We do everything within our power to make sure your pet is healthy and well cared for while he/she is staying with us. For this to happen, we need your help. For the health of ALL of our boarding or day-care guests, please make sure your pet is healthy and in good shape prior to attending our facility. Be very aware of behavior and/or symptoms your pet may be showing such as:
A cough of ANY kind (See Below)
Any eye discharge
Unexplained weight loss
Unexplained lethargy (tiredness)
By being aware of these things, you can help to prevent illnesses from entering our facility and making the overall experience of your pet’s stay with us more enjoyable. A dog that may be feeling ill can become greatly compromised when boarding.
We do allow dogs on medication and we will gladly administer your pet’s medicine while here. If your pet is on ANY medicine serious enough to affect its health and/or life, we may ask that you board at a Veterinary Boarding Facility for the safety and well-being of your pet and the on-site ability to deal with life-threatening situations.
We reserve the right to refuse boarding if a pre-existing medical condition(s) could compromise the health of your dog or if any of those health considerations haven’t been taken into account before dropping your pet off.
What you should know about Canine Cough (Kennel Cough)
+ What is Canine Cough?
Infectious trachea-bronchitis is a highly contagious, upper-respiratory disease that is spread by any one of three infectious agents (para-influenza, adenovirus, or Bordetella) or any combination thereof—most often passed on through the air, it can also be transmitted on hands or clothing. The incubation period of the disease is roughly three to ten days and an infected pet may be contagious for three weeks after showing the first signs of illness. The main symptom is a hacking cough, sometimes accompanied by sneezing and nasal discharge, which can last from a few days to several weeks. Although this coughing is very annoying, it does not usually develop into anything more serious; however, just as with a common cold, it can lower the dog’s resistance to other diseases making it susceptible to secondary infections, and so the dog must be observed closely to avoid complications. Canine cough can be an especially serious problem for puppies and geriatric dogs whose immune systems may be weaker.
“When our children get colds, we keep them at home and give them some chicken soup – that is just common sense.
If our dogs catch a cold, we have been led to think that they are carrying a dangerous and highly contagious disease.” – Dana Scott, Dogs Naturally Magazine
+ How is it cured?
Just as in the case of the common cold, trachea-bronchitis is not “cured” but must run its course; however, any animal displaying signs of the illness should be seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible. Many times antibiotics will be prescribed to prevent secondary infection, and sometimes cough suppressants will be prescribed to reduce excessive coughing, but these medications do not attack the disease itself. Home remedy treatments for canine cough without the consultation of a veterinarian are not recommended.
+ Does trachea-bronchitis occur only in pet care facilities?
No. Since these viruses can be present anywhere, and can travel for considerable distances through the air, they can affect any dog, even one that never leaves its own back yard. But trachea-bronchitis is more likely to occur when the concentration of dogs is greater such as at dog shows, kennels, dog day-cares, veterinarian offices and hospitals as well as pet shops. Dogs can also be exposed while running loose or while being walked near other dogs, or playing in the park.
+ Are the chances of catching it greater when a dog is in a boarding kennel or daycare?
Yes. Because, in any pet care facility, a dog encounters two conditions that do not usually exist at home; proximity to a number of potentially contagious dogs, and the stress and excitement of a less familiar environment, which can result in lower resistance to disease (these same factors explain why children are more likely to catch the flu at school, rather than at home). But the more frequently a dog visits a pet care facility, the greater are the chances that it will acquire immunity to the disease. Even during a widespread breakout, only a fairly small percentage of exposed dogs are affected.
+ Are these viruses a constant problem?
No. Trachea-bronchitis, like the flu, is often seasonal – mainly due to the fact that the busiest seasons for pet care facilities tend to be summertime or over holiday periods. It also tends to be epidemic. When veterinarians begin to see cases, they normally come from every pet care facility in town, as well as from individual dog owners whose dogs did not visit a facility at all. When the outbreak is over, they might not see another case for months.
+ Can my dog be vaccinated to protect him from trachea-bronchitis?
Yes! Vaccines against para-influenza and adenovirus type 2 (in combination with other vaccines) are routinely used as part of an adult dog’s yearly checkup. Puppies are usually vaccinated for these in combination with distemper, hepatitis, and parvovirus in a series of immunizations. Specific, non-routine vaccines are also available for Bordetella bronchiseptica (another cause of canine cough). Although some veterinary practices do not use this vaccination routinely, it should be considered for pets that board, visit a daycare frequently, or for those whose veterinarian recommends it. It is important to note that the vaccines that are used to prevent this viral disease are made from only one of the over 100 different strains of the virus and therefore are not as effective against some strains as others. Some strains are not included in any vaccine; therefore, there is no prevention against them. Your veterinarian is in the best position to recommend a program of preventative health care management depending on your pet’s needs. In most cases, veterinarians recommend that you obtain vaccinations for canine cough five to seven days before taking your dog to a pet care facility.
+ Can the boarding kennel or daycare prevent my dog from catching trachea-bronchitis?
While the spread of canine cough can be minimized by proper cleaning, isolating obviously sick animals, and properly ventilating the facility, remember that no amount of supervision, sanitation, or personalized care is guaranteed to be 100% effective against the illness. All that a good pet care facility can do is recommend immunization against trachea-bronchitis, refuse to admit an obviously sick dog, follow responsible cleaning and sanitation practices, listen and watch for any signs of sickness, and make sure that any dog requiring veterinary attention receives it as quickly as possible. (Strangely, the dog with para-influenza alone may not appear ill, yet is contagious) You have a right to expect a pet care facility to provide the best possible care just as that facility has a right to expect you to accept financial responsibility for such care.
“Puppy Warts” (Canine Papilloma Virus)
+ What are “Puppy Warts”?
Puppy warts are caused by a contagious virus (Canine Papilloma Virus) and are benign growths found on the lips, gums, and mouth of infected dogs. The virus is typically found in dogs less than two years of age because they have a less effective immune system, (hence the nickname “Puppy Warts”) but older dogs and dogs that have not been exposed to the virus can still catch it. They can be compared to chicken pox in humans. Generally, the warts disappear within 6 weeks and once the dog is exposed to the virus and presents with warts, the dog does not get them again.
+ What do Puppy Warts look like?
The most common appearance is inside the mouth. They look like small lumps in between the lips and the gum line (sometimes on the tongue). The lumps look like pale pink raspberries or little pieces of cauliflower heads. The number and size of the warts in the mouth can vary greatly.
+ How are Puppy Warts transmitted?
It is commonly thought that the dogs must touch noses or “swap spit” to transfer the virus, so dogs that greet each other, share toys and eat or drink out of the same food or water bowls are at a higher risk. Since the virus is thought to be contagious up to two weeks before an actual wart appears, it is virtually impossible to totally prevent exposure short of keeping your puppy or dog in complete isolation. Canine papilloma virus is species-specific and therefore cannot be transmitted from dogs to humans or cats.
+ What should I do if I think my dog has Puppy Warts?
The virus is not a serious health risk and the warts themselves are not dangerous. However, it is always a good idea to take your dog to your veterinarian anytime you notice unusual lumps or bumps. Your veterinarian can usually diagnose puppy warts by their characteristic appearance, check the warts for infection and rule out other serious conditions. Most veterinarians will not prescribe antibiotics unless the warts have been present for more than six months and there are a great number of them in the mouth. You need to decide the best course of action by talking with your veterinarian.
+ Can my dog attend Canine Kingdom if they have Puppy Warts?
The attendance policies for dogs with visible Puppy Warts vary widely among pet care facilities. Many facilities will allow dogs to continue attending since the virus has already been transmitted by the time the warts present and many dogs are already naturally immune. While we do understand this logic, due to the number of puppies and young dogs who attend Canine Kingdom, at Canine Kingdom we choose to err on the side of caution and require infected dogs to be “wart free” before returning to the Kingdom.