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Kenneling Your Pet During the Holidays

The holidays are a hectic time of year for pets and their owners alike.  Over the holiday season, hundreds of dogs and cats will be taking long car rides, flying on planes, and spending time in kennels while their owners celebrate with friends and family.

If you’re going to be travelling with your pet, or placing them in the capable hands of kennel staff, there are some important things you need to consider:


In order to stay at a kennel, your pet’s vaccinations must be up to date (This means their yearly vaccinations, as well as their Rabies vaccinations, usually administered every three years in adult animals.)  Some kennels also require dogs to have a kennel cough vaccination done.  Kennel cough, or Bordetella, is a respiratory disease easily spread between dogs in large groups, and while not usually serious, can cause your dog a lot of discomfort.  The Bordetella vaccine, much like the human flu shot, doesn’t protect against all strains of the disease, but it does protect against some of the most common ones, using an easy-to-administer nasal spray.

Be sure to ask the staff at your kennel which vaccinations your pet requires for their stay, and if you’re unsure which ones they have had, a quick phone call to the clinic is all you need to find out.

If your pet needs their vaccinations updated before their kennel visit, be sure to book well ahead of time!  They will need two weeks before the vaccinations are considered fully effective.

If you’re travelling with your pet, particularly to the United States, you have to be sure they have their Rabies vaccination up to date, and that you have a Rabies Certificate, signed by your Veterinarian, to present at the border.  If you’ve misplaced your certificate and need a new one for travel, the clinic can provide you one at no charge.  Without a Rabies Certificate, your pet won’t be allowed to cross the border; it’s the equivalent of their passport.

Pest Control

No one likes unwelcome guests, and the last thing you want your pet to bring home from the kennel are fleas.  Luckily, flea prevention is a simple step you can take to make sure everyone has a happy holiday.  Gardiner Park Animal Hospital can provide topical preparations for cats – just a few drops applied to the skin on your cat’s back will prevent fleas and other external pests for a month.  For dogs, a similar topical solution can be used, or they can be given one of two different oral chewable tablets: one that is effective for one month, or another, effective for twelve weeks.

While most kennels work hard to prevent pests from entering their facilities, and screen their guests as best they can, it’s better to be safe than sorry!  The staff at Gardiner Park Animal Hospital would be happy to discuss what kind of prevention is right for you and your pet, and this medication can be quickly prescribed.


As always, no matter what you and your pet are doing this season, have a safe and happy holiday!