What Vaccinations Does My Dog Need?

important vaccines for dogs

The Information You Need to Properly Vaccinate Your Dog

We all know that vaccinations are required to protect our precious dogs from viruses and diseases. I know that I certainly like to make sure my animals are taken care of to the best of my ability! But does your veterinarian actually know the type of vaccines to give your dog? You will be surprised to know that some vets are administering too many vaccines which, unfortunately, can do more harm than good.

That’s a stone cold fact.

According to Dr. Ronald D. Schultz, annual vaccination was a practice that started in the late 1970’s. Dr. Schultz is one of the leading experts in veterinary vaccines. He said, “immunity induced by vaccination is extremely long lasting and, in most cases, lifelong.”

He further stated, “the animal receives no benefit and may be placed at serious risk when unnecessary vaccinations are given.”

In fact, the work of Dr. Schultz was enough for the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) and AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) to reconsider the traditional yearly schedule of vaccines back in 2003.

With that being said, this article is aimed to enlighten dog owners about the type of vaccinations that are needed for our furry best friends. 🙂

What Are the Types of Vaccines for Dogs?

The first thing you need to know is that there are two types of dog vaccines: core and non-core vaccines.

  1. Core vaccines are usually recommended by veterinarians and are best administered to puppies between 6-16 weeks old. Core vaccines include:
  • Rabies
  • Distemper
  • Parvovirus
  • Adenovirus
  • Hepatitis

Take note that, among the listed core dog vaccines, only rabies is legally required in the United States and in some parts of Canada.

This basically means that, apart from the rabies vaccine, not even your vet can force you to have your dog vaccinated against distemper, parvovirus, and adenovirus (including non-core vaccines).

  1. Non-core vaccines mostly consist of bacterial vaccines and include the following:
  • Lyme disease
  • Bordetella (the primary cause of kennel cough)
  • Leptospirosis
  • Parainfluenza
  • Canine influenza
  • Adenovirus Intranasal

Remember that non-core vaccines (particularly Lyme disease, Leptospirosis, and Bordetella) have an extremely low efficacy rate and may come with adverse reactions such as fever, oral ulcers, seizures, and even death.

pug dog surprise look

Did you say… shots???

The Risks of Over-Vaccinating

If there is one take away from this article, you should understand that all vaccines come with potential adverse side-effects. It is normal for some dogs to experience bouts of soreness, fever, or lethargy after administering the vaccine.

In some cases, administering the vaccine may cause the same disease the vaccine is designed to prevent.

According to Dr. Schultz, vaccinating your dog over and over will not make him/her more immune to the disease, especially if your dog’s immune system is already protected by the previous vaccinations.

Vaccines are also known to contain toxic ingredients that may be detrimental to the health of your pooch. Here is some info on a couple of the toxic additives we are talking about!

  • FDA rules suggest that antibiotics should be present in vaccines to prevent the occurrence of bacterial infection. Gentamicin is an antibiotic that is present in a large variety of vaccines. You know what this means, right? This means your dog will get a heaping dose of antibiotics during vaccination.
  • This is used as a preservative and is a mercury-based additive. That fact alone is bad news since mercury toxicity is well-documented in various studies. The bad news is some vaccines that claim to be Thimerosal-free may still contain trace amounts of the preservative.  🙁

A fact that is not discussed enough is that over-vaccination can cause debilitating chronic diseases (including skin allergies and cancer). You should have a deep and personal conversation with your veterinarian before administering vaccines to your dog.

It is safe to assume that if your vet recommends yearly vaccinations, they might be vaccinating too much and may give your pet severe health problems in the long run.

What Is an In-House Titer Test?

It is only natural to be concerned about the overall health and well-being of our furry best friends. Administering proper vaccinations will ensure that our pets are not only protected from disease, but are also being prevented from irreversible vaccine damage, as well.

If you are still unsure if your pet needs more vaccines, you should ask your veterinarian about an in-house titer test like TiterCHEK and Vaccicheck.

Titer tests are an inexpensive way to test if your doggy has responded to the vaccines by forming an immunity to the disease.

With these in-house titer tests, your veterinarian will no longer have to guess if your dog needs more vaccines. A negative titer test result simply means it is safe to administer another round of vaccinations without exposing your dog to the dangers of over-vaccination.

Lucy being a goof ball

Lucy is one healthy and happy vaccinated pibble! 🙂

What Are the Vaccinations Needed For My Dog?

Here is a simple chart that will list and explain the vaccinations needed by your dog, along with the legal requirements as prescribed by AAHA guidelines.

Core Vaccines

Vaccine Legal Requirement AAHA Guidelines What your dog needs
Rabies 1 year after initial vaccination and every 3 years after.

 

Check the requirements in your state regarding rabies vaccinations for pet dogs.

Administer 1-year vaccine if pet is 12 weeks or older, 3-year vaccine after one year and again every 3 years. A single rabies vaccine would likely protect your dog for life. Titer test is required 3 weeks after vaccination. Positive titer result means your dog is protected for life.
Adenovirus (CAV-2) No legal requirements. The vaccine is administered at your discretion. Puppies between 6 and 16 weeks of age should be vaccinated every 3 to 4 weeks; 1-year booster, then every 3 years.

 

Adult dogs should be administered 1 vaccination after 16 weeks, then every 3 years.

Puppies should be vaccinated at 16 weeks. Titer test should be administered after 3 weeks. Positive titer means your dog is protected for life.

 

Adult dogs need 1 vaccination for lifetime protection.

Parvovirus (CPV-2) and Distemper (CDV) No legal requirements. Puppies between 6 and 16 weeks of age should be vaccinated every 3 to 4 weeks; 1-year booster, then every 3 years.

 

Adult dogs should be administered 1 vaccination after 16 weeks, then every 3 years.

Puppies should be vaccinated at 16 weeks. Titer test should be administered after 3 weeks. Positive titer means your dog is protected for life.

 

Adult dogs need 1 vaccination for lifetime protection.

 

Remember that only the rabies vaccine is required by law. All the other core vaccines are considered optional. For example, vaccinations for Lyme disease are not required if your dog doesn’t spend a lot of time in the woods or in grassy areas. However, if you live in a tick-infested area, you can choose to administer vaccinations against Lyme disease or use natural methods to repel ticks.

It is also important to remember that your vet might prescribe the DHLPP core vaccine, which stands for distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parvo, and parainfluenza. As you very well know, leptospirosis is NOT a core vaccine (kindly refer to the chart below to know more).

Non-core vaccines

Vaccine AAHA Guidelines What is needed by your dog
Bordetella Puppies 8 to 12 weeks old should be vaccinated once.

 

Adult dogs need to be administered with two doses at least 2 to 4 weeks apart.

 

High-risk animals need to be vaccinated annually or more.

According to Dr. Schultz, Kennel cough is a disease that cannot be prevented by vaccines. In fact, over 40 Bordetella agents are not covered by the vaccine.
Leptospirosis (4-way) Puppies 8 to 12 weeks old should be vaccinated once, then repeat 2 to 4 weeks later.

 

Adult dogs need two doses which should be administered 2 to 4 weeks apart.

Leptospirosis vaccines have the highest rate of adverse reactions and fatal side effects.

 

The 4-way Leptospirosis vaccine covers only 4 out of the 200 known types of the disease. Efficacy rate is less than 70%.

Lyme Disease Puppies 12 weeks old should be vaccinated once, then repeat 2 to 4 weeks later.

 

Adult dogs need two does which should be administered 2 to 4 weeks apart.

Vaccines for Lyme disease are considered high-risk and may induce long-term side effects like arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or kidney disease.

 

Cost of Vaccination

Depending on your location, the average cost of vaccinations will be around $75 to $100. This is inclusive of core vaccines which may be administered to 6, 12, and 16-week old puppies. This does not include the rabies vaccine which will usually costs $15 to $20.

Rural veterinarians will usually charge less compared to those whose offices are located in expensive urban areas. Animal shelters will often charge less for vaccines, while some shelters will even offer them for free!

It is also important to note that initial puppy vaccinations are usually more expensive compared to vaccinations for adult dogs.

Final Barks

article conclusion

Still wondering what vaccinations are needed by your dog? The decision is all up to you! Based on the facts given above, you have a responsibility to properly vaccinate your doggy, but your pooch does not need to be over-vaccinated either.

If your vet insists on adhering to the vaccination schedule as prescribed by the AAHA, you should talk to your vet and discuss the possible side effects and long-term damage of over-vaccinating your pooch. You should also request an in-house titer test if your vet insists on administering more vaccinations.

Summary of this sweet article:
What Vaccines Does My Dog Need?
Name
What Vaccines Does My Dog Need?
Introduction
We all know that vaccinations are required to protect our precious dogs from viruses and diseases. I know that I certainly like to make sure my animals are taken care of to the best of my ability! But does your veterinarian actually know the type of vaccines to give your dog?
Who wrote this?
Our Website
Our Pibble Lucy
Our Logo

Add Comment