At Puppy Love Pet Care Centre, we’ve witnessed this all too often: first-time pet owners comparing themselves to new parents. As pet owners ourselves we know it’s because owners of puppies and kittens are adjusting to a new way of life that includes learning feeding schedules, cleaning up after spills and accidents, and only getting a few hours of sleep a night for the first little while.
One of the things that new parents (of children, anyway) have to find out fast is the minimum age requirements for their child’s future day care. For households with two working parents, this essential information dictates a lot of their decisions moving forward.
It may surprise you to learn that pet day cares have similar rules in effect! To qualify for pet boarding, your cats and dogs must fall within minimum and maximum age requirements to ensure they not only get the best care possible, but are kept safe from larger, stronger animals on the playground.
Thinking about boarding your cat or dog for the first time? Here are some pet boarding age requirement guidelines to keep in mind:
Minimum Age Requirements for Dogs
For all breeds of dogs, most dog kennels require the animal to be at least 12 to 17 weeks (4 months) old. The reason for this is because all certified kennels require incoming puppies to have had their first round of adult shots at 12 weeks, followed by the second round at about 16 weeks.
Check out our guide to vaccinations, Why It’s Important to Vaccinate Your Pet and Pet MD’s Vaccines and Your Puppy for more information regarding all of the shots kennel operators require.
This minimum is purely for your puppy’s own protection. Despite the best efforts of kennel operators, a young puppy is at higher risk of being exposed to air-borne viruses and also has a tougher time fighting them off.
At Puppy Love Pet Care Centre, we do not place minimum age requirements on your furry friends—as long as s/he is up to date with their shots, they are welcome at our facility. If your puppy hasn’t had all its shots yet, and you must find a kennel for him, we suggest contacting your veterinarian’s office to see if they can board your animal for you in a pinch.
Maximum Allowable Age for Dogs
Like humans, all animals age differently, and many do not act their age! For that reason it’s difficult for kennel operators to put a maximum age restriction on the dogs they will accept. Many don’t have age restrictions at all, while some place the maximum age at 14 or 15 years old. This is more common for kennels who don’t have private shelters for each animal. In a group play environment, young dogs can just be too overwhelming for an elderly dog.
Boarding older dogs has also been known to cause problems with the animal’s overall health, which mostly comes down to elevated stress levels. Older animals get set in their ways and used to their routines, so much so that any disturbances in their routines can be a lot for them to handle, putting avoidable stress on them. That is why a lot of kennels don’t recommend boarding for geriatric animals. At Puppy Love, we accept geriatric dogs on a case by case basis, depending on your animal’s overall health and vigor. Please call us to arrange a meeting well in advance of any lengthy trips you have planned to ensure the best assessment.
Special Kennel Considerations for Older Dogs:
If you are needing to find a place for your aging pet to stay for a few days, make sure you do your homework and find a kennel that is built to provide your aging pet some specialized care. This may include providing:
- A separate area for the animal at all times
- Extra bedding
- Staff who are available to provide special diets
- Soothing music
- Cuddle time
- On-call or on-site veterinarians to diagnose unusual symptoms
For even more tips on finding a suitable kennel in general, please read our blog post, Choosing the Right Boarding Kennel for Your Pet.
Minimum Age Requirements for Cats
The minimum age requirement for cats at most kennels is the same as it is for dogs. They require cats to be at least 12 to 17 weeks (4 months) old. Again, this age reflects the age the cats generally are once they have received all of their necessary shots. Refer to Pet MD’s Kitten Vaccination Schedule for some helpful advice on this.
Maximum Allowable Age for Cats
Many kennels will take in senior cats if they appear to be in good health and a veterinarian can back that up with recent paperwork. Some kennels require cats that are 10 years of age and older to have had recent blood work done to show they don’t have underlying health concerns before boarding begins.
In some cases, a veterinarian may be asked to review the animal’s health and give it the green light for boarding. The key here is to never just assume your animal is good to go. Always call ahead if it’s your first time at a facility to make sure age restrictions are not going to interfere with your plans to board.
If you have any questions for the Puppy Love Pet Care Centre regarding your pet’s suitability for boarding, please give us a call. We are opened from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week and are located at 2918 Lamont Road in Victoria, British Columbia.
Are you planning a special vacation this Labour Day weekend? On long weekends, Puppy Love tends to fill up fast! We recommend booking your animals in as early as possible.
Thank you, and we hope you are having a great summer holiday!
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