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Home » Can You Board a Dog with Heartworms? Exploring the Considerations

Can You Board a Dog with Heartworms? Exploring the Considerations

by Pets Sos
can you board a dog with heartworms

Heartworm disease is a serious condition that affects dogs worldwide. As a responsible dog owner, you may find yourself wondering whether it is possible to board a dog with heartworms. The answer to this question is not straightforward and requires careful consideration of several factors. In this blog post, we will delve into the complexities surrounding boarding a dog with heartworms and shed light on the key considerations involved.

Understanding Heartworm Disease

Before we dive into the topic, let’s briefly understand heartworm disease. It is caused by parasitic worms known as heartworms, which reside in the heart, lungs, and blood vessels of infected dogs. These parasites are primarily transmitted through mosquito bites. Heartworm disease can lead to severe health issues and even prove fatal if left untreated.

Factors to Consider:

  • Severity of the Condition: The severity of heartworm disease can vary from mild to severe. Dogs with mild infections may show no visible symptoms, while those in advanced stages may experience coughing, fatigue, weight loss, and difficulty breathing. Boarding a dog with severe heartworm disease may not be advisable due to their compromised health and the need for close monitoring.
  • Treatment Stage: Treating heartworm disease involves a comprehensive approach, including medications and injections to eliminate the worms. This treatment process can be lengthy, often spanning several months, and may have potential risks and side effects. Boarding a dog during the treatment stage might not be recommended due to the need for intensive care and supervision.
  • Contagiousness: Heartworm disease is not directly contagious between dogs. It requires mosquitoes as intermediate hosts for transmission. However, during the treatment phase, when the worms are dying off, the dog may become contagious to mosquitoes. If other dogs are present in the boarding facility, there is a risk of transmitting the disease to them. This aspect should be carefully considered to prevent the spread of heartworms.
  • Veterinary Recommendations: Consulting with a veterinarian is crucial before making any decisions regarding boarding a dog with heartworms. A veterinarian will assess the dog’s overall health, the stage of heartworm disease, and the specific treatment plan. Based on their evaluation, they can provide valuable guidance on whether boarding is a safe option or if alternative arrangements should be made.
  • Boarding Facility Policies: Each boarding facility may have its own policies regarding accepting dogs with heartworms. Some facilities may have the necessary protocols in place to accommodate such dogs, while others may not be equipped or willing to take the risk. Transparent communication with the boarding facility is essential. Sharing the dog’s medical history and discussing the situation in detail will help ensure the well-being of the dog and the safety of other animals in their care.
  • Environmental Considerations: Dogs with heartworms require a calm and controlled environment during their treatment and recovery. Boarding facilities can be bustling and potentially stressful environments due to unfamiliar surroundings, other animals, and exposure to mosquitoes. It is crucial to evaluate whether the boarding facility can provide an environment that promotes the dog’s healing process.
  • Alternative Options: Instead of traditional boarding, there may be alternative options available for dogs with heartworms. For instance, some veterinary clinics offer hospitalization services where the dog can receive specialized care and close monitoring during the treatment phase. This may be a safer alternative, especially for dogs in critical condition.


Boarding a dog with heartworms is a decision that should be made in consultation with a veterinarian and the boarding facility. Factors such as the severity of the condition, treatment stage, contagiousness, veterinary recommendations, facility policies, environmental considerations, and alternative options all need to be carefully evaluated. The primary concern should be the health and well-being of the dog, along with minimizing the risk of disease transmission. Prioritizing the dog’s treatment and recovery while ensuring their safety is of utmost importance.

Remember, heartworm disease requires prompt and proper treatment. If your dog is diagnosed with heartworms, consult with your veterinarian to develop a comprehensive plan that prioritizes their health and ensures the best possible outcome.

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