THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) - You're probably making travel plans for the holidays.
More than half of U.S. households own pets.
So many of us will have to board our pets.
But there's a highly contagious virus that could make your dog sick while you're away.
Dog Pond Kennel Owner Laurie Williams said their busiest season is around Thanksgiving when many pet owners leave town and board their dogs.
But some owners come back to find their dogs have caught a contagious virus while they were away.
Williams said, “Kennel cough as well as any other disease or sickness is a concern throughout the year. It doesn't have to warrant itself to just the winter time to be a problem.”
But Williams admitted the crowded kennels make it easier for boarded dogs to transmit the virus to other dogs.
Kennel Cough is the most prevalent infectious disease among dogs.
But it can be prevented.
Thomasville Animal Hospital Veterinary Assistant Jennifer Glover said, “These dogs are at risk for diseases that are preventable and if they're not vaccinated on time, then that can lead to costly vet bills.”
Williams said if you are planning on boarding your animals during this holiday season, make sure they are updated on their shots several weeks before bringing them in.
Williams said, “Because we think of them as our family members, just like our children, we don't want our kids or our puppies to get any type of thing. And when they are boarded, that's one of our biggest concerns.”
And if you're planning on getting a new pet during this holiday season, veterinarians strongly recommend getting them vaccinated as their immune systems are still developing.