Vaccinations play an essential role in keeping the canine community healthy and safe from preventable, yet potentially deadly, diseases.
Thanks to hundreds of years of scientific discovery, research, and innovation, many of the highly infectious common diseases and viruses that often result in canine fatalities are now completely preventable through vaccinations.
New pet parents may be aware that a puppy does need vaccinations before heading out to play and socialize. In addition, dogs need vaccinations at various time throughout their lifetime to ensure immunity stays high.
Puppies need vaccinations as their immune systems are still developing. Older dogs also need vaccinations as their general health naturally starts to decline so too does their immune system and, in turn, their capacity to fight diseases and viruses.
What Are the Implications If I Choose Not to Vaccinate My Dog?
There isn’t really a choice in this matter. Vaccinations for dogs are essential and non-negotiable. If you do not vaccinate your dog, or keep their vaccinations up to date you are risking their health ; and the health of the wider canine community; you will not be allowed to travel with your dog, nor enroll them in doggie daycare or overnight boarding.
There are no laws making it a criminal offense if you do not vaccinate your dog. The wider implications are enough of an incentive to keep your dog’s vaccinations up-to-date.
Border Control will not give an animal the all-clear to travel if their vaccination certificates are not in order. While many of the canine diseases we vaccinate against in the U.S. are nearly eliminated, beyond our borders and around the world these diseases are still prevalent in some locations.
On a practical note, professional pet care facilities will not accept your dog if their vaccinations are not current. Keep a handy vaccination record from the vet with the types and dates indicated.
What Are Boosters?
Your dog will have their first set of vaccinations as a puppy and they require booster or ‘top-up’ vaccinations throughout their life to ensure that their immunity levels remain effective. Your pet care professional will advise you on a vaccination program that is best suited for your dog. Some vaccinations like canine hepatitis, distemper, and parvovirus require a booster every three years. Leptospirosis needs a booster annually – this can be combined with a general health check for your dog, too.
What Can My Dog Get Vaccinations Against?
Diseases such as canine distemper, parvovirus, leptospirosis, and infectious canine hepatitis are close to being eliminated from North America and are reducing around the world thanks to the rigorous vaccination programs conducted by our pet care professionals.
Common vaccinations for dogs include immunization against Canine distemper, parvovirus, leptospirosis, and infectious canine hepatitis, Bordetella (also referred to as Kennel Cough), and Lyme disease.
The DHPP vaccine is given to puppies at 10-12 weeks and then boosted throughout their lives, a multi-disease vaccine that provides protection against distemper, infectious canine hepatitis, parainfluenza, and parvovirus — a one-shot-wonder of puppy protecting power!