Vaccines and Your Dog

You love your dog, which means you want the absolute best for them. This includes bringing Fluffy or Fido to regular preventative check-ups, feeding them the vet-recommended food, and helping them to get plenty of physical activity.
Along with keeping your pup healthy and fit, you also need to shelter them from preventable diseases. Like people, dogs can pass bacteria and viruses between each other. And here’s where vaccinations come into play. Vaccinations are more than just another chore to remember or something else to pay for. They’re potentially life-saving preventative medical treatments.
Sticking to the recommended vaccination schedule can help your furry best friend to stay healthy and avoid unnecessary illnesses. If your dog isn’t vaccinated, take a look at why canine immunizations are important and which ones your pup needs now – and in the future.
Close Contact
Are you planning a vaccination? Even if you aren’t leaving town right now, at some point in the not-so-distant future you might. For many pet owners, this means boarding your dog in a kennel. Kennels offer a place for your pet to stay while you’re away. Your dog will get attention from humans and other pups too. Whether it’s the side-by-side rooms or a group play area, boarding your dog (or using a doggie daycare) means that they’re in close contact with other animals.
It’s this close contact that helps to spread disease. The increased risk of spreading viruses and bacteria makes it absolutely essential that you vaccinate your dog before boarding them. The same goes for taking them to doggie daycare, to the dog park or to a friends’ house who also has dogs.
Vital Vaccines
The core vaccines are necessary for all pets. These immunizations are crucial, even if your dog doesn’t spend time around other animals. Keep in mind that your dog could get loose during a walk or break free from your backyard fence. If your dog strays from home base, they could run into other animals. This doesn’t just include other dogs. A rabies-ridden raccoon or a disease-carrying squirrel could infect your dog. That is if they aren’t vaccinated.
What vaccines are considered core? For dogs, rabies, parvovirus, distemper, and canine hepatitis are all in this group. Along with being a core vaccine, rabies is also typically required by law. Most states require that pets have this vaccine and that owners can show proof that the immunization is current.
Other Vaccines
The core vaccines aren’t the only immunizations your dog can, or should, get. Bordetella bronchiseptica, Leptospira, and Borrelia burgdorferi are also important to vaccinate against. Even though the law doesn’t require these or consider them absolutely necessary, the vet may recommend one or all of these for your pet.
Why would a veterinarian recommend these vaccinations? There are several reasons. Your dog’s individual health needs and age factor into the decision, as does whether your dog spends time near other animals or not.
Vaccination Schedule
The vaccinations that your pet gets are certainly not random. There’s a precise schedule that vets stick to when it comes to the administration of different types of vaccines. The American Animal Hospital Association’s (AAHA) canine vaccination schedule starts early on. Puppies as young as six weeks can get the canine distemper, adenovirus, parainfluenza, and parvovirus combination vaccine. This requires booster through 16 weeks of age. Older dogs can also get this vaccine as well. Boosters are recommended within one year of completing the initial series of shots as well as every three years,
The rabies vaccine can be given at 12-weeks or older. Dogs must get a second rabies vaccination one year after the first dose. Following this, your dog can get a revaccination every one or three years (depending on the vaccine used).
Noncore vaccines are also given during the puppy stage. The specific schedule depends on the vaccine. The Bordetella, Borrelia, and Leptospira vaccines are given as early as 8-weeks-old. These also require boosters and revaccinations too.
Does your dog need their vaccinations? Animal Medical Center of Appleton can help.