What vaccines do dogs need for Boarding?

what vaccines do dogs need for boarding?

A boarding facility also known as a kennel, cattery, or hotel is a place where pets can stay temporarily for a fee.

If you are a dog owner and you are thinking of going on a journey, but you don’t want to take your dog along with you. Boarding facilities might be the best option for you to consider. This is because they provide a safe and comfortable environment for your dog while you are away.

Additionally, leaving your highly energetic dog alone in your house while you are away will make him unnecessarily destructive and this is something you should avoid at all costs.

There are a lot of things expected of you before taking your dog to a boarding facility and one of these things includes vaccination.

Vaccination helps to stimulate your dog’s immune system to produce protective antibodies that will help him fight against certain diseases and illnesses which may tend to be debilitating or fatal.

Vaccinating your dog before boarding will help to ensure your dog’s safety and you will also be rest assured that your dog will remain healthy during his stay in the boarding facility.

So, what vaccines do dogs need for boarding? The answer to this query will be revealed in this article and you will also get to learn other crucial things about boarding facilities and dogs.

Without further ado, let’s proceed.

Common Vaccines Required for Boarding

A dog receiving vaccine from a qualified vet

A dog receiving vaccine from a qualified vet

Vaccination is a cost-effective and the best preventive measure you can apply to help your dog free from certain diseases such as rabies, parvovirus, Bordetella, etc.

Many dog facilities require your dog to be properly vaccinated against certain diseases. They do this to ensure safety in the facility because having one infected dog in the facility will pose threat to the remaining dogs.

Here are the vaccines required by your dog for boarding:

The vaccines required for boarding are subdivided into two groups which are the core vaccines and the non-core vaccines.

Core Vaccines

Rabies Vaccine

Your dog is expected to have an up-to-date rabies vaccination. Rabies is a viral disease that can be transmitted from an infected animal to another animal through saliva.

This disease is fatal in dogs and the cure is yet to be known. However, with vaccination, your dog’s health is insured.

Rabies is very deadly and highly contagious and even a dog owner might get infected if care is not taken.

The rabies vaccine works by stimulating a dog’s immune system to produce protective antibodies against the rabies virus.

The vaccine contains a small, harmless piece of the rabies virus that the dog’s immune system can recognize and respond to, without causing illness.

When the dog is exposed to the real virus, the immune system recognizes it and produces antibodies to fight it off, preventing the dog from getting sick.

Rabies vaccine can be given subcutaneously (under the skin) or intramuscularly (into the muscle), the first vaccine is given to puppies between the age of 12 and 16 weeks, while an annual booster is required for efficiency.

The DAPP (DHPP) Vaccine

The DAPP (DHPP) vaccine is a combination vaccine that is given to dogs to protect them against four common infectious diseases: canine distemper virus (D), adenovirus-2 (A2), parvovirus (P), and parainfluenza virus (P).

This vaccine contains modified live or inactivated viruses that help to stimulate the dog’s immune system to produce protective antibodies against these diseases.

The vaccine is typically given as an injection, with the first dose usually given to puppies between 6 and 8 weeks of age, and subsequent booster shots given every 3-4 weeks until the puppy is 16-20 weeks old.

After the initial series of vaccinations, adult dogs typically receive a booster shot every 1-3 years, depending on local laws and regulations.

Non – Core Vaccines

Bordetella Vaccine

The Bordetella vaccine is a vaccine that is given to dogs to protect them against Bordetella bronchiseptica, a bacterium that can cause kennel cough, a highly contagious respiratory disease in dogs.

This vaccine can be given to dogs in three ways which are intranasal (inside the nose), intravenously (into the vein), and orally (directly into the mouth).

The Bordetella disease is highly contagious and it will easily spread in a place where dogs are in closer proximity to one another e.g. kennel or boarding facility. This is why all boarding facilities require this vaccine for all dogs that want their service.

You should also note that the Bordetella vaccine does not protect dogs against all strains of kennel cough, and dogs that are vaccinated can still contract the disease. However, the vaccine can help to reduce the severity of symptoms and may make the illness less contagious.

Canine Influenza vaccine

Canine influenza also known as dog flu diseases is a viral disease that affects dogs’ respiratory system, it is also highly contagious and can spread rapidly. Some of its symptoms include cough, fever, lethargy, sneezing, nasal discharge, and loss of appetite.

The canine influenza vaccine is the vaccine that is given to dogs to protect them against canine influenza, a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by two different strains of the influenza virus (H3N8 and H3N2).

The vaccine is usually given as an injection, and the initial series of two doses are typically given 2-4 weeks apart. After the initial series, booster shots are usually given annually.

You should also note that vaccinated dogs can still be infected by the canine influenza virus. However, non-vaccinated dogs are more prone to this disease.

Vaccination Requirements for Boarding Facilities

Dogs in boarding facility

The vaccination requirement required by boarding facilities varies and it also depends on so many factors.

However, from my research, the general vaccine that all boarding facilities usually require their dogs to have includes the Rabies vaccine, DAPP vaccine, Canine Influenza vaccine, and Bordetella vaccine. Some facilities may add additional requirements.

Reasons why boarding facilities require certain vaccines.

The reason why boarding facilities require proof of these vaccines is to ensure the safety of all dogs under their care.

Most of these diseases are highly contagious and they will spread easily in places where dogs are in closer proximity to one another.

Having all the dogs vaccinated will help eradicate the risk of diseases outbreak in the kennel and this will also help ensure the health of your canine.

How to find out a specific facility’s vaccination requirements

It is advisable to make inquiries about the facility’s vaccination requirements before taking your dog there, this will help to eliminate any uncertainty and you will also get to receive useful information directly from the boarding facility.

There are various ways you can find out a specific facility’s vaccination requirements, you can usually check their website or call and ask them directly.

Here are some steps you can take:

  • Check their website: Many boarding facilities will have information about their vaccination requirements on their website. Look for a section on their services or frequently asked questions that might mention this information.
  • Call or email the facility: If you can’t find the information you need on their website, reach out to the facility directly. Call or email them and ask about their vaccination requirements. They should be able to give you a clear answer and provide any additional information you need.

Doing these two things should help you obtain clear and concise answers about the facility’s vaccination requirements.

When to Vaccinate Your Dog for Boarding

It’s important to make sure your dog is up-to-date on all required vaccinations before boarding them. Your dog is expected to be vaccinated a week or two weeks before checking in at the boarding facility.

You are also expected to come along with the document of vaccination as proof that your dog has been truly vaccinated.

Other Considerations for Boarding

Dogs in boarding facility

When you’re considering boarding your pet, it’s important to keep in mind several factors beyond vaccination.

Here are some things you should consider:

  • Temperament: Some pets may not do well in a boarding environment, particularly if they have separation anxiety or are not used to being away from home. It’s important to consider your pet’s personality and behavior before deciding to board them.
  • Medical Needs: If your pet has any medical conditions or requires special care, be sure to inform the boarding facility ahead of time so that they can provide appropriate care.
  • Diet and Medication: If your pet is on a special diet or requires medication, make sure the boarding facility can accommodate their needs. Provide clear instructions and any necessary supplies to ensure that your pet’s dietary and medication needs are met.
  • Exercise and Socialization: Pets need exercise and socialization to stay healthy and happy. Make sure the boarding facility provides opportunities for your pet to get exercise and interact with other animals.
  • Cleanliness and Safety: Check the boarding facility for cleanliness and safety measures, such as clean kennels, secure fencing, and fire safety equipment.
  • Communication: Make sure to communicate any special instructions or concerns to the boarding facility staff before dropping off your pet. Check-in with them periodically during your pet’s stay to make sure everything is going well.


A boarding facility is a place where your dog can stay for some time while you are away. Before taking your dog to a boarding facility, you are expected to have vaccinated the dog against certain diseases such as rabies, canine distemper virus, adenovirus-2, parvovirus, parainfluenza virus, Bordetella, and canine influenza virus.

All these vaccines are expected to be given to your dog at least one or two weeks before checking in at the boarding facility.

You should also look beyond vaccination and take some other things such as your dog’s temperament, medical needs, special diet requirement, etc. into consideration. Communicate with the boarding facility workers and let them know about these three things.

You should also ensure the boarding facility is well–equipped, fenced, and secure for your dog. You may also ask for their license to show they are truly approved by law.

Before you go, you can also read: Pros and Cons of Rattlesnake vaccine for dogs


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