One of the biggest worries and frustrations for any business that takes care of pets (dogs especially) is dealing with viruses for which there are limited or no vaccines available.  Parasites and fungal infections can factor into this occasionally too. 


We have created this page to help address the viruses, parasites, etc. themselves. But also to explain what we do to try to prevent exposure and our protocols for when a viruses makes its way out to us.  Please feel free to read over the information and the links we have provided for more information.  The following information is not meant to be a diagnosis or directive for treatment, rather educational outreach. Contact your Veterinarian if you have questions or concerns about your pet's health.

Upper Respiratory Viruses

(Bordetella - kennel cough/canine cough...Coronavirus)


  • Multiple strains of viruses out there not covered by any vaccines.
  • Spread both by contact (direct & indirect) and by air.
  • 3-10 day incubation period is typical.
  • Dogs can carry a virus but not show any symptoms.
  • Not all dogs will contract (even in same household). But dogs boarded regularly can build up resistance vs. dogs that are new to boarding and have not had regular exposure to other dogs.
  • Symptoms may include cough/hack, sneezing, snot/phlegmy discharge, spitting up.  Keeping dogs quiet (crated, inside, avoid leash walks/trachea irritation) will help keep symptoms more manageable.
  • Typically, a spike in symptoms will occur then wane as the virus runs its course (much like our own colds), with most dogs handling the virus/symptoms without issue.
  • Contact your Veterinarian if symptoms become severe/debilitating, and/or your pet is having difficulty breathing, is running a fever, is lethargic, not eating, etc.  Your Vet may prescribe a suppressant to help with symptoms and possibly a short course of antibiotics to help ward off any potential secondary infection.


While there are several types of fungal infections that can affect pets. Ringworm is the one that most people thing of since it can be spread between species - including us.  


Our disinfectant is a fungicide, so our kennel spaces are taken care of.  Unless there is an obvious, hair-free lesion, we will be unable to tell if a pet has ringworm.  Dogs  and cats with ringworm are not allowed to board until cleared by a Veterinarian.


Incubation is generally 7-10 days and treatment through your Veterinarian is generally required.  Ringworm is not necessarily hardy out in the environment but can be picked up in the soil, not just from contact with other animals.


See the links above for more information.

Just like kids in a daycare or people sitting together on an airplane, the opportunity for dogs to share "germs" is better when they are congregating - be it here, at a groomer, Vet's office or dog park.  Boarding is a seasonal business, with our busiest times being summer vacation season and major holidays, so it is during these times that we're most likely to see an outbreak.


Due to the incubation period and that dogs can carry without showing symptoms, there is no way of knowing if a dog that appears normal and healthy is carrying a virus - and the owner may not know either.  For example, we can have an infected dog (unbeknownst to us) come in for just a day or two, shed the virus, and leave.  Then more dogs overlap each other continue to share the virus until enough time as passed for someone to eventually start showing symptoms.


A lot of folks assume that we know something is going around when in fact we do not.  If we haven't heard from clients or Veterinarians letting us know, it can take up to 2 weeks before we'll see a dog(s) showing symptoms while staying here.  


Links for more info:

Our handout (also on the forms page)

All pet health topics:

AVMA  American Veterinarian Medical Association

Veterinary Pet Partners

Keeping your pet on a regular preventative, getting a fecal sample check at the annual exam will help reduce your pet's likelihood of getting or carrying one of these parasites. 


We will treat a pet who comes in with fleas.


If we see worms (round or tape worms) in a dog's stool we will inform the owner.


See the links above to research more information about canine parasites.

What do WE do?

  • We use an animal/kennel specific cleaner and disinfectant for all buildings - kennels, walkways, walls, fencing, etc. - that kills viruses, diseases, and fungus.
  • During our peak boarding times we do not move dogs from one building to another.  This precaution helps potential cross-over contamination since we have no idea when someone might bring a virus out with them but we acknowledge that it's more likely to happen during these times.
  • When the weather allows we open buildings up to get fresh air to circulate.  We use UV air purifiers as well.
  • We assign our kennel helpers to certain buildings so we reduce our own potential of spreading the virus on ourselves.  Washing hands regularly, cleaning off shoes, etc help as well.
  • When we are made aware of a virus making it out to our place, we quarantine the affected building/dogs.  That means that new incoming dogs, that we presume are not carrying/exposed, are not put into those affected building(s).  Once those dogs have all left, we do extra deep sanitizing and let the building and the connected dog exercise yards sit without dogs for a time.
  • We always leave out our handouts during peak times, but still let folks know if their dog may have been exposed, may be showing signs or just a general heads-up that it's going around town and we're taking every precaution we can.  If we are seeing symptoms while here, we'll give the owner notice.  If a dog is having symptoms that are more severe or we have other health concerns then we will contact their regular Vet for direction.

Fungal Infections

Below is some info listed on handout we keep on the front desk.

What can YOU do?

  • PLEASE....let us know if you think your dog shared or picked up a virus while here.  Do not assume we are aware of a virus.  The sooner we know, the sooner we can quarantine and help stop the spread - we'd rather take a bunch of extra calls/texts then get none at all and then have more dogs inadvertently exposed.
  • If you are bringing your dog for boarding and suspect they have been exposed elsewhere and/or are showing symptoms of an upper respiratory infection, do not bring them out - look for someone who may be able to come to your home for you.  This will help decrease the spread to any facility.
  • Remember, viruses can be easily spread - you may pet someone's dog at the pet store and unknowingly bring a virus home with you on your hands/clothing.  Or you may take it from your dog to a neighbor's, etc.
  • Understand that this is an assumed risk whenever you board your dog or have your dog coming in contact with other dogs.  We take our pet care very seriously and make every effort to avoid contributing to a viruses spread.
  • If you are contacting your Vet about your dog's symptoms, they will likely not want to see your dog within the facility - they may check your dog in your car or simply prescribe medication.  Again, this helps prevent the virus from getting into their facility.  They may even ask if your dog has been to our facility and when.  We're not offended, we understand that we sometimes have the largest congregation of dogs in the area and can be a good gauge for what's happening with those viruses - keeping everyone in the loop is the quickest way to stay on top of anything going around.

Information on Viruses, Parasites and Fungal Infections

Much like the respiratory viruses, dogs congregating in one are increases the opportunity for them to share their "germs". Because dogs will shed viruses without symptoms, we have no way of knowing who may be bringing something along with them to the kennel until others start showing signs.


We exercise the dogs 3-4 times a day in shared yards.  This is great for them, they get to run off-leash, sniff and have a good time.  But, it does allow them contact with other dogs feces.  And this is another opportunity to share the unwanted things.


As with other viruses, we quarantine the dogs/buildings affected.  We increase our poop scooping, disinfect yard surfaces where we can and try to limit direct contact between dogs as much as possible.


Thankfully this is not a virus we have encountered often, but again, it is more likely to show up during the peak boarding times.  Please let us know if your pet is exhibiting signs or has been diagnosed with Coronavirus.

Upper Respiratory Viruses

Parasites

External Parasites: fleas, ticks, ear mites


Internal Parasites: round worms, tapeworms, hookworms, whipworms

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Other Internal (non-worm): giardia, coccidia

Coronavirus (Intestinal)

 Canine Coronavirus (Intestinal)

  • Coronavirus is an intestinal infection that is usually short-lived, but may cause considerable abdominal discomfort for a few days. 
  • The virus incubates for generally less than a week and is shed in feces and salive for 1-2 weeks, sometimes longer.
  • Many infections can be mild or tansient (some not showing any clinical signs at all), but occasionally more severe symptoms can occur.  Common symptoms:
    • Diarrhea
    • Vomiting
    • Lethargy and decreased appetite
  • Vaccines are available but not necessarily appropriate for all dogs, check with your veterinarian for their recommendation.
  • Contact your Veterinarian if you are concerned your dog may have contracted the virsu and is showing symptoms.  Depending on their findings, they may prescribe anti-nausea medication if vomiting, antibiotics for potential secondary infections.  The virus itself will run its course.


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