Protect Your Pet: Vaccinate Before Boarding
Boarding facilities place animals from different households in close proximity, increasing the risk of passing on infections. This makes vaccinations an essential part of preparing your pet for boarding.
Vaccinations help protect your pet by stimulating their body to produce antibodies to specific contagious and often lethal diseases. If your pet should later come in to contact with a disease they are vaccinated against the antibodies will protect them. Vaccinations may be given over a 2-3 week course and immunity may take days or weeks to develop afterwards. You should consult with the boarding facility and your vet in advance to find out the requirements and timescale involved for vaccinations.
Vaccinations for Dogs
Routine vaccinations for dogs usually protect against Parvovirus, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis and Distemper. Many dogs receive these vaccinations as puppies and then further booster vaccinations throughout their lives. Some vaccinations need annual boosters others have a three-year life. You should check with your vet when your dog's boosters are due. If your dog has not been vaccinated before, then they cannot be boarded in kennels until 7-14 days after vaccination.
Vaccines against Kennel Cough are often not part of a routine vaccination programme unless you plan to place your dog in boarding kennels. Kennel Cough can have several causes but the main culprits are Bordetella Bronchiseptica and Canine Parainfluenza. There are two vaccines available, Nobivac KC which protects against both forms and Intrac which is a nasal spray and protects against Bordetella Bronchiseptica. Dogs cannot be boarded until 3-5 days after vaccination and preferably at least two weeks. Nobivac KC provides immunity for one year and Intrac for six months.
Vaccinations for Cats
Different combinations of vaccinations are available for cats, so you will need to check with your vet what diseases your cat is protected against. Most vaccine combinations protect against Cat Flu (Feline Herpes and Feline Calicivirus) and Feline Infectious Enteritis (Feline Panleucopenia). Your cat may also be protected against Chlamydia and Feline Leukaemia Virus (FeLV), otherwise you can arrange these vaccinations separately. A vaccination is also available for Bordetella Bronchiseptica another respiratory infection. As this is a common cause of Kennel Cough in dogs, it is particularly relevant if you board your cat at a cattery that also boards dogs. All vaccinations require annual boosters and cats should not be boarded until two weeks after vaccination.
Vaccinations for Rabbits
Rabbits should be vaccinated routinely, but particularly before boarding, against Myxomatosis and two strains of Viral Haemorrhagic Disease (RVHD). In most cases rabbits are given two vaccinations, one is a combination jab that covers Myxomatosis and RVHD1 and a second vaccination to cover RVHD2 (a new strain of RVHD that has spread across the UK). The vaccinations should be given at least two weeks prior to boarding and require boosters at least annually.