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How Old Must My Puppy Be Before Boarding For the First Time?

Life happens even when you have a new puppy and you might need to board them. Before you can drop off a pup at any age to a boarding facility, be prepared with the proper vaccinations.

Age, vaccinations, and your vet’s suggestions all play a role in determining when your puppy could be ready for an overnight adventure at your favorite pet facility. As you get ready for this big step for your new furry family member, there are a few things to know and help you prepare your dog for this experience. 

Plan ahead

Pet care facilities will welcome your puppy once they have the right immunizations so they can be safely boarded. That said, age can be a factor and it’s wise to ask ahead. Facilities can differ, but most commonly the industry standard for boarding your puppy is from 14 to 16 weeks, which is around four months. This is based on the scheduling of vaccine shots, as most puppies will receive their vaccines every two to four weeks until they are about 14-16 weeks old.

A puppy’s immune system is not yet fully developed, so they do have a higher risk of picking up spreadable illnesses, especially when around other animals. Although some kennels will take a pooch after the first round of shots, the more rounds of shots they’ve had, the better in protection for them and peace of mind for you.

Schedule puppy’s vaccinations

Remember, there is not one strict schedule to follow for all puppy vaccinations. Because every dog is different and there are always varying circumstances, you should discuss your pet’s vaccination and boarding schedule with your vet. 

This is just a sample schedule for shots. You should always check with your vet and preferred boarding location before making plans to board your puppy since their vaccination requirements can be different. Here is a guideline in the form of a generic vaccination schedule for a new puppy from the American Kennel Club.

Keep the paperwork

Another thing to know is that your doggie’s boarding home will most likely want to see proof of the vaccinations your dog has received. The majority of these pet facilities that take animals for a day or for overnight stays will ask to see the paperwork from your vet with the most up to date vaccinations. Most commonly, the shots they are looking for are Bordetella, Rabies, and DHPP. 

It’s not just about the age but making sure a dog is fully protected from possible illnesses. Speak to your vet about your puppy’s health and do your research when choosing a boarding facility. You want to find a place that meets all your standards to keep your pup safe and to decide if they are ready to stay and a pet boarding facility. By waiting until your puppy is the right age and has received all required shots, you are protecting your fur baby against possible illness that could really hurt your pup and your wallet!

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  • mark September 11, 2020

    I don’t agree with your vaccine discussion. I understand that the vaccine protocols you provided are from the AKC and that there is still discussion on core vs. non-core vaccines; but dogs are at risk for CIRD-Complex (Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease) any area where dogs socialize or are exposed to other dogs. CIRD-Complex, as the host of canine upper respiratory infections are often referred, can be transmitted almost anywhere, and may not even require dogs to socialize to be transmitted. For example, a dog can cough or sneeze on a wall in an elevator and get off the elevator, another dog can then enter an empty elevator, sniff/inhale the residue of the cough/sneeze from the wall and contract CIRD. As dogs have joined us in more and more aspects of everyday life, have the opportunity to socialize with other dogs (whether at a pet care facility or not), the “lifestyle” distinction between vaccines is simply not as relevant as it once was and steps should be taken to prevent the spread of CIRD just as steps should be taken to limit the spread of human respiratory infections. That a mitigation measure is not 100% effective, as is the case with both Bordetella and CIV vaccines, does not mean that these mitigation steps should not be taken.