If you’re planning a holiday or trip away from home and have been thinking about boarding your pet at a kennel or cattery, we suggest booking your pet's accomodation well ahead of schedule. Good kennels and catteries fill quickly throughout the year particularly during peak travel periods such as school holidays and festive periods. It is also a good idea to plan your pet's health needs in advance. Most good facilities will ask for a current vaccination certificate and for your pet's to be fully vaccinated at least two to three weeks before boarding.
Choosing a kennel or cattery
The choice you make in a kennel or cattery will come down to a number of factors, such as location, facilities, price and suitability to your pet. It’s also critical that you choose a boarding facility that requires full vaccination of their animals – this will miminise the risk of your pet getting sick during his/ her stay. A few hallmarks of a good boarding facility include:
- Requirement of full proof of vaccination prior to boarding
- On enquiry, you are asked for information about your pet – his/ her breed, temperament and daily routine
- Extra charges (i.e. for coat, diet, exercise) are explained to you upfront
Vaccinations for Dogs
The recommended minimum requirement for dogs going to kennels is the C5 vaccination. This provides immunity against distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus, parainfluenza and bordatella (which cause canine cough).
Vaccinations for Cats
The recommended minimum requirement for cats going to catteries is the F3 vaccination. This provides immunity against feline enteritis and feline respiratory syndrome (commonly called ‘cat flu’). Your vet may also advise vaccination against Chlamydophila and feline Leukaemia
Most dogs will receive a C5 vaccination as puppies, and kittens will receive an F5 vaccination. If this is the case, your pet may only need a booster vaccination. However, a full vaccination history will be useful in helping your vet assess your pet’s needs.
Once a vaccination has been administered, immunity can take days to weeks to develop. To ensure they have optimum protection, ideally your dog or cat should be fully vaccinated (including boosters if required) 2 to 4 weeks before entering a boarding kennel.
- Start researching boarding facilities now. It may take a few weeks to find the right one for your pet.
- Once you have settled on a boarding kennel or two, personally visit the facilities, meet the staff and determine if you are comfortable with the level of care provided.
- Find out the boarding facility’s vaccination requirements as early as you can.
- Vaccinate your pet(s) at least 2-3 weeks before boarding as immunity can take several weeks to develop.
- Ensure heartworm, intestinal worming and flea treatments are up to date.
- Provide the boarding facility with an outline of your pet’s medical history and current medication.
- Provide the boarding facility with your preferred veterinary clinic details.
- Enquire if they have a veterinary clinic they routinely use in the case of emergencies