Just as humans get colds, so do dogs. In dogs, we usually call these "colds" or coughs "Canine Cough" or "Kennel Cough". Canine Cough or Kennel Cough are common names for tracheobronchitis, a contagious upper-respiratory condition caused by the Bordetella virus, adenovirus, or parainfluenza virus. The main symptoms that dogs get are a cough, runny nose and sometimes sneezing.
Although we require that all dogs that come to Ruff Housing are current on their Bordetella vaccinations, the vaccines do not protect against every strain of these types of infections, much like a human flu vaccine will not protect you from getting a cold. If your veterinarian states that your dog's Bordetella vaccine is valid for a 12-month period, we are fine with that. However, we recommend Bordetella vaccines every 6 months for better protection.
The symptoms of Canine Cough typically last from a few days to several weeks. Although they do not usually develop into anything more serious, if your dog does present with symptoms, we do recommend that they see a veterinarian since they can be more succeptible to secondary illnesses and antibiotics may be necessary. But, you should call your veterinarian because many do not want you to bring your dog into their office if they are showing symptoms. Puppies, older dogs and dogs with weakend immune systems may be more succeptible to all health conditions. So, if you have concerns, consult with your veterinarian before deciding if a boarding facility or group play is a good fit for your dog.
Just as an Elementary school can not prevent colds, Ruff Housing can not prevent Canine Cough. Dogs can be contagious for several days before their symptoms become present making it impossible to identify a dog that may be contagious. However, there are things that we do to minimize the frequency and the spread of it.
We use high-quality cleaning products and our cleaning processes go well beyond state requirements. Canine Cough is airborne, so even amazing cleaning will not prevent it, but it does help. We also have state-of-the-art air handling systems that, again, are well above the requirements for facilites of our kind. They have lots of fresh air exchange in the building, which helps minimize the transfer of airborne pathogens.
If a dog is showing symptoms, we have areas where they can be separated from other dogs until they can be picked up by their parents. If your dog is coughing or showing other symptoms, for the safety of your dog and others, please do not bring them to Ruff Housing until they are well again and have not shown symptoms for several days.