There is a risk, yes. Canine Cough (or Kennel Cough) is a highly contagious infection with a long incubation period.
What does this mean?
This means that an infected dog can be contagious for 3-10 days BEFORE symptoms even start showing so owners & ourselves have no way of knowing if a dog is sick with Canine Cough until symptoms start to show. This makes it very difficult to stop the spread before it starts. Symptoms range from a slight cough to vomiting, running nose & sneezing. The most obvious symptom is a 'honking' cough.
But my dog is vaccinated
Even though all dogs that attend Pooch Play Care are vaccinated against Canine Cough they are still at risk. Canine Cough is like the human flu - it adapts and changes each year so although the risk is reduced by being vaccinated unfortunately it does not cover them 100%.
How and where can my dog get Canine Cough?
Essentially, anywhere a dog has been. Canine Cough is airborne so an infected dog just has to walk down the street and the virus is being spread through droplets in the air. Direct contact with another dog, such as playing, can transfer the infection which is why dog parks are notorious for spreading the infections quickly. Day Cares are also at high risk due to the number of dogs coming in, along with Vet Clinics. Boarding kennels are also very high risk due to the close proximity of the dogs. Being an airborne illness though your dog doesn't even need to socialise with another dog to get the infection - they could merely be in your back yard and a dog with the infection could walk past the house and the air travels back to your dog. The illness also remains on objects for up to 48 hours meaning that a dog might lift his leg to a post and 2 days later your dog sniffs that post and BAM! your dog now has Canine Cough.
What should I do if I think my dog has Canine Cough?
Do not bring them to Day Care. Have them looked at by a Vet as soon as possible. Make sure to tell your Vet that your dog is coughing - they may want to do the consult in the car park so as not to potentially jeopardise the clinic. They will need to be kept at home, isolated, to reduce the spread of the infection.
Can my dog come back to Day Care after having Canine Cough?
Yes, with Vet clearance or 2 weeks after symptoms have concluded.