Skiptown Safety Update

Skiptown Safety Update


Skiptown Safety Update


The Charlotte area has seen a recent increase in canine respiratory illnesses and kennel cough cases. We wanted to share some important information with you about how we’re keeping dogs safe, and what you can do to help prevent kennel cough from spreading.

If you’ve been to our facility, you know that every aspect of what we do is designed with your dog’s health and happiness as the number one priority. We work with over a dozen veterinarians in the area to design our cleaning protocols and ensure that every pup who visits Skiptown has their updated vaccinations.

The Bordetella vaccine is the best defense against kennel cough. At Skiptown, we verify all dogs have an up-to-date Bordetella vaccination before they’re allowed to visit.

We are also aware that local dog-friendly bars and breweries, as well as private and public dog parks, do not verify vaccines. While we can’t control what other businesses do to help protect our dog community, we can help you understand the risks associated with pups playing together in places that don’t enforce proper vaccinations.

See below for more information about kennel cough, what Skiptown does to keep our dog community safe, and what you can do to make sure your pup is healthy and happy!

What is kennel cough?

Kennel cough is a respiratory illness in dogs caused by bacteria. It is contagious and is spread when dogs interact with each other or share common objects. Kennel cough symptoms include: a strong cough, runny nose, and sneezing. Kennel cough can not be contracted by humans.

Symptoms are typically moderate and do not require treatment because they resolve themselves on their own in 2 weeks. In some cases, a course of antibiotics will be prescribed by the veterinarian.

What is the Bordetella vaccine?

The Bordetella vaccination protects against the main bacteria that causes kennel cough. 

Skiptown requires all pups who enter the facility have an up-to-date Bordetella vaccination. Our team individually checks proof of vaccination for every dog to ensure that their vaccines are up-to-date. We are proud to say that we have required and verified an updated Bordetella vaccine for every dog who has ever visited Skiptown. 

We know, of course, that there are always risks associated when dogs socialize. At Skiptown, it’s our mission to ensure the safety and happiness of all pups while they’re here. While the Bordetella vaccination is highly effective at protecting against kennel cough, it does not guarantee 100% protection against all viral strains. A vaccinated dog could still contract kennel cough, although the risk is much lower.

Many other local dog bars, public dog parks, and private apartment dog parks in Charlotte DO NOT properly ensure pups are vaccinated. These unprotected spaces enable the spread of kennel cough. Bringing your dog to socialize with other dogs in these unprotected places puts your dog at higher risk to contract kennel cough.

What is the treatment for kennel cough?

If you suspect that your dog has kennel cough, we suggest consulting with your regular veterinarian. Kennel cough left untreated can go away on its own within a couple weeks. In some cases, the vet may prescribe a course of antibiotics. In all cases, we suggest following the advice of a licensed veterinarian.

How does Skiptown help prevent the spread of kennel cough?

Our vaccination and facility-cleaning policies are in place to protect the safety and well-being of our pup and human guests. 

Public and private dog-friendly spaces that don’t enforce Bordetella vaccinations enable the spread of kennel cough. 

Skiptown helps to prevent the spread of kennel cough by requiring and verifying that Bordetella, Rabies, Parvovirus, and Distemper vaccinations are up-to-date for pups. 

We do not allow any dogs to enter our bar & park or utilize our pet care services without having proof of up-to-date Bordetella vaccinations. We know this sometimes seems inconvenient that we require these vaccinations. We have had to calm frustrations from clients who were denied access to Skiptown because they didn’t have proof of vaccines. While our protocol may seem over the top to some, we believe our vaccination requirements are necessary to create and foster a safe and healthy community for all the dogs and people who come to visit and experience Skiptown!

At Skiptown, we take great pride in going above and beyond to make our facility the cleanest and safest place for your dog to socialize in Charlotte; we have rigorous cleaning protocols – including daily and thorough sanitization of kennels, water bowls, leashes, and play areas. We use the highest hospital-grade, dog-safe disinfectants. We have a dedicated staff on-site every day cleaning up after all the pups. 

What happens if a pup at Skiptown is diagnosed with kennel cough?

If a dog comes to Skiptown and exhibits symptoms of kennel cough, we immediately isolate them from the other dogs and ask the parent to take them home. We may also seek veterinary care on the parent’s behalf should that become necessary. 

We also require infected or symptomatic dogs not return for services until they receive veterinary clearance. 

If you suspect your dog may have kennel cough, please keep all dogs in your household at home and consult with your veterinarian. 

What can I do to protect my dog against kennel cough?

    1. If you’ve been to Skiptown since we opened, then congratulations! You’ve already taken the biggest step to protect your dog against kennel cough by having them get the Bordetella vaccination. If you have not visited Skiptown and your dog doesn’t have their Bordetella vaccination – we recommend you make an appointment at your vet to get your dog the Bordetella vaccine.
    2. Ensure your dog’s Bordetella vaccination is updated every 6 months.
    3. Avoid any dog-friendly places (including dog parks, breweries, and bars) that do not require up-to-date vaccinations for dogs to enter. Your pup is at greater risk to contract kennel cough when they socialize with other dogs in places that don’t require up-to-date Bordetella vaccinations.

Do other local dog bars and parks verify proof of vaccines? 

Our research shows other local dog-friendly bars, breweries, and dog parks do not verify proof of vaccines. 

Keep in mind, places that “require” Bordetella vaccines but don’t check for proof of vaccination cannot guarantee that visiting dogs have been vaccinated in the past or currently have updated vaccines.

If you’d like to express concern around dog-friendly establishments that choose not to verify Bordetella and other vaccines deemed necessary by the veterinary community for the well-being of our dogs, we encourage you to reach out to them directly.

You can do your part by educating other dog parents who have not gotten their pup vaccinated with Bordetella vaccine. If you see a dog expressing kennel cough symptoms, let their parents know these are signs of kennel cough and remove the dog from the interaction. You can also send them the link to this blog post. 

If you suspect your dog may have kennel cough, please keep all the dogs in your household at home for 2 weeks and consult with your veterinarian.

Skiptown is the safest place you can be out with your pup. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at

Thank you for taking the time to be informed so we can all create the best community for our pups! We look forward to seeing you and your fur family at Skiptown soon.

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