When a person picks up their first puppy, or adopts a loving dog from the shelter, they may feel overwhelmed in the beginning. One of the questions new dog owners ask is, what dog vaccines do I need and how often? Not to worry, this is the dog owner’s guide to vaccinations.
Why Do Dogs Need Vaccinations?
One of the benefits of domesticating a dog is that were able to protect them from harmful illnesses and diseases. This is where dog vaccinations come in. A vaccine is a substance formed using the virus, which then produces antibodies and provides immunity to that virus. Believe it or not, there are many common dog diseases out there. If we have the ability to prevent harmful illnesses for our dogs, why don’t we?
Do Dogs Need Vaccinations Every Year?
There has been a lot of debate about this question among veterinarians and dog owners all over the world. The example that yearly-vaccine doubters bring up is, humans don’t need the measles shot every year.
While that statement is true, humans do need boosters of the measles vaccine from time to time. In fact, I believe the vaccinations only last 5 years in adults. Dogs may not be able to stay immune through the antibodies for as long as humans are. It may vary with different dogs and breeds.
It is possible that a dog can stay immune past the suggested veterinarian vaccine schedule, but why bother taking the risk? Better safe than sorry, especially if you love your dog as much as I do. Dog vaccines aren’t terribly expensive, so just follow your vet’s guidelines.
Important Dog Vaccines
Here’s a brief summary of the dog vaccinations highly recommended by most veterinarians. Click on each vaccine to learn more.
It’s quite difficult to control an unleashed dog roaming around the backyard as they spot a raccoon, squirrel or coyote. More times than not, they will go charging at them. It’s animal/dog instincts. Unfortunately, a scratch or bite from one of those wild animals can develop rabies in your dog.
So this vaccine not only protects your dog, but it protects the dog owner as well. If your dog gets infected by rabies and accidentally scratches you, then you will be at risk for rabies.
The DHLPP vaccine is kind of an all-in-one vaccine, but not completely. As you may have guessed, DHLPP is an acronym, which stands for Distemper, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Parainfluenza and Parvovirus. The purpose of this vaccine is to protect your dog from those listed diseases.
Although the puppy vaccination schedule for DHLPP is more frequent, once the dog reaches adulthood, this shot should be administered only once a year. However, in some cases, a vet will recommend this once every three years.
The Bordetella vaccine, also known as the Kennel Cough vaccine, protects your dog from contracting a illness called, well, the Kennel Cough. This illness is similar to the human’s common cold, so it’s not too serious. Still, most doggy daycares and dog socializing events require this vaccination because they don’t want other dogs to contract the Kennel Cough.
After going through the initial puppy vaccination schedule, a dog is recommended to get the Bordetella vaccine every 6 to 12 months.