Vaccinations help protect your dog from various bacterial and viral infections. Core vaccinations begin when a puppy is 6 to 8 weeks of age; regular boosters are given annually or triennially depending on the vaccination. When you're placing your dog in a kennel, these core vaccinations are mandatory, as are some non-core vaccinations.
Core vaccinations include those that ward off canine parvovirus, distemper virus, adenovirus-2 and rabies. Such vaccines are administered beginning at age 6 to 8 weeks; additional vaccines are administered at three- to four-week intervals, until the puppy is 16 weeks of age. A booster is generally given when a dog is 1 year old; some followup boosters are required each year, others every three years. Proof of current core vaccines is necessary for boarding your dog in a kennel.
Non-core vaccinations include those for parainfluenza virus, Bordetella bronchiseptica, canine influenza virus and canine Leptospira. Parainfluenza and Bordetella bronchiseptica are two agents responsible for kennel cough. Most kennels require vaccination for these ailments before boarding. The other vaccines may be required in areas where infectious cases are prevalent.
When to Vaccinate
If your dog is not up to date on vaccinations or requires a non-core vaccination before staying in a kennel, visit your veterinarian two to four weeks before scheduled boarding to ensure adequate protection from the vaccines.