be able to check on there that they are up to date, and can give you a new card and sign it confirming the date they were vaccinated last.
I hope that this has covered the basics of what can be a confusing subject. Please ring us or your own vet if you have any other questions about vaccinations.