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Vaccine and Health Policy

At Dogtown, the health and safety of all pets in our care is our top priority. We believe in striking a balance between ensuring the well-being of the pets in our center and avoiding the negative health effects of pet over-vaccination and lack of early socialization of puppies.


As a daycare center for pets, we comply with all local and state laws regarding pet vaccinations. However, beyond these legal requirements, we have our own policies that we have developed after extensive research and consultation with veterinarians and other pet businesses.


Our policy requires that all dogs and cats entering our center must be up to date on vaccinations. Any pet that is not up-to-date on vaccines is not allowed beyond the lobby. Permitting an unvaccinated animal on the premises introduces a high risk of disease and puts Dogtown in a situation that could have very negative consequences.


Vaccine Requirements   

Distemper Parvo | DHPP | DHLPP

Dogs Only        

Protects against:

  • Distemper

  • Hepatitis

  • Parvovirus

  • Parainfluenza

  • Leptospirosis


  • Yearly or every three years, depending on the vaccine.



Dogs Only

Protects against:

  • Canine Cough


  • Every six months.



Both Cats and Dogs

Protects against:

  • Rabies


  • Yearly or every three years, depending on the vaccine.



Cats Only

Protects against:

  • Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis

  • Calicivirus

  • Panleukopenia


  • Yearly or every three years, depending on the vaccine.


Canine Flu Vaccines:

Although we do not require, we highly recommend the canine flu vaccines for all dogs in our care. Canine influenza, also known as the dog flu, is a highly contagious respiratory infection that can cause severe illness in dogs. This virus can spread rapidly in areas where dogs congregate, such as dog parks, daycare centers, and boarding facilities. Symptoms of the canine flu include coughing, sneezing, fever, and lethargy, which can last for several weeks. By getting your dog vaccinated against the canine flu, you can significantly reduce the risk of your dog contracting this illness and spreading it to other dogs. Therefore, we strongly encourage all dog owners to speak with their veterinarians about the benefits of the canine flu vaccine and ensure that their dogs are protected.


Waiting Period

We recommend that vaccinations be given at least one to two weeks prior to lodging, as it takes time for the antibodies to give the pet full protection against contagious diseases.


Acceptance of Titers

We understand that some pets may not be able to receive certain vaccines due to health concerns or other reasons. In these cases, we will require a letter from a licensed veterinarian explaining the reasons why a vaccine is not recommended for an individual pet.


Independent Research Encouraged

We encourage all pet owners to do their own research and consult with their veterinarians to make informed decisions about their pets' vaccinations. We will continue to monitor the latest research and industry developments to ensure that our vaccine policy is up-to-date and in the best interest of the pets in our care.


Vaccine Requirements for Puppies Under 6 Months of Age:

For puppies under 6 months of age, we require that they have received their third round of Distemper/Parvo shots (usually at 10-12 weeks) and be able to provide records for them. Puppies are generally not considered fully vaccinated until around four months old. They normally receive a series of DHLPP shots at intervals, usually three to four sets of shots, with the last shot generally occurring around 16 weeks of age. We also require that the Bordetella vaccine be given at least two weeks prior to coming to our facility to ensure that the vaccine is effective. Rabies vaccine should be administered by 5 months of age.


Health of Pets

Every pet entering our center must be healthy. A Pre-entry Exam will be performed on all pets after entering the facility, and Dogtown staff will pay close attention to all pets the minute they walk through the door in order to be able to recognize contagious illness. Things we look out for include:

  • Coughing

  • Runny nose, particularly with a yellowish discharge

  • Runny, red, or watery eyes

  • Ear infections (dirty ears or pawing at the ears)

  • Recent reports of:

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhea

  • Worms

  • Obvious skin conditions

  • Lethargy (tiredness)


Any pet that enters the facility looking sick or does not pass the Pre-Entry Exam will be examined by the Supervisor and not allowed beyond the lobby. If the pet really is sick, the faster they get out of the lobby, the better, as many illnesses are airborne and can be passed on to the next pet entering the facility.