Kennels are a godsend for pet owners who work long hours but want their pet to socialise or for those who don’t want to leave their pets alone while on holiday. However, before you take your to the Kennel, a little research is necessary. To keep pets within the Kennel healthy and safe, the Kennel needs to impose strict rules regarding the pets allowed into their premises. One of the most important rules is that your dog’s vaccines must be up to date.

Reputable Kennels will always ask for a Vet Vaccine Card.

This card consists of three stricker that prove your dog is vaccinated by a certified vet and is safe to be placed within the kennel. Kennel Cough is one of these vaccines but it is not required by the Pet Passport nor is it part of the yearly booster vaccines, so you must ask your vet about this vaccine. These vaccinations are not only for your dog’s safety, but to ensure the welfare of the other dogs and pets. The Kennel reserves the right to refuse unvaccinated dogs or those that have been recently vaccinated. Kennels usually require at least 14 days between vaccination and the day of boarding.

Kennel Cough

Kennel Cough, caused by the Bordetella Bronchiseptica bacteria, is an airborne virus much like Whooping Cough or tracheobronchitis, an illness that often shows itself through hacking coughs, foamy phlegm and a lack of energy. It can take up to 10 days to appear and during this time, your dog will be highly contagious to other animals. Even dogs who may not actually fall sick can spread this virus to other dogs. It's spread via coughing and sneezing, much like the cold so interaction with other dogs will spread it, hence the reason Kennels are very particular that their borders have this vaccine. 

The Kennel Cough vaccine helps build up immunity and though it cannot cover all strains, it does lower the risk of Kennel Cough becoming a pandemic. Much like human vaccines.

If your dog presents symptoms of Kennel Cough, take them to the vet. Kennel Cough may need antibiotics depending on how serious it is. For young puppies and elderly dogs, Kennel Cough can be quite dangerous as the infection often weakens your dog’s respiratory tract against other pathogens. So seek help immediately and keep your infected dogs away from others.

The Kennel Cough Vaccine is a live vaccine that is sprayed up the nose of the dog. The vaccine works as a preventative measure to help protect your dog from the bacteria that can cause Kennel Cough. It is absolutely not a cure for Kennel Cough, nor is it beneficial for a dog who has Kennel Cough. As this is an annual vaccination, it must be repeated every year, so always take note of the date so you can reschedule for the following year. This helps keep your pet’s immune system up and lowers the risk of infection.

For those in Northern Ireland, I have been assured by RVN Mairead Boyce from the St. Elmo’s Veterinary Clinic that the procedure for the vaccination is much the same. One intranasal vaccination to be given annually. Vaccination can begin as young as 8 weeks and works to protect the dog against the Bordetella Bronchiseptica bacteria.

As the Kennel Cough vaccine is not required for the Pet Passport, it is not actively administered to your dog but most it’s an incredibly important vaccine. Not just to install your pet in a kennel, but to keep your dog and those pets around you as healthy as they can be. Contact your nearest vet for information today.

In the case of Kennel Cough, prevention is key.