Nov 25 , 2022
“Are vaccinations necessary for dogs?”
“Do I need to complete my dog’s vaccines?”
These are two questions that are frequently asked by many dog owners.
For the first question, yes, vaccines are necessary for dogs. Most especially during a pup’s five to six weeks of age. Vaccinations will help prepare your pup’s immune system and maintain good health as they age. It can also protect your furry friend from disease-causing organisms and bacteria.
For the second question, although vaccines are necessary for your dog, not all dogs need to complete their vaccines or can be vaccinated against every disease.
There are still some factors every owner needs to consider before having their canine vaccinated. These include their medical history, lifestyle, age, and environment. Therefore, it’s better to seek education from a vet regarding the proper vaccination protocol and guidelines that are most appropriate for your doggo.
The vaccine guidelines that will be recommended below are administered in general, but will still vary depending on the lifestyle of your dog: if they are an indoor/outdoor type, if they are on kennel/boarding plans, and have travel plans.
Their medical history is also factored in: if they are healthy or have pre-existing infections, underlying medical conditions, congenital/inherited disorder, or immune-mediated diseases.
The factors for these vaccines may change over time, depending on your dog’s condition, age, and weight progress. That’s why we recommend asking a specialist (veterinarian) about regular checkups, examination, and updates for your doggo’s recommended vaccination plan.
Canine core vaccine is recommended for all pups and doggos, especially those that have unknown history of vaccination. This vaccine can protect them from common ailments, widespread diseases, and life-threatening conditions. The core vaccines include:
- Canine distemper virus
- Canine parvovirus
- Canine adenovirus
- Leptospirosis vacccine
Ages of vaccination
- Canine Parvovirus, Distemper Virus, and Adenovirus-2 Vaccines: One dose of (MLV) CPV, CDV, and CAV-2 vaccines are recommended every 3-4 weeks from ages 6 to 8 weeks. The final booster will be given at least 16 weeks of age. If dogs are older than 16 weeks, two doses of (MLV) CPV, CDV, and CAV-2 vaccines are recommended with 3-4 weeks apart. Then followed by a booster after 6 months-1 year, and 3 years thereafter.
- Canine Rabies Virus Vaccines: A single dose of killed rabies vaccine is recommended within 12 weeks or 3 months of dog’s age. Then a booster one year later, and every 3 years thereafter.
- Canine Leptospira Vaccine: The recommended first vaccine for this must be given no earlier than 12 weeks of age, then followed by a booster 2-4 weeks after.
- Canine Parainfluenza Virus and Bordetella Bronchiseptica: Both are related to what most refer to as “kennel cough” — a canine’s infectious respiratory disease complex. This vaccine can be given within your dog’s 6 months of age, followed by an annual vaccination booster for B. Bronchiseptica vaccines for added protection.
- Canine Distemper-Measles Combination Vaccine: This vaccine can be given between a dog’s 4-6 weeks of age as a protection from distemper. This type of vaccine can only be used in shelters/kennels/households where a CDV case was previously recognized. Protections happen within 72 hours of vaccination. Only one dose must be administered after a pup is boostered with the CDV vaccine to further lessen the transfer of anti-measles virus’ maternal antibodies for the next generation of pups.
Tips for your pooch’s vaccination
Conditioning your furry buddy’s mind and body is important before a vaccination schedule. Since vaccines are injectable, it can hurt your dog. Prepping them before a trip to the vet will prevent them from getting scared or stressed. Here are some tips to do it:
- Be a great example — honestly, it’s not just the doggos that get scared of needles, but the owners too. Because seeing your dog tremble in fear or cry makes you nervous, too. Dogs can feel what you’re feeling. If you want them to calm down, you should set a good example first. Remember, your dog only depends on you and no one else in the room. Giving them positive energy will make them calm and more docile to the procedure.
- Make transport more fun — you can drive your dog around the neighborhood first, or take them to their favorite drive-thru restaurant for a more enjoyable trip to the vet. You can also play a calming music while on the road for a more relaxing vibe.
- Bring healthy treats with you — once you arrive at the clinic/hospital, if you see your dog showing signs of aggression or irritability, you can offer them healthy treats to distract and calm them down. Most importantly, assure your dog has already eaten before vaccination. A hungry doggo becomes more aggressive when forced to do something they don’t like. And this inappropriate behavior can escalate as they get more nervous and scared.
- Love language — just like humans, dogs need love language too, which can also greatly help during vaccination. You can tell them words of affirmation like “good dog”, or any praises that will make them feel comfortable. You can also hug them, pet their heads, or hold their paws during the process to let them know that there’s nothing to be afraid of.
Health benefits of dog vaccinations
As previously mentioned, getting your dog vaxxed can protect them from certain diseases. But aside from that, here are other health benefits of dog vaccinations:
- Getting your dogs vaxxed keeps other pets safe. When you go outside with your dog, there’s a higher chance that they will interact with other pets too. If your dog is unvaccinated, he can spread diseases to other pets, which can make them sick.
- When your dog is vaccinated, you and your family will be safe too. You will be protected from diseases that dogs are prone to carrying. If your dog becomes sick and is unvaccinated, they become live carriers of dangerous pathogens that are risky, especially for children and seniors, since they have a weaker immune system.
- You become a good, law-abiding citizen. Dog vaccinations are required by law in every state and other countries. No exemptions, as this will keep everyone safe. And in case you will travel with your doggo, or have them put in a doggy day care while you’re away, you may be asked to submit vaccination records of your dog. And most of them require up-to-date boosters for certain vaccinations, especially for older doggos.
- Getting your dog vaccinated may help save you more money in the future. Yes, dog vaccinations are expensive… at first. But as a dog age, vaccination becomes less costly. Puppy vaccinations are more expensive than adult vaccination. Boosters, on the other hand, are cheaper. But if your dog has complete vaccination, they become less sickly and less susceptible to fatal illnesses. They can have longer lifespan too. Thus, saving you money from all the clinic and hospital bills.