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Dog Waving Paw

9 Ways Great Dog Is Committed to Canine Health and Safety

Late last year, the Seattle King County Public Health Department has reported an increase in respiratory disease cases among dogs in Washington. The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) is actively investigating these cases, with 16 reports from veterinarians indicating dogs with respiratory illnesses that meet specific criteria for further review. Many of these cases are suspected to be linked to the Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex (CIRDC), a condition caused by a combination of bacteria and viruses.  While relatively few cases have been reported in Washington state, this illness has been identified in other areas of the country over the past year.  The media recently ran a story in our area.

At Great Dog, we understand the importance of maintaining the well-being of our canine companions, especially in the face of potential health risks. The recent pandemic has highlighted the significance of social interaction.  Like people, isolation and lack of social interaction can impact a dog’s mental, physical and behavioral health. Great Dog recognizes the challenges associated with providing communal experiences while mitigating viral risks.

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Steps Taken by Great Dog to Ensure Our Canine’s Safety:

1. Stay Current on Vaccinations

We emphasize the importance of up-to-date vaccinations, as dogs with current core vaccinations, including Bordatella, tend to experience milder forms of respiratory illnesses. All dogs attending our services are required to have current vaccinations.

2. Canine Influenza Vaccination

For the safety of our pack, we encourage pet parents to get their dogs vaccinated against Canine Influenza to reduce the severity of symptoms associated with CIRDC. While the vaccine is in high demand, our veterinary professional consultants recommend it for all daycare and boarding dogs.  The Canine Influenza vaccination was first developed in 2009 and continues to be studied for its effectiveness and safety.  For peace of mind, Great Dog is working towards having our canine pack to have the best immunity protection against all forms of Canine Influenza.  If your veterinarian and you choose not to vaccinate, we will accept a letter to that effect and the assumption of risk. 


3. Communal Water Bowls and Toys

To minimize the risk of infection, we have implemented an aggressive water bowl rotation and disinfection process. Clean water bowls are provided, and toys are food-safe sanitized on a very regular basis (every 15 minutes), regardless of if they were used or not.  Our staff are also alerted when a water bowl is used, and it is immediately replaced with a sanitized bowl of fresh water. During classes and private lessons, individual water bowls and disinfected toys are assigned to each dog.


4. Sanitization of Crates and Bowls

All crates and water bowls are thoroughly sanitized after naps, breaks, or meal times. Overnight dogs are assigned personal crates during their stay.


5. Awareness and Quarantine

Pet parents are requested to keep their dogs at home if they show signs of illness. An acknowledgment sign-off is required at drop-off daily, and we ask pet parents to obtain vet clearance for any previously unwell dogs. Our team strictly follows Seattle-King County Infectious Disease protocols.


6. Personal Items Handling

Personal harnesses and clothes are removed and stored separately to prevent potential contamination. In-facility clothing is used to facilitate regular washing and disinfection.


7. Tracking and Notification

We diligently track all dogs attending our facility, noting the rooms they play in and their interactions. In case of an outbreak, we can quickly notify pet parents.


8.  Research and Communication

With the help of our veterinary professionals and the Seattle King County Health Department, we continue to stay current on all aspects of canine health and safety. 


9. Emergency Preparedness

Not only do we prioritize health safety, but we have also updated our emergency evacuation plans. Our "emergency go bag" now includes fire safety tools, first aid kits, and shut-off maps. We work closely with landlords and neighbors to ensure preparedness for unforeseen circumstances.


At Great Dog, we remain committed to providing a safe and enjoyable environment for your furry family members. Our proactive measures aim to address the current concerns surrounding CIRDC, and we appreciate your cooperation in ensuring the well-being of our beloved canine companions. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to our team. Together, we can keep our furry friends happy and healthy!

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