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Veterinarian shares tips on picking the right boarding facility, protecting your pet while there

A recent dog death at a boarding facility at a Northern Virginia PetSmart has raised serious concerns over boarding your furry friends. One veterinarian shares tips.

The death of dog is tough, but it can be even harder when it happens in the care of someone else.

A recent dog death at a boarding facility at a Northern Virginian PetSmart has raised serious concerns over boarding your furry friends.

Andrew Noles, who spoke with WTOP’s partner 7News, lost his 3-year-old Aussiedoodle, Clark, after boarding him at the “Petshotel” inside the PetSmart in Potomac Yard for three days. A veterinarian called him unexpectedly on the second day with the heartbreaking news.

Other local veterinarians are reminding owners to make sure they’re protected by planning ahead.

“Ask the boarding facility, ‘What vaccinations do you require?’ And if they say, ‘We don’t require any vaccinations,’ then that’s a red flag. You don’t want to go there,” said Dr. Peter Eeg, owner of Poolesville Veterinary Clinic in Maryland.

After receiving a vaccine, it takes pets seven to 14 days to become fully immune, according to Eeg.

“We highly recommend that they are fully vaccinated with their Bordetella vaccine, their influenza vaccine … at least 10 days before they go to a boarding facility,” he added.

Eeg said it’s not clear what led up to the death of the dog at PetSmart, but that there has been an outbreak of a significant upper respiratory disease in dogs that spreads through direct contact with other dogs.

He added that your pet should have routine evaluations to make sure there’s no preexisting conditions that “may be exacerbated when the pet is staying at a boarding facility,” since pets are often afraid and much more nervous.

He recommended bringing your own food and water for the pet and checking out the facility before dropping it off.

“Nowadays, you can go on the web and look over the entire facility. You can watch live videos of the facility. You can see where the animals will be housed,” Eeg said.

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