May God keep you and your family safe during this trying time
All dogs are royal, and all dogs are supervised by trained, animal-loving professionals during any indoor or outdoor activity. We do not force dogs to socialize, and we do not compromise any dog's safety in play groups by including dogs with uncertain temperaments. We do not socialize intact males over the age of one year due to their unpredictable hormonal behavior and the possibility of another in-tact male over-reacting to the hormones they sense.
When in doubt, we do not let them out together.
We don't skimp on your dog's health.
Our state of the art 3-ton FRESH AIR FILTRATION HVAC system pumps air from outside into our Royal Boarding Chambers room instead of recycling the air during the cooling or heating process. We have installed a Remy Halo air scrubber and a U.V. germicidal light inside this system as well as in The Great Hall A.C. system to aid in destroying air-borne pathogens/microbes such as: mold, bacteria, fungi, mildew, mold spores, and viruses--our goals are to decrease your dog's chances of contracting a canine illness during their stay with us while reducing smoke inhalation risks in the event of a fire emergency.
Special Design By: Bradley Hanks, owner of Lightfoot A.C. and Heating in Pasadena, TX.
We do not accept or keep animals during predicted natural disasters. If a disaster is on its way, and we have your dog, we require you or your emergency contact person to pick up your dog. For unpredictable natural disasters (tornados etc.) we will implement a shelter in place where staff members and owner are with all of our Castle dogs indoors. We also have a well for water and a back-up generator.
Our 10,000 square foot COURTYARD is protected with SHADE and TURF specially made for dogs.
Yes, turf does provide benefits for your dog:
DOGS LOVE TURF. If they do know the difference in turf and natural grass, they certainly never voice it or complain.
Caution: Although The Canine Castle has many shaded areas, fans, misting systems, and water to help cool the turf during scorching hot Texas months: In-tact dogs with testicles hanging low enough to touch the turf or concrete during potty time, could experience discomfort or contact burns. We encourage you to spay or neuter your dog.
We opted out of offering indoor/outdoor "kennel runs" to eliminate your dog from having any encounters with the various wild creatures and dangerous insects of the Texas Outdoors.
We invested in custom-made kennels constructed with healthy features:
--Tempered safety glass
--No lead or heavy metals
--Fast Feeders to reduce food and water spillage
The Colored Privacy Panels on our kennels serve as a Do Not Disturb sign to ensure peace and comfort for every royal overnight guest PLUS:
--a non-threatening safe haven to unwind from the day's busy activities
--Noise reduction to aid in a peaceful rest
--Less anxiety associated with the canine's natural tendency to engage in the act of "fencing" when spotting another nearby stranger dog
We have sturdy custom-made CEDAR GATES with locks that serve as DOUBLE GATED FENCING. All exterior fencing is secured with concrete Castle blocks stacked at the bottom of our fencing--they wrap all the way around the entire Courtyard fencing perimeter which prevents dogs from digging out, finding escape gaps, or sliding under compromised material. We also have safety covers on the tops of all of our internal fencing.
We only use cleaning products that veterinarians use in their clinics--all products are deemed "Safe for Pets." We have strict policies and procedures on cleaning and diluting chemicals with detailed checklists for employees to follow, inspections to undergo, and re-do's as needed.
Canine Kennel Cough: Who is to blame?
If a boarding, daycare, or grooming facility (unless they are new and have just opened) claims they have never had any cases of Kennel Cough, they are lying. I promise.
What is Kennel Cough?
Canine Infectious Tracheobronchitis, Bordetella Bronchiseptica, or Kennel Cough, is an extremely common airborne illness that is spread through droplets in the air, contaminated surfaces, or direct nose to nose or mouth to mouth contact among dogs. Kennel Cough is NOT a simple germ—it is a BROAD TERM that your veterinarian will often use to describe ANY combination of germs that are contagious and produce symptoms of a canine “cough/cold” that affects the trachea/windpipe, bronchial tubes, or nasal membranes and where coughing is one of the major clinical symptoms in a dog who has recently had close contact with other dogs. Extensive expensive testing to identify the strain/strains are usually avoided by veterinarians to save you cost since the treatments are the same (AKC.org).
If your dog is diagnosed with Kennel Cough, this does not necessarily mean the boarding, daycare, or grooming facility you have recently used is substandard, dirty, or neglectful. It simply means your dog caught a canine cold much like a human child catches a cold after being at a childcare facility or at school around other children. Once you tell your veterinarian you have recently brought your dog around other dogs (boarding, dog daycare, grooming spas, dog training camps, dog parks, dog-friendly restaurants or stores etc.), the doctor is more inclined to diagnose your dog’s common cold/cough symptoms as Kennel Cough.
Common clinical signs include a loud cough (often described as a goose honk), discharge from eyes, runny nose, swollen tonsils, sneezing, wheezing, congestion, lack of appetite, possible low-grade fever, or depressed behavior. Most dogs with infectious tracheobronchitis will cough the most at night, when the throat/neck is rubbed, or during and after exercise (VCAhospitals.com).
When will my dog get over it?
Fortunately, most Kennel Cough cases are not serious, resolving on their own in one to three weeks. Most affected dogs usually remain somewhat active and alert and continue to eat and drink. Often times, veterinarians will prescribe antibiotics to prevent the “cough/cold” from turning into a more serious lung condition, and they may prescribe cough medicine or steroids to open airways and make your dog more comfortable while they have this cold.
***If your dog’s cough/symptoms last more than three weeks, and/or your dog has colored nasal discharge, severe lethargy, no appetite, or increased effort when breathing, he or she should be evaluated by a veterinarian as soon as possible—it could be something more serious than Kennel Cough (PetMD.com).
My dog is vaccinated. Why did he/she still get Kennel Cough?
Some dogs (just like humans) are asymptomatic which means they can carry and spread the germs without ever getting sick with symptoms. Also, there are hundreds of existing strains of germs (viral and bacterial) along with constant mutations of such germs that can cause Kennel Cough. Like any other vaccine in life for humans, the Bordetella/Kennel Cough vaccine simply cannot keep up with all the new rapidly mutating germs. Vaccinated dogs who are exposed to and contract these common germs that cause respiratory infections generally do experience less severe symptoms than dogs who are not vaccinated at all (PetMD.com).
Precautions we Take at The Canine Castle against Germs and Viruses:
1. Before entering the Castle: EVERY dog must have solid records from a licensed and reputable veterinarian that proves the dog is current on all required vaccines including Bordetella/Kennel Cough—we are strict—no exceptions. We do not accept dogs who only have proof of at-home DIY vaccinations.
2. We pull fresh air ventilation from outside into the Royal Chambers kennel room vs. using recycled air for climate control. No, our electric bill is not cheap, but the fresh air is better for your dog.
3. We have two in-duct Reme Halo air scrubbers/air purifiers (state of the art germ-killing systems) along with in-duct UV lighting, Hepa Filters, and Honeywell Box Filters in both buildings to help reduce the chances of any dog getting ill.
4. We use pet-safe disinfectant products with proper dilutions to clean and sanitize all parts of The Castle—we use the same products as our local veterinary clinics do.
5. We have a check-list system of strict cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting procedures with rigorous room/kennel inspections, mandatory re-do’s, and a double-check method before check-in dogs are unpacked to stay overnight. Your dog’s sleeping quarters are immaculate.
6. We sweep and mop our floors, rooms, kennels, and suites twice a day during AM and PM room service with our pet-safe cleaning products, and we sanitize our brooms and mops with bleach-water after every use.
7. Our shared water containers for group play are dumped, rinsed, and filled every 7 to 10 minutes during play, and the containers are washed with hot soapy water before every play session. Shared toys are washed the same and sanitized with water and vinegar.
8. We use our dishwasher to wash and sanitize all stainless-steel bowls and all utensils/scoopers used for individual water and meals.
9. We use the same pet-safe cleaning products to sanitize our pools, play-ground equipment, turf, fences, and fans after use (note that natural UV rays from the sun works as a sanitizer on outdoor turf as well).
10. Our humans practice frequent washing/sanitizing of their hands and arms.
11. We make effort to limit germs from coming into The Castle by not allowing personal beds or unnecessary bowls from home—we provide sanitized cozy cots and linens and clean stainless-steel bowls instead.
12. We wash our towels and linens with detergent, and we add a cup of bleach to each load of laundry.
13. We clean doors, knobs, tables, and countertops twice a day, and we have strict practices for dust and hair control throughout our facility. We scrub corners high and low, and we clean all furniture with pet-safe antibacterial sprays.
Who is to Blame?
When a pet facility takes the kinds of precautions that we do to prevent canine illnesses, it is simply irrational for anyone to hold the facility responsible for the path that Mother Nature chooses.
The reality is: Even when every precaution possible is utilized in preventing the spread of germs, we all must recognize that Mother Nature over-powers every living being in life.
Risk Percentage at The Canine Castle:
We calculated numbers at the end of Summer 2023: We are proud to share that LESS THAN ONE PERCENT of all dogs who entered The Canine Castle during June, July, and August had reported symptoms of Kennel Cough within one to fourteen days after leaving.
What we ask of you:
Just like you would not hold the daycare or the school financially liable for health expenses when your child comes home with a human cough/cold, please lend your pet-care facility the same understanding and reprieve. When a pet-parent chooses to put their dog around other dogs, there is always a risk of Kennel Cough infection. Should your dog exhibit symptoms after being at our facility, we ask you kindly to: 1. Notify us 2. Please refrain from hurtful public reviews 3. Please spare us from the expectation to pay any veterinarian bills—we simply cannot control Mother Nature’s actions.
The best way to prevent your dog from getting Kennel Cough is to keep yourself and your dog away from ANY place another dog has ever been.
Did you know? You can infect your dog just by going to the pet-store to buy them food? If you happen to step in germs left behind by an infected dog, you could easily carry these germs into your car, driveway, lawn, and inside your home to your dog. Kennel Cough germs can survive on your shoe and most surfaces for several days.
Did you know? Veterinary studies have shown that a dog can catch Kennel Cough in their own backyard by being five miles downwind from an infected coughing dog in another yard.
PLEASE KNOW: The Canine Castle does not pay veterinary bills for dogs who are treated for “Kennel Cough"
*We require PROOF of current vaccinations for ALL of our services*
DHPP/DAPP/DLPP, Rabies, and Bordetella (Kennel Cough)
must be current before boarding, daycare, spa services, or Castle tours where dogs accompany their human family. (Leptospirosis recommended but not required)
Depending on the method of administration and veterinarian opinion, some vaccines are effective immediately, but most take two weeks to fully build the antibodies your dog needs to be protected. Please vaccinate in advance. We will check with your vet if time is an issue.
Legal action will be taken to preserve our rights.
Do not duplicate/copy any part of this web page or any of our downloadable documents; all were written to create a loyal customer base and establish a competitive advantage with information explicit to our way of doing business and providing five-star care for Houston area pets. The educational/informative material included here is the author's original and personal expressions which are retained for the exclusive benefit of The Canine Castle LLC and its potential consumers and current customers only. All rights are reserved for the writer/creator of The Canine Castle logo as well as the design, writing, and content of the information presented on this web-page. Unauthorized use or duplication without express written permission from author/creator/business owner, S. Fillingame, is strictly prohibited. Legal action has been favorable for us against violators in the past. We do not hesitate to preserve our intellectual rights.
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