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[rant] So I'm hoping to get some help on an issue I'm having. We are leaving for vacation in one week, and I need to board my dogs this time as the family we usually leave them with is out of the country. They have never boarded before. SO a little over a week ago, I boarded them for an overnight stay to get them used to the idea before leaving them for a week at a scary new place...I thought I was doing the right thing to reduce the stress of boarding.. The owner of the boarding place was honest and upfront with me about their risks of catching kennel cough. Yes, they were vaccinated for Bordetella... But that only covers that one strain of Kennel cough. The owner had mentioned that while no dogs at his facility were presenting symptoms my dogs were still at risk. Basically since they're never been boarded before, and since they have not come from the pound they are at a higher risk of contracting it if exposed... Basically if exposed, he told me they will get it. I was under the impression it probably wouldn't happen unless an asymptomatic dog came and exposed them. Well Lo and Behold, exactly 8 days before we leave for our vacation one of my dogs has started coughing. He's going to the vet today of course. The other one hasn't presented symptoms, but is on antibiotics due to some poo problems she's having.

But I'm really torn on what I should do here. I don't want to lose my non refundable plane tickets and cancel our vacation because our dog has a cold! At the same time, I guess boarding him (even though he got it from them) is no longer an option. I have not called the boarding facility yet to inform them of our dogs getting it. But I'm going to assume they probably wont accept them anymore. I read that they can be symptomatic for up to 3 weeks and contagious for up to 14 WEEKS after symptoms go away! If I get him on antibiotics does anyone know if they're still contagious during treatment? (These are questions I'm sure to ask the vet too). Has anyone had this happen and can offer some advice on what I should do? Should that boarding facility compensate me for costs incurred in either finding new arrangements or cancelling our non-refundable flights to stay home? Or, since this is such a common thing to happen, are they not liable? Do I need to inform my neighbors their dogs could get it? I don't have very good options for other arrangements. All potential family in town has dogs. One of which was my parents dog. I think we unwittingly exposed her to kennel cough over the weekend. If at their house they would be left alone for 12 hours a day while my parents work. But that's like asking "Hey my kid has chicken pox. Will you watch him and get your kids sick too so we can go out?"
The other is making my teenage brother with no transportation of his own live at my house for a week. Or have my somewhat unreliable friends house sit and hope everything is OK. They won't steal, they just fall through with plans at the last minute for dumb reasons. I'm in Wyoming. The whole state is basically a small town, lol. So I'm not sure how reliable those online pet sitters like Rover would be. Asking a stranger to house sit is like lighting a beacon that says "Rob my house please!" Does anyone know reputable companies I could look into to see if they're available in my area? Does anyone have any outside the box ideas I might look into? Quarantine boarding at the vet maybe? If that's even a thing?


I know kennel cough isn't a serious condition unless they're very young, very old, or immunocompromised. But if I would have realized that they were guaranteed to contract it, I wouldn't have test boarded them. I would have just dumped them at the place for a week, and dealt with the kennel cough when we got back. Instead I tried to reduce the stress my poor fur babies would endure with boarding, and have created a worse problem then my dogs believing I left them forever at the boarding kennel. I realize that sounds terrible but "Sorry we can't come. Our dog has a cold & we have to stay home" is probably one of the worst excuses to miss something I've ever heard too. [/Rant]
 

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If the kennel cough is viral, antibiotics will do little to help. And you're right, it wouldn't be right to board a sick dog at a kennel facility. As long as he stays away from your neighbor dogs, they shouldn't catch it, just inform them not to let their dogs near your dog.

Personally, I would have a family member (like your teenage brother) watch your dogs. That's probably your best bet. And considering that the kennel facility told you your dogs could contract kennel cough (in fact, were very likely to contract kennel cough), I highly doubt they will offer you any compensation. Disease is a risk you accept when you take your dogs to places highly trafficked by other dogs.
 

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Lillith thanks for reading my rant and replying so swiftly.

It's looking like my brother house sitting is going to be the way we go. It would even save me some money as I can leave the cat at home too, lol. What's the going rate for teenage house sitting these days?? ;)

As for the neighbor dog? We have a privacy fence that they sniff at each other through, but they can't get together and play. Since it's airborne it concerns me their dog could possibly be at risk. I would feel kind of bad to be getting everyone's dog sick!

I honestly didn't think they could be held liable since they've been so honest and upfront about the kennel cough. I was more so ranting then anything, I guess. I do wonder, Is this a common thing thing that happens this time of year? Would I be better off going to another boarding place next time? Or is it just the luck of the draw that my dog got sick? This boarding place also takes in strays during off hours when the pound can't, does foster programs for people who cant care for their pets, and takes in pets who's owners have died, and many other things. They do such a wonderful service for our pet community that I want to support them actually. But It makes me a little wary to take my dogs back if they'll get sick every time they go.

I've never had a dog get this so I have lots of questions about it.
If it sheds as long as they say it does (14 weeks) does that mean our doggies are home bound until October? Or just use common sense and keep them away from areas frequented by other dogs, and no play dates with other dogs until then? If it's truly like a cold, do they pass it back and fourth like little kids do? My dad's dog is already exposed (last weekend) and is the most likely dog they will be in contact with on a frequent basis. I don't want our summer plans to come to a screeching halt (they involve our dogs being together a lot). But, I also don't want them to keep passing it back and forth with each other. I'm probably stressing about this way more than I should, lol.
 

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I'd ask everyone you know, and if you can't find anyone, look into Rover... look for someone with references.

I've boarded my dogs before and they have never caught kennel cough, to be fair. Just really bad luck :( But no, you won't get any kind of compensation from the kennel facility because they did warn you.
 

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Sorry this happened to you and your dogs! How inconvenient.

I think you're on the right track having your brother house sit. How old is he? Like newly a teenager or about to be 20 (that can make a difference, money wise).

I house/pet sat for my aunt when I was 18 (about 4 years ago) for 2 weeks. I got $200 in total for the two weeks, and she left me snacks, frozen dinners, and some gift cards to places in town that deliver (pizza, chinese, etc). I felt like it was a sweet deal since I got the house to myself and free food for the week, and since boarding around here is at least $35/night for a dog (and she had 2 dogs, a rabbit, and a parrot) she got a good deal out of it too. I just had to feed them and clean cages a couple times a week, let the dogs out, etc. I also had to send her daily pictures/updates on everyone.

I was making about $200 a week at my part time job then, for comparison.

If you go the brother route, make sure you give him instructions for what to do in an emergency (vet phone number, address, alternate/emergency vet) and potentially leave your card number with the vet in case of emergency.
 

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Thanks! Sydney. It will probably end up being both my brothers (twins). They're 17 with Mom and Dad for transport. I like the delivery gift cards idea. I was thinking about 100-150 each for the week. It's about 100 bucks less then what I would have been spending to board them. Provided they actually want to come to my house watch Netflix, and play with dogs for a whole week. :) I will likely make out an in case of emergency thing for my parents and for them both.

Franc- I will look into Rover. I'm hoping the brother thing will work out though. Thank you!
 

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Lillith thanks for reading my rant and replying so swiftly.

It's looking like my brother house sitting is going to be the way we go. It would even save me some money as I can leave the cat at home too, lol. What's the going rate for teenage house sitting these days?? ;)

As for the neighbor dog? We have a privacy fence that they sniff at each other through, but they can't get together and play. Since it's airborne it concerns me their dog could possibly be at risk. I would feel kind of bad to be getting everyone's dog sick!

I honestly didn't think they could be held liable since they've been so honest and upfront about the kennel cough. I was more so ranting then anything, I guess. I do wonder, Is this a common thing thing that happens this time of year? Would I be better off going to another boarding place next time? Or is it just the luck of the draw that my dog got sick? This boarding place also takes in strays during off hours when the pound can't, does foster programs for people who cant care for their pets, and takes in pets who's owners have died, and many other things. They do such a wonderful service for our pet community that I want to support them actually. But It makes me a little wary to take my dogs back if they'll get sick every time they go.

I've never had a dog get this so I have lots of questions about it.
If it sheds as long as they say it does (14 weeks) does that mean our doggies are home bound until October? Or just use common sense and keep them away from areas frequented by other dogs, and no play dates with other dogs until then? If it's truly like a cold, do they pass it back and fourth like little kids do? My dad's dog is already exposed (last weekend) and is the most likely dog they will be in contact with on a frequent basis. I don't want our summer plans to come to a screeching halt (they involve our dogs being together a lot). But, I also don't want them to keep passing it back and forth with each other. I'm probably stressing about this way more than I should, lol.
14 weeks sounds excessive. Talk to your vet about it. I always thought that it was as long as symptoms were showing, but I could be wrong. My dog had it once when he was young, and he's never had it again after a week of coughing. We go to dog classes weekly, and we do trials, and he's boarded in a large kennel facility at least 2-3 times a year. The neighbor dog he played with got it too, unfortunately, and they never passed it back and forth after about a week of recuperation. If it's a virus, their bodies develop an immunity to it.

It really, really is the luck of the draw. Even sparkly clean kennel facilities might have an outbreak of kennel cough. One infected dog can really spread it quickly!
 

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14 weeks sounds excessive. Talk to your vet about it. I always thought that it was as long as symptoms were showing, but I could be wrong. My dog had it once when he was young, and he's never had it again after a week of coughing. We go to dog classes weekly, and we do trials, and he's boarded in a large kennel facility at least 2-3 times a year. The neighbor dog he played with got it too, unfortunately, and they never passed it back and forth after about a week of recuperation. If it's a virus, their bodies develop an immunity to it.

It really, really is the luck of the draw. Even sparkly clean kennel facilities might have an outbreak of kennel cough. One infected dog can really spread it quickly!
I thought 14 weeks was excessive too! That's just what I looked up online... Could be why some places have such a hard time eradicating it. Still though, that has to be an exception. Not the rule... I hope. And man did I draw the short straw on this draw! The only other thing I could think of is while at the lake over the weekend, we forgot their harnesses at home and there was some leash pulling. But the symptoms and timing are way more indicative of kennel cough then trachea damage. The vet will tell though I'm sure. Thanks for the support and advice!
 

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17 year old brothers, if reasonably responsible, are a great option and better than boarding really. You could also consider a combination of the brothers and a walker hired from Rover a couple times if the brothers are fine with potty breaks and feeding but not interested in a few long walks. Your house would be occupied so the security risk would be low.

Imo, for paying them, I would figure total cost betwern cash to them and feeding them to equal boarding. Like, stock freezer with pizzas and burritos and halfway healthy frozen dinners and then maybe $20-25 per day in cash.

Kennel cough is really just a random thing. Some dogs seem to have better immune systems than others just like humans. Most of the time, antibiotics are just a precaution to prevent pneumonia so no effect on contagiousness of the original virus.

I have been told 3 weeks or so after stop of symptoms to be around other dogs. I fostered a dog with KC once and my own did not get it so its just hit or miss.

Like human kids, steam can help the pup breathe better so I found it helpful to bring the dog into the bathroom (room, not bath itself) while I showered.

I agree no liability or fault by boarding facility. Honestly, I almost just expect boarded dogs to get KC more often than not.
 

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3 weeks sounds so much more reasonable then 14! And yes this will save me money and be better for the pets anyway. I am paying him 200 bucks and stocking the house with teenage boy food, lol. It's just still annoying that they got kennel cough with only being there ONE day. Oh well. I'm just glad it worked out and my brother was able to help me out.
 
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