Health & Behavior Protocols

To ensure that all of our canine guests have a healthy stay, upon arrival all dogs must be:

In good general health.
Clients will need to certify that their dog(s) are in good health and have not been ill in the past 60 days. We cannot accept any dogs that are coughing or sneezing, or have vomited or had diarrhea in the last 72 hours. If your dog has had loose stool, vomiting, lethargy, or hair loss in the week prior to his/her arrival for boarding or evaluation, please call our office in advance to discuss the specific details of your dog’s situation. On admission, all dogs must be free from any condition which could potentially jeopardize the health of the other dogs. For dogs that have been ill with a communicable condition in the last 60 days, we require a veterinarian’s certification of good health prior to being admitted.

Free of fleas and ticks.
We do not have fleas or ticks at Tappen Hill. This is because we require all of our guests to be current on flea and tick prevention. If your dog comes to us with fleas and/or ticks, we will need to remove all parasites before allowing them to socialize with the other dogs in our care. Should flea or tick removal be necessary, charges for additional bathing, grooming, tick removal and/or flea and tick products will be added to your invoice.

Well-groomed, free of mats and generally clean, without any hair loss.
We ask that your dog arrives at Tappen Hill clean and well-groomed so that our staff is able to assess his/her skin and coat health. We preform multiple health checks on your dog throughout their stay in an effort to maintain their health. This is a very important safeguard against health issues like hotspots and skin infections as well as to identify any skin issues arising from rambunctious play as early as possible. Additionally, if your dog or puppy has any hair loss on his face or body, please call us prior to arrival to discuss the specifics of his/her situation.

Up-to-date on Vaccinations and have a negative annual Fecal Test.
In settings where there is a high degree of social interaction (such as nursery schools for children or dog parks and boarding facilities for dogs) the risk of spreading communicable diseases and/or parasites increases. While Tappen Hill is an exceptionally clean facility, it is very important to have every dog screened for parasites and fully vaccinated prior to their arrival. Therefore, up-to-date vaccinations and negative parasite fecal screening tests are required. If your dog has ever tested positive for Giardia or other intestinal parasites and/or has had intermittent loose stools, we may require an additional negative fecal check. Please call us to discuss the details your dog’s specific situation before arrival!

Behavior Requirements

To be accepted for boarding or training at Tappen Hill, dogs must be well socialized and friendly to all dogs and people in all circumstances. Dogs that are too dominant or too alpha do not do well in this style of boarding. In addition, dogs that are too shy, too worried, too sensitive and those demonstrating significant separation anxiety are rarely happy and comfortable while boarding.

Unfortunately we also are unable to accommodate:

  • un-neutered males older than 6 to 8 months of age
  • females in season
  • dogs not potty-trained or dogs that are incontinent
  • certain breeds such as: Akitas, American Bulldogs, Staffordshire Terriers, Pit Bulls, Chows, Shar Peis, Mastiff-type breeds, any fighting breeds as well as any giant breeds
  • dogs weighing over 80 lbs
  • we also cannot accept dogs that exhibit a super high, unrelenting play drive and that do not respect social cues from other dogs
  • we do not accept dogs with very forward/dominant play styles who play with their paws over the backs of other dogs

All dogs must undergo an on-site temperament evaluation prior to boarding. Dogs that exhibit inappropriate behavior toward dogs or people will not be accepted.

Flea Control

Tappen Hill is an exceptionally clean and comfortable boarding facility. In order to keep our premises flea & tick free we require that some type of veterinarian recommended flea control product be used on your dog prior to boarding with us.

Popular brands include Advantage, Frontline Plus, Trifexis, etc. Please consult your veterinarian to determine the brand of flea control that would be best for your dog. If your dog is going to be with us for a long stay, please bring enough flea product so that we can re-apply it if needed.


In order to ensure the health and safety of all our canine guests, Tappen Hill requires verification of current vaccinations for the following (click for details):



RABIES – Current*
All dogs must be vaccinated against Rabies in order to board at Tappen Hill. For dogs under one year of age, the vaccine expires one(1) year from the date it was administered. For dogs over one year of age the vaccine expires three(3) years from the date it was administered.


Different veterinarians choose different combinations for this important vaccine. We do not require a specific combination, however all dogs must be vaccinated against Distemper, Parvovirus, Leptosporosis and Hepatitis (Canine Adenoviris-1.) Regardless of when the vaccine process was begun, all dogs must receive at least two (2) Distemper-Parvo combination vaccines with the last vaccine administered at 16 weeks of age or later. Be advised that your veterinarian may recommend your dog be vaccinated every year or every three years for the Distemper-Parvo combination vaccine.


Because Bordetella (canine cough) can be picked up so easily at a dog park or out in public whenever and wherever dogs have contact with other dogs and because it can spread so quickly, we require that all dogs that attend our facility receive a Canine Cough (also referred to as Kennel Cough) vaccine every 6 months or every year depending on your veterinarian’s recommendation.

K-9 influenza H3N2 & H3N8

Canine Influenza first appeared in the southeastern United States several years ago. It is now being seen by veterinarians at animal hospitals in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Therefore, effective immediately, Tappen Hill is requiring that all of our clients’ dogs be vaccinated for both strains of this influenza, H3N8 & H3N2. This is a series of two vaccines with the second dose (the booster) being given two weeks after the initial vaccine. It is important to note that optimal protection against the virus does not develop until at least one week after administration of the second dose. Additionally, please note that the vaccine may not prevent every dog from contracting influenza but hopefully it will reduce the severity and duration of the illness.

Dogs who contract Canine Influenza exhibit symptoms very similar to humans who get the flu. The symptoms are predominately that of a respiratory infection: coughing, sneezing, fever, sinus inflammation and runny nose. Symptoms may also include: loss of appetite, dehydration, lethargy, etc.

Canine influenza is not a serious illness in most dogs. In most cases (just like in a human flu) the dogs will exhibit flu-like symptoms for no more than a week to ten days and then will recover completely. However, in rare circumstances it can be serious. In cases where a dog has a compromised immune system, Canine Influenza can be life-threatening.

Any dog who exhibits symptoms of respiratory illness while in our care will be transported to either Animal Hospital of Sebastopol or the 24hr. Animal Care Center for evaluation and treatment. All veterinary expenses and possibly extra charges for medical boarding will be the responsibility of the dog’s owner as is consistent with Tappen Hill’s policy.

We know that the above requirements are an additional burden and we thank you in advance for your understanding. The health, comfort and happiness of all the dogs in our care continues to be our highest priority.

To schedule an appointment to get your dog vaccinated or to receive more information about Canine Influenza as it pertains specifically to your dog, please contact your veterinarian right away.

For additional general information about Canine Influenza you can click the link below.

* We must have written documentation for all the vaccinations we require. Prior to your evaluation appointment or boarding at Tappen Hill, please have your vet email your dog’s current vaccination record to you. Once you receive your dog’s records please forward them to us at If your vet feels that your dog does not need to be re-vaccinated, we require that your veterinarian provide us with a TITER report and a letter that specifically states when your veterinarian feels that your dog needs to be re-vaccinated or re-TITERED.

Annual Parasite Screening

We do not have an intestinal parasite problem here at Tappen Hill, because we require an annual fecal test for every dog that stays with us. As you may know, in addition to hook, round, and whip worms, Giardia is an intestinal parasite that can be contracted by coming into contact with contaminated food, water, soil or feces. Wildlife such as skunks, raccoons, squirrels and possums are the most common carriers, but dogs, and other animals can also become infected and thereby continue to spread these parasites. The most common symptom of an intestinal parasite infection is loose stool/diarrhea. It is important to remember that many dogs can be carriers of intestinal parasites even though they have normal stool and appear to be completely healthy. The only way to tell if your dog is a carrier of Giardia or other parasites is to have your veterinarian do a fecal test.

Fortunately testing is easy to do! Your dog does NOT need to go in to the vet for an exam. You do not even need to make an appointment. All you need to do is to collect a small amount of fresh stool from your dog (about 1 tablespoon) and drop it off at your veterinarian’s office. Most vet hospitals will have the results back the following day.

We require the fecal test to be performed by IDEXX LABS – use order code 24639 to request the combined tests:

  • Comprehensive Antigen Panel with Giardia
  • “O&P (ova and parasite) FLOAT”

Please have your veterinarian email the original Idexx labs document to you. Once you receive your dog’s records please forward them to us at After forwarding your dogs’s records to us, please call us to confirm that we have received everything we need.

Also, please understand that if your dog has diarrhea during his/her stay at Tappen Hill, depending on how recently they have had their stool checked for parasites, we may need to collect a new sample and have it re-tested by our vet (Animal Hospital of Sebastopol). Should this be necessary, the charges for the fecal test and any required medications will be added to your invoice.

We appreciate your understanding and your willingness to work with us in our efforts to keep all of the dogs here at Tappen Hill happy and healthy. Our goal is to provide the safest, healthiest and most wholesome home-away-from-home for your dog as possible.

If you have any questions about this health protocol, please speak to our office staff and they will be happy to help you.

Please feel free to call us at 707-824-9100 if you have any questions. You are also welcome to have your veterinarian call us directly with any questions.