Which Dog Vaccinations Are Necessary?

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Dog Getting a Vaccination ShotOnly you and your dog’s vet can decide what vaccinations are necessary for your dog. No one wants to put their dog through discomfort, and the vaccination schedule seems endless. You may question whether all of these vaccinations are really necessary.

We’ll help you learn the core vaccinations and the non-core ones, but keep in mind depending on your area specific vaccination may be required.

What Do Vaccinations Do?

Vaccinations are designed to protect your dog against an array of illnesses. Vaccinations work by injecting your dog with a small amount of infectious organisms. The organisms are placed under your dog’s skin, and as your dog’s immune system recognizes them as foreign bodies, it begins to fight them. After being exposed to a specific infectious agent, your dog’s body will be able to identify these agents and release antibodies more quickly in the future.

Dog Vaccination Time Table

SADIE things that need changed in the vaccination guide:

  • 6-8 weeks: DHPP, Canine Influenza Virus-H3N8*, Canine Influenza Virus-H3N2*
  • 8 weeks: Bordatella*, Leptospira*, Lyme*
  • 8-10 weeks: Canine Influenza Virus-H3N8*, Canine Influenza Virus-H3N2*
  • 10-12 weeks: DHPP, Leptospira*, Lyme*
  • 12 weeks or older: Rabies
  • 14-16 weeks: DHPP
  • One year following last dose: DHPP, Rabies (within one year of previous dose)
  • Annually: Bordatella*, Leptospira*, Lyme*, Canine Influenza Virus-H3N8*, Canine Influenza Virus-H3N2*
  • Every 1 or 3 years: Rabies
  • Every 3 years: DHPP

Include at the bottom of the guide:

  • DHPP: vaccines for Distemper, Adenovirus (Hepatitis), Parainfluenza and Parvovirus
  • Source: American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA)

Source: CanineJournal.com

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Common Dog Vaccinations

Many dog vaccinations that are “common” for pet owners to administer to their dogs, these include parvovirus, coronavirus, rabies, a 5-way vaccine, a 7-way vaccine, leptospira, Lyme disease, bordatella and parainfluenza.

What Is Parvovirus?

Canine parvovirus (parvo) is extremely contagious and is contracted through the feces of an infected dog. Unfortunately, parvo often kills young puppies with poorly developed immune systems. Around 91% of untreated parvo cases result in death. The parvo vaccine is the only way to prevent a dog from contracting this virus. Parvo cannot be spread from dogs to humans. Dogs that have contracted parvo generally show symptoms within three to ten days. The most commonly seen symptoms of parvo include: secondary infections, dehydration, lethargy, diarrhea, vomiting, endotoxemia, shock and eventually death. If a dog has a confirmed case of parvo they can infect neighborhood dogs with their feces and through soil that has come in contact with their feces. Dogs can still shed the parvovirus in their feces once they have recovered from the virus. The vaccine can take up to two weeks to take effect and fully protect a dog from it.

Parvovirus Vaccination

The parvovirus vaccine is given as a 4- or 5-way vaccine (DHPP or DHLPP), standing for Distemper, Hepatitis (Adenovirus), Leptospira, Parainfluenza and Parvovirus. The first dose is administered as young as six weeks old and is then given in a 2 to 4-week interval until at least the age of 16 weeks old (totaling three times). A booster shot is given one year after the last interval dose, then again every three years.

What Is Coronavirus?

Coronavirus is a disease that affects the intestinal tract. Coronavirus usually doesn’t last too long, but it does cause numerous side effects and complications in some cases. Canine coronavirus can be passed through feces and saliva. A dog has one to five days after being exposed to the disease for symptoms to present themselves. Symptoms include onset diarrhea, a decrease in appetite and lethargy. A dog’s stool often contains mucus or blood and will always have a distinct odor. Unfortunately, there is no treatment for coronavirus. Do your best to keep control of the symptoms because often a secondary infection may occur, which you can then get antibiotics for. Coronavirus is rarely fatal except in the cases of dogs with underdeveloped or compromised immune systems.

Coronavirus Vaccination

Canine Coronavirus (CCV) is NOT recommended by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) because it:

  1. causes mild or subclinical disease.
  2. generally occurs in dogs younger than six weeks old.
  3. is typically self-limiting.

What Is Rabies?

Rabies is a viral disease that can be carried by many mammals. This is one of the few zoonotic diseases (diseases humans can catch from their dogs). Rabies is commonly transmitted through a bite from the infected mammal. Rabies causes acute encephalitis and eventually infects the entire nervous system causing death. Rabies can be stopped if it is treated before symptoms occur. Once symptoms appear it becomes a fatal disease. Rabies can take anywhere from two to 12 weeks to present itself; however, some cases can take much longer.

There are two forms of rabies: furious and paralytic. Once a dog is infected with rabies he will exhibit slight nervous systems abnormalities. A few days later the dog will either die immediately or progress to either the furious or paralytic stage of infection. A dog with furious rabies exhibits extreme behavioral changes. Furious rabies is often the type of rabies depicted in the media, the dog is aggressive and willing to attack. Dogs with paralytic rabies show a slow loss of coordination, weakness and then paralysis.

If you ever think your dog has come in contact with rabies you should take him to the vet immediately even if he is up to date on his rabies vaccination. Symptoms of rabies include fever, paralysis, seizures, a dropped jaw, inability to swallow, hydrophobia, pica, a change in bark tone, unusual aggression, lack of coordination, excessive salivation or frothy saliva.

Rabies Vaccination

Puppies 12 weeks old generally receive the rabies vaccine. However, this age may vary from place to place depending on local laws. The puppy gets a second rabies shot within one year after the first shot. After that, boosters are usually given once every one or three years, depending on the vaccination used and local laws.

What Is the Adenovirus Cough And Hepatitis?

The canine adenovirus type 1 causes canine hepatitis. Dogs who suffer from this virus experience swelling and cell damage in the liver, which can result in hemorrhage and death. This virus can be contracted through feces and urine of infected dogs. Symptoms include pain in the abdomen, abdominal distension, lack of appetite, pale color, lethargy, fever and tonsillitis. Fluid swelling in the corneas often results in the appearance of the dog having blue eyes. Death within one to two days is common in more severe cases. However, if a dog survives the first few days, it can result in a full recovery and future immunity to the virus.

The canine adenovirus type 2 is a relative of the hepatitis virus and is one of the causes of kennel cough. Once your dog receives the vaccine for this virus, the severity of it is limited, so the chance of death is unlikely. Symptoms include the development of a hacking cough a week after exposure, inflammation in the airways, white foamy discharge after coughing, pink eye, inflamed nasal passages and nasal discharge.

Adenovirus Cough And Hepatitis Vaccination

The canine adenovirus-1 or the canine adenovirus-2 injection will both protect against the adenovirus cough and hepatitis. However, the adenovirus-2 injection is much more preferred. This shot is usually included in a combination vaccine such as the 5-way vaccine or the 7-way vaccine. The canine adenovirus vaccine is normally given at 6 to 8 weeks old, 10 to 12 weeks old and again at 14 to 16 weeks old. Another is given with a combination booster shot 12 months after the last interval dose and then every three years.

What Is Canine Distemper?

Canine distemper is an extremely contagious viral disease. This disease is closely related to the virus that causes measles. Canine distemper spreads through the airs and attacks the tonsils and lymph nodes. The virus replicates in the body and attacks the gastrointestinal, respiratory, urogenital and nervous systems. Unfortunately, there is no known cure for canine distemper; however, some dogs can recover fully after receiving treatment for symptoms and constant care. After a dog has fully recovered, she will no longer carry or spread the disease. Symptoms include high fever, runny nose, eye discharge, red eyes, lethargy, lack of appetite, coughing, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures and paralysis. Some dogs also experience thickening or enlargement of their footpads.

Canine Distemper Vaccination

The canine distemper vaccination is given as a part of a combination vaccination, most commonly the DHLPP. The “D” in DHLPP stands for distemper. This vaccination also protects against hepatitis (adenovirus), leptospirosis, parvo and parainfluenza, this is known as the 5-way vaccine. Dogs should receive a vaccination against canine distemper at 6 to 8 weeks, 10 to 12 weeks and 14 to 16 weeks. A booster shot is provided at 12 months and every three years after.

What Is Leptospira?

Dog walking through watterLeptospirosis is a bacterial infection caused by the pathogen Leptospira. Leptospira, or Leptospirosis, can affect canines and humans and can result in death in some cases. Dogs become infected with Leptospires (an organism that thrives in water) by consuming urine contaminated water or contact with infected urine. Leptospires use a dog’s kidneys to breed and continue living out their life cycle. Symptoms include fever, vomiting, depression, loss of appetite, generalized pain and conjunctivitis. Later symptoms include: a drop in temperature, increased thirst, change in urine color, jaundice, frequent urination, dehydration, difficulty breathing, muscular tremors, vomiting and bloody feces. Antibiotics can help shorten the length of the disease and reduce potential organ damage if caught in early stages. In more severe cases, kidney filtration and blood transfusion may be necessary. About 10% of Leptospirosis cases result in death from secondary complications.

Leptospirosis Vaccination

The Leptospirosis vaccination is considered a “non-core” vaccine and isn’t required. Leptospira is a preventative vaccination based on the two most common Leptospires known for causing this infection in dogs. Infection rates have dropped drastically over time and dogs that do become infected are by a completely different strain of Leptospire. Because of this, most vets do not regularly give the Leptospirosis vaccine unless there have been numerous cases in your area. The vaccine can be included in a combination vaccination like the DHLLP or it can be given individually.

What Is Lyme Disease?

Lyme disease is spread through a tick bite. Symptoms don’t always appear for all dogs with Lyme disease although some will show swollen lymph nodes or lameness. If your dog does display symptoms of Lyme disease be sure to check her over for any ticks that may still be present. Untreated Lyme disease can cause extreme inflammation in your dog’s nervous system, heart and kidneys and potentially lead to death. Vets test for Lyme disease by taking blood samples and if a dog is positive for Lyme disease, early treatment with Doxycycline is prescribed. If a more advanced stage of Lyme disease is suspected antibiotic treatment will continue for longer and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may be prescribed.

Lyme Disease Vaccination

The Lyme disease vaccination is usually only given to dogs in areas where Lyme disease is a concern. It is given as early as eight weeks old and a second dose is given two to four weeks later. A booster shot is given one year following the second dose and then annually.

What Is Bordatella?

Bordatella, or kennel cough, is caused by bacteria and is spread through airborne contaminants. Bordatella is spread through exposure to infected dogs or the transfer of bacteria in food bowls, cages and water bowls. As bacteria multiply, it destroys the lining of the dog’s trachea, which results in a high pitch cough. Dogs may also gag and wretch as they cough. Symptoms include fever, sneezing, nasal discharge, loss of appetite and depression. Incubation for kennel cough is approximately five to seven days. When symptoms present, the dog should be given antibiotics and a cough suppressant. Untreated bordatella can lead to pneumonia and a secondary bacterial infection.

Bordatella Vaccination

The bordatella vaccination can be given as a traditional vaccination, as an inhaled nasal mist or orally. It takes 48 hours after the vaccination for a dog to develop immunity to the disease. Most kennels require dogs to have their bordatella vaccination before they  allow boarding. Bordatella vaccinations are generally given once every 12 months.

What Is Parainfluenza?

Parainfluenza, or canine influenza is highly contagious. Symptoms include dry cough, fever, wheezing, difficulty breathing, runny nose, sneezing, pneumonia, reduced appetite, lethargy, eye inflammation, runny eyes and conjunctivitis. Most dogs recover on their own, but most vets like to treat them immediately using antibiotics and antiviral drugs since it is so contagious. A cough suppressant and additional fluids may also be given to your dog.

Parainfluenza Vaccination

The parainfluenza vaccine won’t prevent the spread of the disease, but it will limit the severity of an infection. The vaccination is included in a combination vaccine called canine distemper-measles-parainfluenza shots and DHPP shots. The first vaccine is at 6 to 8 weeks old, the second at 10 to 12 weeks and again at 14 to 16 weeks old. A combination booster shot is administered 12 months after the last interval dose and then every three years.

Understanding Dog Vaccines

Learn more about when to give vaccines in this video from Purina Australia.

What To Consider When Vaccinating Dogs

Core Vaccines

Dog at the vetThere are many considerations to make when vaccinating a dog. The first is local and countrywide laws that determine which vaccinations are mandatory for dogs living in the area. These types of vaccinations are known as “core” vaccinations and are mandatory for all dogs. Core vaccinations are designed to protect animals from extreme illness or disease and include: the rabies vaccination (in some areas), CDV (canine distemper), CAV-2 (canine hepatitis virus or adenovirus-2) and CPV-2 (canine parvovirus.)

Non-Core Vaccinations

Non-core vaccinations are other canine vaccinations that are not mandatory except in areas where the specific illness or disease is rampant. An example is the canine parainfluenza vaccination. Many vets will still offer these non-core vaccinations in areas where they are not mandatory, but it is up to the vet and the pet owner to decide whether the dog in question is a suitable vaccination candidate.

Factors To Consider Before Administering Non-Core Vaccinations

There are some items you may want to consider before allowing your vet to give your dog non-core vaccinations. Things like your dog’s age, size, breed, overall health and allergies are key factors. You also want to know your dog’s vaccination history and the other vaccinations your dog is receiving at that time.

Things to Consider before getting Dog Vaccinations

Source: CanineJournal.com

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1. Too Young And Too Old Is Too Risky

Vaccinations have minimum age requirements, and it’s important to stick to them. Young puppies do not have fully developed immune systems so shots of a live virus can affect her body drastically. There are also vaccines that cause side effects that young puppies struggle with.

Elderly dogs often suffer from compromised immune systems so vets may be hesitant to give an unnecessary vaccine to him. There are times where a vet may recommend a longer period between non-core vaccinations for elderly dogs or they may even skip those vaccinations completely.

2. How Many Vaccinations Are Being Administered?

Giving a dog too many vaccinations at once can increase the probability of side effects. This is why it’s important to space those vaccinations out. Your vet may wait to administer any non-core vaccines due to the other vaccines being given at that time.

3. Dog Size Matters

Some dogs may not weigh enough or be strong enough to handle a vaccination. This is another case where your vet may wait on administering any non-core vaccinations. This is especially true for dogs that are malnourished due to illness or runts of the litter.

4. Allergies To Vaccination Ingredients

Dogs can be allergic to specific ingredients that can be found in vaccinations. If a vaccination contains an ingredient that your dog is allergic to your vet will skip this vaccine.

5. The Breed Of Your Dog

Some dog breeds have sensitivities to elements that other breeds don’t have. Particular breeds may have a negative reaction to a specific ingredient while another breed struggles with another. One example of this is the German Shepherd, which has a sensitivity to Ivermectin in some cases. This is due to the presence of the MDR1 gene that is also seen in other herding dogs including Australian shepherd, border collie, collie, Australian shepherd mini, English shepherd, McNab, Shetland sheepdog, old English sheepdog and breeds that are mixed with these. The Longhaired Whippet and the Silken Windhound both have this gene as well.

Some of the drugs that can become a problem to these types of dogs are:

  • Abamectin
  • Acepromazine
  • Actinomycin D
  • Aldosterone
  • Amitriptyline
  • Butorphanol
  • Cortisol
  • Cyclosporine
  • Dexamethasone
  • Digoxin
  • Diltiazem
  • Docetaxel
  • Domperidone
  • Ketoconazole
  • Doxorubicin
  • Doxycycline
  • Erythromycin
  • Etoposide
  • Itraconazole
  • Ivermectin
  • Levofloxacin
  • Loperamide
  • Methylprednisolone
  • Milbemycin
  • Morphine
  • Moxidectin
  • Ondansetron
  • Paclitaxel
  • Selamectin
  • Sparfloxacin
  • Tacrolimus
  • Talinolol
  • Terfendadine
  • Tetracycline
  • Vecuronium
  • Verapamil
  • Vinblastine
  • Vincristine

6. Vaccination History

If a dog has had a negative effect from a previous vaccination, it’s important to note this so you are aware of what other vaccination may cause negative reactions. If this is the case, your vet may decide not to administer a non-core vaccination to your dog.

7. Your Dog’s Overall Health

You don’t want to vaccinate your dog when she’s ill. Vaccinations can put a strain on the body and the immune system. You also never want to vaccinate your dog when she is recovering from an illness, surgery or medical treatment unless it is necessary.

Are Vaccinations Necessary?

As a dog owner, you’ll always wonder if a vaccination is truly necessary. You don’t want to put your dog through any unnecessary discomfort. Some say that vaccinations simply put your mind at ease while others believe you should protect your dog from everything harmful. There is no right or wrong answer. You have to do what’s best for your dog and only you know that. Consult your vet for advice if you find yourself overwhelmed. You and your vet should be able to make the appropriate decision for your dog to be happy and healthy. If cost is a factor for you, consider a wellness plan to help cover the expense of vaccinating your dog.

What’s your stance on vaccinations?

Disclaimer: The information provided through this website should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or a disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, you should consult your health care provider.
Amy grew up in England and in the early 1990's moved to North Carolina where she completed a bachelors degree in Psychology in 2001. Amy's personal interest in writing was sparked by her love of reading fiction and her creative writing hobby. Amy is currently self employed as a freelance writer and web designer. When she is not working Amy can be found curled up with a good book and her black Labrador, Jet.

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newest oldest most voted
Thanks for sharing! Definitely, WE DO NEED vaccines! Please keep spreading the truth to eradicate ignorance.

– Richard, dogpawscafe.com owner

Taylor Anderson
My friend just adopted a dog, so she wants to make sure he has the proper vaccinations. I like how you mentioned that a dog should get a rabies shop every 1-3 years. Do you have any tips for choosing a great vet in her area?
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
Take a look at this article for tips on choosing a vet.
Charlie hoarse
I’ve had 6 70-85lb rescue dogs with an average life span of 14.5yrs doing 2 puppy vacs spaced out then rabies and dhlpp every 3yrs till 8yrs old then rabies and titre tests which resulted in no further vacation needed for licensing. They all were in busy dog parks, swamps, bogs, rivers, had to constantly sweep up dead ticks etc. And never got a single case of anything worse than pink eye from swimming too early in the spring.
My opinion means little but be careful getting advice from the person making a profit off of over prescribing. If they get angry or use fear tactics its time to find a new vet.
Tiffany Locke
Thanks for explaining the different types of vaccinations and how it’s important to consider local and countrywide laws to know what’s mandatory for dogs in your area. This would be important to keep your pet healthy and to avoid legal troubles. When choosing what animal vaccinations to give them, you’d probably want to talk to your veterinary clinic so that you can discuss what is required as well as what is best to keep your animal healthy.
I just got a 8 month puppy. The owner said that the puppy was given the 9-way vaccine at 6 months and the rabies vaccine at 7 months. He has not recieved any other shots. Do I need to give him anymore vaccines?
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
I suggest calling your vet and asking what vaccines are needed in your area. Depending on your local laws and any current outbreaks, some locations require different vaccines than others. Congrats on the new pup!
Wade Joel
I didn’t consider that dog size matters with vaccinations but makes sense that it is a factor that they may not be strong enough to handle the vaccination. I have been considering getting this for my dog at the vet. Thank you for your helpful advice on vaccinations.
Vaccines are one of the biggest frauds ever. NO body – human or animal – needs vaccines. The ALL cause brain inflammation, immune system dysfunction/suppression/confusion and other damages. The healthiest people and animals are those who are never vaccinated and who eat species-appropriate high nutrient foods. For dogs, that’s a pasture-raised raw meat diet with some organic vegetables, bones and fat. Learn the FACTS so you don’t get taken in by the fraud and regret it. Just 1 vaccine can destroy health, normal brain function or kill. It’s happened to the dogs of several people I know. I do not ever vaccinate my dogs and it is also against my religious beliefs. Rabies has been cured naturally by fasting, herbs and IV Vitamin C. Read the books by Juliette de Bairacli Levy. President Trump has signed an executive order that declares no mandatory vaccination if it’s against your religious or conscientious beliefs as of 1-17-18. Thank God!
Thanks so much for the truth. Everyone who owns a pet should first start with this knowledge. Life is so much better for both owner and pet.
Obviously you’ve never nursed a litter of puppies with Parvo. Your misguided and ignorant beliefs are what cause outbreaks of previously controlled diseases. God created us with an inquisitive brain, capable of learning and conquering disease. Trump won’t drop regulations on immunizations. He won’t want to piss off big Pharma!
Rob in New Yawk
The adverse side effects for a standard vaccine are 1 out of 500,000 to 1 out of 1,000,000. The death rate for the illnesses that you or your pet can get if you DON’T get vaccinated, is as high as 1 out of 3 or 99.99%, in the case of, say, Rabies.
Utter nonse. Emotional uneducated ignorance.
Mary bacich
Good job! You can be one of the self-congratulatory ones who keep deadly viruses alive and well for the rest of us.
Too many!!! I don’t do most of them and never lost a dog to kennel cough or anything else. Just like pushing more chemicals and pollutants into ones body…dog or human. Only one REQUIRED by law is rabies. Do your own homework folks. Don’t think your vet is going to be of any help. Someones pockets are getting lined with your hard earned monies!! And it is not yours.
Ashley Turns
I appreciate you letting us know that if we are giving too many pet vaccinations at once, we shouldn’t be considering giving any non-core ones at the same time. My husband and I just bought a new puppy and we are wondering what kind of shots we should be giving him. Though we want to give him almost all of the pet vaccinations he might need, we will be sure to parse them out so he doesn’t get too many at once.
Hello – I want to stress to everyone who reads this to please let every one that you know who has a puppy or dog to please get educated and do not over vaccinate. I just lost my perfectly healthy active 8 month old pug puppy because of getting her all the recommended shots by vet. I blindly trusted my vet to inform me about what she needed and then did as recommended without questioning at all- and 7 days later she is gone. I could not believe that my vet stood there and said to me that this is such a rare thing to happen – I dont care if it is rare – it happens and it should not. There is not any other reason for her to be gone than I trusted my vet and got the vaccines recommended and now I have lost my dog. Not to mention the money it cost trying to save her at 24 hour emergency hospital over that weekend – only to get her into my vet early Monday to be told it was fruitless and from me vaccinating her. So for those who say you should get vaccines – I say space them apart and really get educated before.
Wow I feel your pain and am so sorry. I don’t do most of them. I run Titers.
OMG! I lost my dog in 6 days after thanksgiving 2017 cause of the vaccines!!!
Linda S
I’m so sorry for your loss. As puppies, my two schnauzers got all the same shots as your puppy. We were lucky that they didn’t have a reaction. I have since learned about titer tests and have them given annually to my dogs. They go years without needing a vaccine and when they do, it’s only for one component of the vaccine. My vet tells me the vaccine is “all in one” and I’ve allowed him to administer it to them, but in the future, I will do my homework to find out if the shots can be given individually.
Charlie hoarse
You can order the same individual vaccines the issue is getting a license if a v et or tech doesn’t provide paperwork. My vet will but many won’t even if you pay for vaccine and office call which seems very odd to me.
Hi. Please everyone, do your research on over vaccination. This vaccination schedule is out of date and not based on scientific research. Actual research shows that pets are protected for life in most cases after the first set. The recommendation for annual dhpp shots is 20 years out of date! Protect your pets against over vaccination and look at all the adverse health conditions caused by taxing their bodies, immune system, liver and kidneys. Do a titer test instead to check their antibodies before giving another vaccination. Except rabies which is required by law.
Haha a titer test is only $300 for rabies and $110 for distemper. How many dogs do you want tested?
Blanche Kascak
Not if you go to a clinic.
JoAnne Janci
My dog has been diagnosed with SARDS and cognitive dysfunction syndrome. She also is prone to urine crystals. That is being controlled by diet. She is on supplements for her cognitive dysfunction. She is due for her distemper shot. I’m hesitant about scheduling this for her. She has been experiencing anxiety/stress issues due to her cognitive issues. Would it be safe to get this vaccinations for her?
Don’t do it. Get a titer. She is very likely already protected.
Again you better test the price of titer tests. See my above price list
NO no no….any ill dog should not receive any shots. Any educated vet SHOULD know that. Run titers on your pup. Most are protected for life. No more ever needed. And watch the results had a vet try and cover up labs and lie. Never trust anyone.
Emily Ayre
Hi! I just bought a 10 month old puppy and the owners before me didn’t get him vaccinated so I’m wondering what set of shots and which ones I should get? should I start with the first set or should I just get the annual shots? Thanks:)
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
I suggest talking to your vet about the vaccination schedule for her. Since she is already 10 months she’s little behind, but I’m sure the vet will have some suggestions for you on which vaccines should be taken when. Congrats on the new dog! My husband and I are hoping to get a dog at the end of the month and are so excited!
There are no more annual shots. Look at Dr Ronald Shultz research and also current 2017 aaha guidelines. Just keep in mind the AAHA guidelines are not based on any scientific research whatsoever.
Steve Flint
My 10 month old dog got kennel cough when it was 8 months old. He was fine within 3 weeks after being on antibiotics for two of them. My question is because he last coughed in mid december, does he now need a kennel cough vaccine or does he have antibodies for the next few months because he just got over it?
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
You should contact your vet and ask them. They will be more knowledgable in vaccines.
Jean johnson
I can tell you that very few vets if any will tell you not to over vaccinate….after all ….it’s their bread and butter
Kennel cough nose spray protects against very out there. Maybe 10 or less against the 100 plus strains out there. a good cough syrup with DM can save a lot of vet bills.
My 9 year old Golden Retriever had his yearly shots plus flu vaccine little over a week ago.
He now has dark urine (brownish) reading this could be caused by vaccinations. Should I be concerned ? Thank you so much.
Depends where you live. In the US only rabies is required by law.
Mary Ellen Denesha
My breeder says no. The vet says yes. The night he got his first one he was also prescribed Imodium. He had a severe neurological reaction and almost died. I now know that Imodium is one of the drugs that collies with this gene can not tolerate. I am not convinced that the lepto shot he got that same evening did not contribute to his reaction. My vet feels since he tested mutant/mutant for the MDR1 gene we can be sure that the Imodium is what caused the reaction. I am not so sure and I am concerned about taking that chance. Are they more at risk than a dog without the gene?
leapto is not required as a core vaccine. Go with your gut NO more.
Petrina I.

Hi please can you advise me, my dog is suffering from liver damage caused by two operations he had earlier this year, unfortunately it's taken us a while to diagnose his condition so he is quite poorly. I have not wormed him or used his flea treatment but his annual vaccination is due in a few weeks, is it safe for him to have the vaccination? Thank you.

Sara Logan Wilson (Admin)

Hi Petrina, as always, we recommend contacting your vet; especially since your pup is suffering from liver damage, you'll want to be certain that he can take his annual vaccination.

Andy Delin
If you read the vile of serum it states that it can only be used on healthy animals. Since your companion is suffering from liver damage I would consider that an unhealthy condition. If you are required by law to administer a vaccine there may be a waiver exempting you from doing so. It all depends on the state where you reside. You can check with your local board of health. Your vet can write the letter of exemption. You may have to supply a titer test for rabies and still pay the license fee.

I think the way a lot of people think of dogs, they think that because they are more animalistic in nature than we are, they can handle a lot more of what the world throws at them health-wise.  However, this thinking seriously discounts just how domesticated these animals have become and just how much we as human beings have affected their evolution and their health risks and needs to live normal lives.  Some breeds, English Bulldogs for example, cannot even achieve natural birth of their litters because the traits that the dogs were bred for won’t allow for it.

This is why getting your dog proper health care is every bit as important as it is to provide for yourself or your children.  They are no longer equipped to deal with “natural” health concerns because they do not live in a natural environment.  They live as we do, amongst air pollutants and germs created by our very own living.   Therefore they need their vaccinations on a regular basis as well as any other preventative care to keep them living healthy normal lives as was intended.

So you would advocate vaccinating your children every year for the rest of their lives as well? If, as you say, humans have affected their evolution why would dogs not have the same lifelong immunity from their vaccinations as we do?
Dogs live 8-15 years, people live 8-10 times that long. We vaccinate our children for 12+ years to gain that “lifelong” immunity! Some vaccine antibodies do not remain with us our whole lives… Tetanus for example. Same with some canine vaccines. Then as we get old and our immune systems weaken, vaccines help to protect us BECAUSE our weakened state. I suggest you take a corse on immunology. Learn how it really works..
Vacs. Do not work on old dogs or people because of their weak immune system. All you get is toxic chemicals like mercury,aluminum etc.
Well first – there is no “evolution” – show me one species of animal or human that once was something different than it is now. There is no historical proof whatsoever, whether in humans or in animals, that any one creature evolved into a different looking creature than it is now. Entropy, which means that we and all other forms of life are weakening over time – not becoming stronger, better, or evolving into a creature that is fit for its environment. The human species still has its span of life that will not exceed over 120 years.
lol, idiotic comment

It amazes me to look at the number of dog owners who skip vaccinations. Just like with humans, vaccinations are important for your dog's health. In all honesty, some of these vaccinations will save your pet's life. A good example is the vaccination for parvo. Parvo, as mentioned above, kills 91% of infected pets. Worse yet, the death of the pet is tragic and painful.

While vaccinations are important, you need to consult your vet to determine which vaccinations are necessary in your area. While some vaccinations are necessary for certain areas of the country, they aren't necessary for every pet. Any vet will tell you that the less vaccinations and medications you have to give your pet, the better. In other words, you do not want to give your pet vaccinations unless they are necessary.

If you're buying or adopting a puppy, it's extremely important to make sure the pet is up to date on all its shots and to get a shot record to show your vet. In most cases, the puppy will have received the first couple sets of vaccinations, but it will be up to the owner to finish out the vaccinations, which will require visiting the vet's office every few weeks.


I understand wanting to get your pet vaccinated but has anyone actually read the studies that show vaccines can and have caused cancer in both dogs and humans. Human beings have been in existence for over a million years. If vaccination was an integral part of our evolution or survival we would have been extinct years ago. Modern medicine seems to be pretty archaic by working against the immune system as opposed to working in collaboration with animal or human immune systems. I know this post is only about dogs, but please take the time to look up the connection between vaccines and autism in children. I'll stick with taking my pup to a natural vet that uses both western and eastern (more ancient) medicine to restore and enhance my pet's life. Much love to you all.

True pet
This thinking of the more vaccine the better is so wrong. Vaccination is not immunization. All vaccine are not made from real disease, they are manufactured synthetics plus toxic preservation material. Vaccine contribute to cancer, not to protection from viruses. The reason your dog is not getting ‘these’ terrible diseases (e.g. Lepro) because they are not there in our environment, they are so rear, almost not existant if your pet in good care. The fear is big for those viruses. And greed to profit from the vaccines. Never vaccinated my multiple pets in my life, and never got any of those viruses. Please, stop spred this fear. Great info from the movie “The Truth about Pets”
Mary Bacich
That vaccine/autism misinformation scielong since been refuted by the scientific community. Vaccines DO NOT cause autism.
The reason the dog diseases you mention are so rare is because vaccines protect against communicable disease.
The same applies to people. Vaccines are why we don’t see folks catching polio or chickenpox or diphtheria or smallpox or tetanus or whooping cough or measles.
The fewer dogs and people vaccinated, the greater the odds that the diseases will return. And none of us want that, do we?
It has been shown in all studies on the connection between vaccines and autism, that there is NO connection. People who believe there is are ignoring the scientific evidence and propagating conspiracy theory’s.
Have you actually seen these studies with your own eyes?? I bet not. Until you have poured over all of the documents that support that it is a “conspiracy theory” – you probably shouldn’t have an opinion. Tell that to the parents of 2 children that listened to their pediatrician not once but twice and went ahead with vaccines and BOTH children went from happy and active infants that responded with smiles and kicking of their legs to their parents to a blank-looking unresponsive stupor-like states not 24 hours after the vaccines were given. These 2 cases were 2 years apart. What those parents are living is no catch phrase of a “conspiracy theory”! I just bet you, Anon, that your eyes haven’t read one sentence in regards to vaccines and their link to autism – you are just a blind sheep following someone else’s lead because you don’t have the wherewithal to think and do research for yourself. There are thousands of cases like these all over the globe so you really shouldn’t just take what you hear on the news in blind faith. The fact that you stated: “It has been shown in all studies on the connection between vaccines and autism, that there is NO connection” is DEAD WRONG. What you have stated is an outright untruth and you are probably saying it because you heard it on NBC or CNN. Last I heard – they shouldn’t be giving stats on anything because they twist stories to make them fit their agenda. Look at the research for yourself – you clearly haven’t done that or you wouldn’t have posted the above comment. IT HAS NOT BEEN SHOWN IN ALL STUDIES that there is no connection between vaccines and autism. On the contrary – many of the studies that did show the connection were squelched and kept from the mainstream news.
Yes, would like to know only positive and mandatory healthy shots. So sick of funding unnecessary vet’s beach house in Maui. Rofl
Yes I agree, the positives far outweigh the negatives when vaccinating your pets. In our small town (South Africa) we have 2 townships (shanty towns is what Americans call it, I think). Every home has a dog or 5 but these people cannot afford proper food let alone health care. A small group of friends and myself started a rescue group and we help these animals as much as we can with the little support/supplies we have. Our nearest vet is 40km away. The reason for this background, last year we had a distemper outbreak. Only the dogs that we had vaccinated previously survived, more than 100 died, some before my eyes, a miserable and heartbreaking death. We also often have parvo outbreaks (like we have at the moment), it breaks my heart a hundred times over to see these pups, try to help, but knowing they won’t make it. And this misery could’ve been avoided by having been vaccinated. If we could afford to, we would vaccinate all the pups and dogs in town, because here contamination is pretty high as almost no yard is secure, so everyone’s dogs (except the poor chained souls) end up ”visiting” in the neighbor’s yard, and distemper and parvo are highly contagious. So yes, in my personal and reasonable experience, I certainly believe vaccinations are a basic necessity for survival. But of course circumstances may be different in your country, risks may be much lower, but I wouldn’t take a chance with my beloved pooches.
Says the vet, lol… get out of here!

I think you made a good point in this article about owners who feel that since dogs do not get shots in the wild that they do not need this form of routine medical care.  These types of attitudes are ones that I see often in my fellow pet owners.

Though they love their animals just like they love a best friend or a family member, they assume that their dog simply does not need essential care like vaccinations, spaying and neutering, checkups, or even healthy dog food designed for their size and breed. 

They feed their dogs hot dogs and bologna only and no crunchy food and rarely take their animal to the vet.  If there is an emergency, the animal will see the doctor, but that's the extent of it. 

I think we have to understand that our pets are not living in the wild.  They are living with our germs and as part of our human lives.  As such, we absolutely need to make sure that we are following the veterinary standard of care for our pets, no matter how they would live in the wild.

Even in the wild people should realize animals still get sick. Wolves, coyotes, etc. lose a lot of pups to parvo and distemper. Animals in the wild still get inflicted with rabies too. Animals in the wild do not receive tick and flea medicine and suffer from mange and die from tick paralysis. Just saying.
Ever hear or think of running titer on your animals? The results may amaze you. But wait, it costs more than the shots, never mind.
I followed the vaccination protocol for my tiny Chihuahua when she was a puppy. Small dogs are sensitive to meds. I would rather pay for a titer test to see if she still has those anitbodies than subject her to vaccines that may shorten her life even if the titer is more expensive. I won’t take chances with my loved ones because of money. I would be responsible should something go wrong, and I couldn’t forgive myself.
Quit posting your nonsense and try being a caring vet vs worrying about your income..

As any responsible pet owner is well aware, having your dog vaccinated at the proper times is one of the best and most important things that can be done to help ensure you continue to have a happy and healthy dog. There are a number of different vaccinations that should be considered.

The first vaccine to be given to a puppy of around five weeks is for the parvo virus. This virus is extremely contagious and is picked up through the feces of other infected dogs. The diseases itself takes some time to show up, but it can be very nasty when it does.

Also consider having your dog vaccinated for the coronavirus. This is an intestinal disease that can lead to a number of unpleasant side effects in your dog. There is no real treatment if this is contracted, so vaccination can save your dog from a lot of needless suffering.

Have your dog vaccinated for rabies. This is a big one, considering it is even something which humans can catch from their dogs. I think we all know about this one; not much to say except get it done.


If you are going to own a pet, vaccination are something you have to consider when you think about the cost of pet care. Too many people just go buy a puppy, feed it, get bored with it, chain it in the back yard and forget all about it until the neighbors start complaining. When I see this, it makes me wonder if they treat their kids the same way.

Unless your pet is never ever going to be exposed to another living being, you are only being responsible if you get vaccinations. And, since many bacteria and viruses live in the air and ground, even if you never see another living being, your pet is still exposed.

If you think the vaccinations are too expensive, then buy pet insurance that covers the vaccinations that your pet needs. I think most pet insurance programs cover vaccinations because it is cheaper for them to pay for the shots than it is for them to pay for hospital visits due to a lack of shots. Also, carrying pet insurance may even make you see the value of your pet a bit more as you are taking care of him or her like you would take care of your kids.


The author of this piece makes a great point right up front. Many people say that dogs do not really need to be vaccinated because they would not have those shots in the wild. I think that I can actually understand this argument; however, I think most vets and other scientists feel that it is a bad argument for the simple reason that dogs are no longer really wild animals. The sheer fact that they have become domesticated now makes them susceptible to a number of diseases which should be treated by vaccinations.

You should certainly consider having your dog vaccinated against all of the common diseases and issues which your vet recommends. Additionally, you should seriously consider vaccinating against things like canine distemper, which is a viral disease that is very contagious and related to measles.

If you live in area that is prone to Lyme disease, this is another vaccination to consider. Your dog should have this done at 12 and 15 weeks, plus after 12 months. Boosters are recommended every year or so thereafter (or as recommended by your vet).


I know that there are some people who vaccinate their own dogs and I do understand the premise behind it, but I hope that those same people are talking to vets about what kind of vaccinations their dogs need. I would be too afraid that I would not do it right or that I would miss some important vaccination that my dog needed. But, to each his own.

What really scares me where I live is the fact that the suburbs behind me have so many dogs that just run where they want to, including my yard. In fact, they even killed my chickens and my neighbor's chickens. Now, I imagine if they are allowed to roam around where they please, including my yard, they probably are not vaccinated either. That means they could be carrying all sorts of diseases that I don't want anything to do with. I think if people are not worried about their own dogs, they could at least think about the people and animals around them.

People just don't get that some of the most deadly diseases are the ones that can be shared just by walking around. If those dogs have been around Parvo, they are spreading it around my yard.