What exactly are dog vaccinations?
Vaccinations in dogs, just like those in people, are used to stimulate the individual's immune system to mount a defense against the disease that the vaccination is being administered against.
Cherry Douglas, DVM
Village Square Veterinary Clinic
How do vaccinations impact the health and well-being of a dog?
By administering a vaccine, the dog's body can use its natural defenses to fight the disease should the dog be infected. This will help the dog stay healthy and potentially live a longer life.
Are vaccinations required by law?
Only the Rabies vaccine is required by law because the Rabies virus can infect humans. There is no treatment for it, and it will lead to death in both dogs and people. This makes it a human-health issue.
Does my dog's lifestyle factor into what vaccinations my veterinarian will recommend?
Yes and no. There are some that are considered core vaccines meaning that veterinarians recommend all dogs receive that vaccine. The non-core vaccines are usually based on the dog's risk of contracting the disease. The higher the risk, the more veterinarians want to make sure they are protected. If an animal is not at risk for specific diseases, then most veterinarians will not recommend vaccinating that dog for that disease.
How soon should I get my dog vaccinated?
All puppies should receive 2 to 3 sets of vaccines between 7 and 20 weeks of age and then again 1 year later. If a dog is older and unvaccinated, it should receive a set of 2 vaccines and boosters given 1 year later.
Do I really need to avoid allowing my puppy to socialize with other dogs until they are fully vaccinated?
Yes, because a puppy's immune system is naïve and still growing just like the rest of them and they need all the series to be truly protected.
Why is it important to avoid missing a dog vaccination?
It is important that the vaccinations be given as prescribed by your veterinarian because if they are not, the dog will not be fully protected and can be susceptible to infection of the disease.
What are the typical puppy and dog vaccination schedules?
As described earlier, puppies should receive between 2 and 3 sets of vaccines between 7 and 20 weeks of age. The exception to this is Rabies as it is only given once usually between 14 and 20 weeks of age. Puppies should then receive boosters of the core vaccines and any vaccines that they are at risk for a year later. Adult dogs should receive their core vaccines based on the recommendation of the veterinarian. We try to give them based on recommendations by the American Veterinary Medical Association. Typically, Distemper combination vaccines should be given every 3 years in adult dogs. There is a 3-year Rabies vaccine that is recommended as well, but some regulatory agencies require it to be given more frequently so local laws should be followed. Most other vaccines are given annually.
What diseases are prevented with vaccinations?
Distemper, Adenovirus, Parvovirus, Parainfluenza, Leptospirosis, Lymes Disease, and Rabies. If you have questions regarding dog vaccinations, give us a call. We're always here for you!
If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (561) 369-0061, you can email us, or you can reach out on social media. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as fast as we can.