James Harriot and Day Care Vaccine Dilemma

I’m sipping tea and watching James Harriot’s “All Creatures Great and Small,” and I began thinking about this little dilemma we have, Farrah and I. Firstly, when I was growing up, I totally wanted the James Harriot experience. This involved living in a little stone cottage in the country with my family and animals, doing my best to help them while being self sufficient in the old country style. I feel very lucky, looking back, to find myself basically there, but there are still quite a few things that I haven’t been able to work out on my own.

Farrah is enrolled in puppy classes at a nearby training center that is affiliated with the Tacoma HS. I really, really like this center and their training philosophy. I have taken 4 classes there so far with Grym and Farrah, and I can honestly say that this puppy training experience has been wonderful. I mean, I am learning new things every week, where-as at our old dominance/alpha facility, I felt like I was taking steps backwards.

Farrah has been approved for daycare, but she is required to have a bordetella vaccine in order to attend. I don’t routinely give this to my dogs, as I like to keep vaccines as minimal as possible (and as required by law). I also don’t think it’s worth giving, I don’t think she needs it, and I don’t want to over-vaccinate my breeding bitch. Part of my issue is also safety. I trust the staff, but it would be horrible if a strange dog mauled her and that prevented her from being shown and bred.

The dilemma is, do I give on these points in favor of socializing and exercise? I’m home all day as it is, and she does socialize at the classes we attend about 2-3 times a week. Lest we forget, she does have a pack of 4 other dogs at home to learn from, in addition to the play dates she gets with her Shiba friends Penny and Eli, and outings to the pet friendly stores. She does get plenty of exercise each day playing with the other dogs here and zooming around the acre. This was pretty much why I wanted a pack and some land, so I wouldn’t have to rely on dog walkers and daycare. Is it worth it to give her the vaccine so she can get 1 extra day a week at a daycare?

For your viewing pleasure, a photo album of a day in the life of my Shibas, and their Shiba friends on a playcare day:

Penny and Farrah
Eli, Farrah and Beebe
Eli
Grym and some curly tails
Checking out fences
Beautiful sunny day in the back 40 by the shop
Penny
Farrah checks out the new chicken coop
My gardner
Ike and his favorite Auntie Pam
Butt sniff chain
Ike likes laying in the grass and taking in the view
Penny and Eli drool over the chickens

What do you think or what would you do? Are there benefits or cons that I am overlooking? Fun question: what would one of James Harriot’s clients say about dog daycare?

3 thoughts on “James Harriot and Day Care Vaccine Dilemma

  1. I'm thinking that daycare isn't worth it… and you already listed all the ways you compensate in her daily life to not need daycare. I could easily bring Buckley or Tsuki to daycare in town. But I don't want to give them a bordatella shot, I'm afraid of them getting out and running away, I'm afraid of a dog fight and I don't really think they need it. They get all the socialization and exercise they need as it is. Just my thought 🙂

  2. Yep, a pack of dogs and a dedicated owner sort of makes day care not sound so great. I do think it is a wonderful thing for a single dog or for people who are gone a lot. She went with me to work today, and shopping, and to get the oil changed, and then to play in Grandma's backyard. I talked with my Vet boss and we agreed not to do the vaccine. Now to gently let my training center down.

  3. Basically from the sounds of it, one more day in a week of socializing isn't going to make or break the behavior bank in your case. I have been in this same dilemma as well though. We opted out since I don't wish to give the vacc. As Jen mentions escape is a concern, as is the possibility of a dog fight and maybe a lack of proactive prevention. I also do not like leaving my dog an entire day and some centers will not allow customers to break up the day to half. I also find that for whatever reason in ddc our dogs always seem to come home with bowel distress from time to time. This gets cumbersome given if one dog picks the minor bacterial upset so do the others. Honestly, for all the requirements required of clients, I wonder what does a center do to assure that they are cleaning or sanitizing properly? I am not convinced they do the greatest job in that department. So for us it isn't worth it. In our area there are training centers that mandate bordetella also even though there is no boarding. We avoid them for our dogs with the exception of the urgent need to take a rescue for assessment or training.

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