I've started dog sitting, and am really enjoying it. One thing I'd like to know is the best way to check that a client's dogs are vaccinated.

  1. Can I ask for the phone number of their vet, and expect the vet to tell me?

  2. Do I have to ask for documentation and check it myself?

  3. what documents / vaccinations should I ask for?

  4. how do I tell the paperwork is up and up?


  • 1
    many vets give the owner a little booklet a type of heath card where this information is recorded,so the first thing is to ask the owner for this Jun 14, 2018 at 4:25
  • I think the answer depends on why you need to know, can you clarify why you need the info. i.e. if you are dog sitting in their home, and the dog only goes out into a fenced back yard, does it really matter? BUT if you are bringing the dog into your home and it is interacting with your pets, or other animals you are carrying for, it can have life altering impacts all the pets. Jun 14, 2018 at 12:09
  • what does "how do I tell the paperwork is up and up?" mean? Jun 14, 2018 at 14:18

2 Answers 2


Core Boarding Vaccines

There are 3 must have vaccines when boarding dogs:

Being vaccinated helps prevent spread of disease, it would be awful for one animal to infect the rest of the pack. These viruses can be fatal (though unlikely with kennel cough) and spread like wildfire.

Note: the vaccine protocol can change depending on your location globally, this is specific to Canada

Can I ask for the phone number of their vet, and expect the vet to tell me?

Yes and no, depending on where you live there can be privacy laws where the owner of the pet needs to give permission to the hospital to release records on their behalf. This can make things complicated as not everyone is compliant with calling the hospital.

Do I have to ask for documentation and check it myself?

This is the best way to do it, hospitals generally give out vaccination certificates (example) which are also signed by the veterinarian who has done said vaccines. Ask for a signed certificate and make a copy for personal records (liability).


If you plan on making this a full time gig I highly recommend getting insurance to cover for any potential lawsuits, damage to your property, injury to the animal etc. Having insurance gives a peace of mind to the client.

I would also have a lawyer create a document for your for the client to sign (i.e Client states that all the information provided was correct etc..) this is to cover your butt in case of forgery of certificates causing illness in other pets etc.


EU regulations:

If you want to travel with pets in the EU you need a Health Certificate and Declaration (might be know locally as: Pet Passport). This will let you know if and when pets were vaccinated.

USA regulations:

Are less centralised, could only find things (on short notice) for International Travel.

So you might just have to go on people's word. But I, as being a EU resident, would prefer the proper Pet Passport.

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