Vaccination & Spay/Neuter Policies
We require all dogs to be current on the following vaccines:
Bordetella (recommended every 6 months) (required yearly)
Canine influenza (recommended but NOT required!)
LECA requires all dogs over 12 months old to be spayed or neutered. Dogs that exhibit any of the following behaviors, regardless of age, WILL NOT be allowed to participate in group play:
Display of dominant behaviors (mounting, neck biting, etc.)
Inspiring dominant behaviors from other dogs due to their intact status
Creating an unsafe play environment
Common Questions about our policy:
Q: How often does my dog have to get vaccines?
A: We look to your veterinarian to determine the frequency of boosters and vaccine due dates. Due dates can vary based on many factors, all of which your veterinarian can discuss with you based on your dog’s age and health. Generally, vaccines are good from six months to one year to three years.
Q: What if I don’t want to vaccinate my dog?
A: We will accept titers (a blood test confirming acceptable antibody levels in your dog’s system) as a substitute for vaccines if you decide you’d prefer not to vaccinate. However, if you don’t have a titer proving your dog is protected against the major communicable dog diseases, we can’t allow your dog to play in our pack because it may pose a health risk to our other guests.
Q: Will you tell me when a vaccine is due?
A: Yes. We keep records in our system of your dog’s vaccine due dates and will inform you if there is a vaccine that is due, we try to give you as much notice as possible!
Q: Do I need to bring my vaccine records with me?
A: Not necessarily. With your permission, we can call the facility where your dog received vaccines prior to your visit and get the information over the phone. This way we can flag any issues and let you know in advance if there’s anything further you need to do.
Q: What if my dog gets sick?
A: By socializing with other dogs, your dog is susceptible to contagious illnesses, the most common of which is canine cough (also known as kennel cough.) Canine cough is essentially a doggie cold – very similar to the human cold in how it is spread and what symptoms are expressed. It’s typically harmless to most healthy dogs, running its course just as a human cold does. It can be harder on puppies, whose immunity is still developing, and older dogs, whose immunity may be compromised, but by and large it is nothing to worry about.
Q: My puppy is getting several rounds of vaccines – when can he/she come to LECA?
A: We require that puppies have completed their second round of vaccines before being eligible to participate in our enrichment program. This set of vaccines usually occurs at about 12 weeks of age.
Q: What is a typical vaccination schedule?
A: A generally accepted puppy vaccine schedule is:
8 weeks old – DH(L)PP #1 & Bordetella #1 (The L stands for Lepto, which may or may not be included in the Distemper-Parvo combo booster.)
12 weeks old – DH(L)PP #2 & Bordetella #2 (and possibly Coronavirus & Lyme)
16 weeks old – DH(L)PP #3 & Rabies (at this point, the Distemper and Rabies will be good for one year, and the Bordetella will be good for six months to a year, depending on the vaccine type and the veterinarian’s protocol.)
** Each dog is an individual and we encourage you to discuss the schedule with your veterinarian about his or her recommendation of when your dog should receive each vaccination. **
Q: Why do puppies get vaccines repeated over a period of months?
A: Until four months of age (16 weeks), puppies have a complex immunity – part of it is their own and part of it comes from their mothers. For this reason, we vaccinate pups frequently (from 8 weeks to 16 weeks) to ensure they are reliably protected against the most deadly and dangerous dog diseases (like Distemper, Parvo and Rabies). Once they reach four months of age, the veterinarian gives them their “final” set of puppy shots, which have to be updated on a yearly basis. As your dog gets older, you veterinarian may advise you to update certain vaccines every two or three years, depending on the vaccine and the current research behind each vaccine’s length of efficacy.
Q: Is it safe for my puppy to attend a puppy class at LECA before they receive their final set of vaccines?
A: Yes. Our facility is a controlled environment in that we screen all dogs in our playgroups to make sure they are up to date on all relevant vaccines. Most vets will give puppy owners the advice, “you can let your puppy play with other dogs, so long as you know they are fully vaccinated.”
Q: Why do we have a neuter/spay policy?
A: Intact dogs (both males and females) can be disruptive in a group play environment, due to excitement level, dominant behaviors, or being targeted by other dogs who may feel threatened and lash out. Intact females can cause fighting among competitive suitors.
Q: What if you have a puppy who is waiting to be spayed or neutered for health reasons?
A: We understand this philosophy and allow intact dogs under 18 months of age to come to LECA under the following conditions:
There is a health reason for extending the procedure
The procedure has been scheduled with the veterinarian
They are not excessively humping
They are not displaying dominant behaviors (mounting, neck biting, etc.)
They are not inspiring dominant behaviors from other dogs due to their intact status
They are not creating an unsafe play environment
Q: What if you don't plan to spay or neuter your dog?
A: If you don’t plan on spaying or neutering your dog but you still would like the benefits of socialization, please be aware that the majority of daycare facilities do not allow intact dogs in their playgroups.