Vaccine Requirements at Kim’s K-9

Martha Wiltse

As you may know, all dogs who set “paw” in our facilities must adhere to our vaccination standards. But what are those standards? Well, we’re glad you asked! Below is our list of vaccine requirements for dogs taking part in training or group play at our facilities, as well as why each vaccine is so important to us here at Kim’s K-9!

Standard 1-3 Year Vaccines:

DHPP (Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus, Parainfluenza)

DHPP stands for Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus, Parainfluenza. This is a required and extremely common combination vaccine that fights against some of the most vicious respiratory illnesses the veterinary field is aware of. Parvovirus is one of these illnesses that was in major Michigan news very recently! In the summer of 2022, there was what was first claimed as a "mysterious parvo-like illness" that turned out to be an outbreak of the usual parvo which killed a group of un-vaccinated puppies in a rescue environment. Parvo is quite deadly to dogs, and the vaccine is extremely effective. Distemper and Parainfluenza are very common "kennel cough" viruses that creep up rarely because most dogs are vaccinated for these things. Hepatitis in dogs can also be quite dangerous, and one of the main reasons is because it is highly contagious through contact of bodily fluids (saliva, eye goop/tears, urine, etc). This is SUCH an important core vaccine to keep up for your dog. Puppies require three doses before being allowed in our care, and vets require a one year booster after the puppy set of vaccines. After that, most vets only require 3 year boosters for this combo and that has been shown in research to be effective.


Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that is highly communicable through urine and can be passed from canines to humans (though not typically from human to human). This is sometimes combined into the DHPP combo, making it DHLPP. It is commonly known that Lepto is a very active bacteria in the greater Michigan community, as it can live in the urine of any wild or domestic animals. There was an outbreak on the East side of the state as recent as 2011 which resulted in the death of a number of unvaccinated dogs. We have spoken with several local vets, and they all agree that this is a very important vaccine for us to keep track of. Our veterinarian connections recommend we require the vaccine, not only for the safety of the dogs, but also for the safety of our staff and clients. If an outbreak occurs, many dogs and humans in our community could suffer from the effects of this bacterial illness.

Canine Influenza

Canine Influenza. This is a vaccine we started requiring in the year 2019. When first given, it requires a booster shot after 2-4 weeks. Many people who were not clients with us at that time aren't aware, but there was a major event in the West Michigan dog community in the summer of 2019. The Canine Influenza was transmitted to our community and took us all by storm. Canine Influenza is a foreign virus that has outbursts in pocket communities when it spreads to new areas. This was originally introduced to the USA at the greyhound racing tracks in the Florida area and has since spread to around 60-70% of major urban areas in the US. When it arrived here, no one was expecting it, so veterinarians did not carry the vaccine. By the time vets were able to order and receive the vaccine and get the first boosters into as many dogs in the community as they could, let alone get them the booster shot three weeks later, there were a handful of dogs who passed away from the Canine Influenza. We were fortunate to not lose any Kim's K-9 clients due to the influenza that year, but we did start requiring the vaccine. Every few months we check in with local veterinarians that we trust and get a temperature on whether this is a vaccine we should continue to require or not, and hands down the response has always been, YES! On your vet records they may notate it like this: CIV (canine influenza vaccine), H3N8/H3N2 Bivalent.


Rabies can be carried by dogs. We are legally required by Kent County to have your dogs updated Rabies vaccine on file anytime they are in our care. While, of course, we don't want dogs or any of our staff or human clients to contract rabies, this is extremely rare and we know that. The main reason we track this vaccine is to keep our active kennel license :-)

Bi-Yearly (6 Months) Required Vaccines & Procedures:


Bordetella is the most common and highly contagious bacterial agent responsible for "kennel cough" in dogs. Bordetella causes inflammation of your dog’s upper respiratory system. This inflammation leads to coughing and illness and can expose your dog to secondary infections. We here at Kim's K-9 require the Bordetella vaccine every six months to help keep your dog and other clients' dogs healthy and to prevent the spreading of germs.

Fecal Check (Must Be Negative)

Routine fecal examinations are used to detect intestinal parasites in your dog. These parasites may include worms (such as hookworms, roundworms, and whipworms) and microscopic parasites (such as Giardia or Coccidia). Parasites not only cause intestinal disease in dogs, some of them can also be infectious to humans (hookworms, roundworms, and Giardia). This check is required every six months to make sure the dogs in our care aren't carrying around any unwanted parasites that can spread to other dogs and/or people.

Most vets will adhere to a similar schedule to what we’ve listed above. Some vets would not administer the Bordetella vaccine every 6 months, but because daycare and boarding facilities can be a common place for contracting and spreading Bordetella, we like to keep everyone safe by requiring it twice per year. The Gingr system will remind you when you’ve got vaccine due dates coming up!

After receiving a vaccine, have your vet email us the vaccination records to keep your pet’s access to daycare and boarding active.

Young Labrador Retriever puppy scratching their ear, possibly bothered by common parasites such as fleas, ticks, or heartworm, which Kim's K-9 recommends preventing!
Stop the Itch with Parasite Preventatives!

What Else Can I Do to Protect My Pet?

To further prevent your dog from picking up undesirables, we highly suggest the following:

Year-Round Sentinel

This is a monthly heartworm medication, also designed to prevent several types of parasites. Some worms can be dormant in a dog’s system at the 6-month check and then become active. Keeping your dog on Sentinel year around should prevent him/her from picking up a stray parasite that has managed to sneak through the system.

Year-Round Flea Prevention

We will NEVER knowingly allow a dog into the facility harboring fleas or ticks. However, Sentinel will also prevent the dog from picking up the random flea that may sneak under our highly tuned radar. There are also many topicals that can be applied but be aware that it should have been applied a couple of days BEFORE the dog comes in, so it has time to absorb and is not a danger to the other dogs if they lick it.

What About Interceptor or Heartguard?

Interceptor is also a monthly heartworm medication that also prevents many parasites but does NOT protect your dog against fleas.

Heartguard and Heartguard Plus do not prevent whipworms, therefore, in a multi-dog environment they are lacking.

Kim’s K-9 does not provide any of the above vaccines or products. Talk with your veterinarian for details and his/her advice.

If you or your pet are interested in training or boarding & daycare programs, contact us today to get started!