We strongly recommend you ensure your pet is fully vaccinated prior to any type of travel and it is necessary for all pets to be fully vaccinated against certain diseases if they may be going to be boarding at a kennel or cattery. Whilst it is not a legal requirement or our policy to insist all pets are vaccinated for every disease, it is important that owners accept that the consequences of non-vaccination is their own responsibility and that it may put their pet at greater risk during transport or kennelling.
Because we move many animals that are vaccinated but do not have vaccination cards, such as greyhounds, farm dogs and working dogs, we do not demand to see the vaccination details for every pet. Additionally, many animals are known to be vaccinated but the card is no longer available.
It is important to note any animal, even vaccinated animals in our care, who have recently come into contact with a disease, may carry on or in their body that disease even though they themselves may not become unwell or be showing no signs or symptoms. There is no evidence unvaccinated animals are more likely to be carrying or pass on an illness but they are more likely to be able to contract those diseases for which they could otherwise have been vaccinated for. Whilst we make every endeavor to exclude sick animals, it is never possible for us to fully guarantee your pet will not come into contact with an animal that has or is carrying any illness. Likewise, we cannot guarantee your pet will not be walked in an area which has previously been used by an animal carrying any illness.
It is essential all pet owners notify us in the event their pet is showing signs of an illness, either before or immediately following a trip, and all animals that are symptomatic for any contagious disease, must have their trip postponed until appropriate measures have been taken. For the good of all animals, we rely very heavily upon the owners of the pets we move to be honest regarding their pets health. In the event we accept an animal on board and subsequently find it has a condition which would have excluded it from travel at that time, we will deliver it to a vet for appropriate treatment at the owners cost. Such cost will usually entail boarding until we are next in the same area to collect the pet and can be quite expensive. If you are unsure about whether you pet should travel or not, please contact us to discuss as it will always be cheaper for you to deal with the issue at home, using your own vet, rather than for us to deal with the issue in another location.
Puppies & Kittens
- All Puppies & Kittens should be 8 weeks or older, and microchipped, at the time of transport*.
- Toy or small breeds may be more appropriately moved at 10-12 weeks of age.
- We strongly recommend you ensure your pet is fully vaccinated prior to any type of travel.
- We strongly recommend young animals should not be transported within 10 days of having had any vaccination.
All animals must be a minimum of 8 weeks of age at the time of travel and in most cases this is a regulatory requirement or prescribed standard that Breeders are expected to comply with. It is a legal requirement that all pets are Microchipped by the sender, if changing ownership, and that they provide appropriate change of ownership documentation to the buyer or receiver even if the pets are given away.
Whilst it is not a legal requirement that pets are vaccinated in many instances it is a regulatory requirement or prescribed standard that Breeders are expected to comply with. Additionally it is inappropriate for young animals to travel within 10-14 days of any vaccination.
In addition to the above we recommend that smaller toy breed puppies, those that were the runt of the litter or puppies that have experienced any health challenges should not be transported until they are at least 10 weeks of age and preferably even older.
Despite Veterinary and RSPCA advice to the contrary many Breeders and new owners prefer to transport puppies and kittens at around 8-10 weeks of age before they have been fully vaccinated. In this instance, there will always be an additional risk of a young animal contracting a disease with all forms of travel, including if you go and collect it yourself, because it will encounter new environments, other people and animals that may have come into contact with a disease.
We reserve the right to refuse transport for any animal under the above circumstances if we believe it is inappropriate or in the event we become aware that we have been provided false information regarding the above. We will not refund transport fees in these circumstances.
The breeder has a Duty of Care to ensure that the young animal is fit for travel and such duty of care continues after the animal has been collected by transport with respect to any issue that arises because the animal was not fit for travel. The breeders Duty of care is not limited to actions that they are legally required to take or extinguished by disclosing details to the new owner. For example if a Breeder sends a Puppy that is too young and has only just been vaccinated they have breached their duty of care and can be held liable for any subsequent health issues even if they disclosed these facts to the buyer or if the buyer has asked them to do it.
Pre Travel vet checks (or fit to fly) and certificates can provide some protection to a breeder for specific conditions but should not be relied on with respect to the transport of young animals that have not been fully vaccinated. These types of Vet checks do not specifically address the existence of any communicable disease unless symptoms of the disease exist at the time of the check. Generally, such checks are used to detect pre existing congenital or structural conditions and check the condition of heart, skin, eyes and ears etc. Often these checks are done in conjunction with Vaccination or Microchipping and may occur up to 2 weeks prior to travel.
Of great concern to us, is the period of time directly after a young animal has received its first vaccinations. Whilst the incidence of reactions to vaccinations itself is not high, we have found there is a higher incidence of animals falling ill from a range of diseases in the first 2 weeks following the first vaccination. This may be due to additional stress upon their immune system or the fact that the vaccinations are believed to supress the immune system for around 10 days. This may be exacerbated by the fact that it can coincide with the stress of being removed from the litter to be transported to a new home. Additionally, there is some evidence animals that were not themselves fully healthy at the time of receiving a vaccination, may be more likely to become ill or to be able to transfer diseases they have been vaccinated against to other animals.
As with the advice above for adult animals, it is essential all Breeders and Pet owners notify us in the event their pet is showing signs of any illness, either before or immediately following a trip, and all animals that are symptomatic for any contagious disease, must have their trip postponed until appropriate measures have been taken. We will always reschedule your pets trip at no additional cost under these circumstances.
In the event you are aware your new pup or kitten has had a health issue but your breeder is unwilling to keep it until it has fully recovered, I would suggest you consider terminating the contract and seek another breeder. It is important to note that the breeder does have ongoing responsibilities with respect to the health of your new pet under consumer law even after it has left their care.
We do take the health of all animals in our care very seriously and endeavour to always have appropriate controls in place to stop or minimise the spread of any disease. We believe the incidence of pets contracting an illness during, or around the time of travel with us, is very low and is likely no higher than the normal everyday risk for animals in contact with other animals. However, we are not in a position to take responsibility for animals that may contract a disease in a manner outside of our control, which would otherwise be considered a normal risk for any pet in the given circumstances.
If you are uncertain about any of the above, please contact us directly to discuss your concerns or to arrange any specific requirements that may be required for your pet.
Further Information about Vaccines
The core vaccines vets recommend for all Australian dogs are:
Additionally, vets recommend that any dog who meets other dogs is also vaccinated against:
- Parainfluenza virus (a canine cough)
- Bordetella bronchiseptica (a canine cough)
The addition of these non-core vaccines to the core vaccines is called a C5 vaccination.
All dog owners should be aware of the signs of parvo, distemper, hepatitis and kennel cough.
The other dog vaccines available in Australia are only needed in specific situations:
- Coronavirus vaccination is poorly studied and probably only of use to breeders
- Leptospira vaccination is only needed in parts of northern Australia
- Rabies vaccination is only necessary as a part of export to certain countries
- Tetanus vaccination is only needed in certain rural situations.
We recommend that you discuss your vaccination options with your Veterinary specialist.
New Reduced Vaccine Schedules
For more than 20 years the routine vaccination for most dogs in Australia has been the ubiquitous “C5” – a single injection delivering vaccine designed to protect against Distemper, Canine Hepatitis (Adenovirus), Parvovirus, Parainflueneza and Bordetella.
This type of vaccine had to be delivered three times to puppies, ideally at 6, 12 and 16 weeks of age and is believed to be very effective. Some vets still use and recommend this type of vaccine and this recommended schedule.
However, In the past few years vaccines have been developed which enable an “early finish” to puppy vaccinations – initially at 12 weeks of age, and more recently at 10 weeks of age. These vaccines are designed to protect puppies from an earlier age, reducing the risk of the fatal “parvovirus”, and enabling puppies to get out and socialise earlier. This may improves their confidence and reduce the likelihood of them developing some anxiety or aggression problems.
(Please note that the Australian Veterinary Association advises that the final puppy Vaccination should be at 16 weeks and only recomends shorter Vaccination programs in consultation with your veterinary provider)
A further benefit to owners is a reduction from three to two puppy vaccinations, reducing the costs of those early months of puppy ownership.
These vaccines also offer benefits to adult dogs in that they are registered to protect adults from Distemper, Hepatitis and Parvovirus for three years, instead of the usual one-year. This is very worthwhile because the risk of side effects after vaccination is proportional to the number of ingredients in the vaccine – the new regime uses only two (instead of five) components for two years out of three. It is no “stronger” or more dangerous than the older C5 vaccine, and reduces the risks of complications by reducing the number of vaccines received over the years.
We recommend that you ask your Veterinary Specialist about newer vaccines that may reduce the total number of vaccines your pet may need or may protect your puppy from an earlier age.
If you are interested in an alternative view on Puppy Vaccinations here is a link to an article from Dogs Naturally Magazine on the subject. Whilst I do not agree entirely with the wording in some areas I believe it is largely quite balanced and based on solid science. I would however caution that any decision to limit vaccinations must be balanced with appropriate bio-security protocols until such time as you young Pet is fully Vaccinated.
* Microchipping of all dogs & puppies being sold or given away is a legal requirement that is the responsibility of the person selling or disposing of the animal.
* It is a requirement that registered breeders may not sell or rehome a puppy before 8 weeks of age. Additionally 8 weeks is considered the minimum acceptable age for puppies to be removed from their litter and rehomed by the RSPCA and government agencies. Whilst we will not in the normal course of events move puppies or kittens earlier than 8 weeks, in the event of a rescue or emergency situation, such as when the mother is deceased we may make an exception taking into account the reason and the animals breed, age, size, vaccination & worming status and general health. Puppies under 7 weeks of age may be unable to fully regulate their own body temperature and toy or small breeds (which would normally be more appropriately moved at 10-12 weeks of age) will be more susceptibale to health issues than larger breeds at earlier ages.