One of the most hotly debated topics in veterinary care is the need for vaccinations, and the frequency with which they should be administered. However, although there have been concerns raised about the use of vaccinations, they are still widely considered to be the very best way of protecting our animals, and indeed humans, from highly dangerous and often fatal diseases that threaten our existence. During the last half century alone, countless lives have been saved by specially-engineered vaccines.
Unfortunately, our animals are just as vulnerable to illness as we are, and since they lack the capacity to protect themselves, this means that it is up to us as caring and responsible owners to take every step possible to keep them safe. Failure to do so will not only put our dogs at risk of developing painful and debilitating symptoms and suffering untold damage to their own health, but also puts any other animals that they come into contact with at risk too. Not only that, but some diseases are zoonotic which means that they can be passed from animals to humans, which potentially puts your human family members and the general population at risk too.
Nonetheless, by ensuring that our dogs receive their vaccinations on time, we can do our part to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.
How often does my dog need to be vaccinated?
In the past, the general consensus was that most animals, including dogs, needed to be vaccinated yearly to afford them the best protection against infectious diseases. However, studies have shown that vaccines administered to the vast majority of canines remain effective for as long as three years, meaning that annual boosters are not always necessary.
Most core vaccines only need to be re-administered once every three years after the initial course of vaccinations given to your dog in the first year and a half of his life. Other, optional vaccines may be re-administered more often depending on how long they are deemed to be effective for.
Your veterinarian has the knowledge and training necessary to be able to make an informed decision as to which vaccines your canine companion would benefit from, and how often he should have them. This will be based on your dog’s age, medical history, environment and lifestyle. While yearly vaccines are unlikely to be necessary for most types of preventative, your vet will give you a customized vaccination schedule for your pooch which will ensure that your furbaby is consistently protected from infectious diseases that could put his health at risk.
It is also important to factor in local laws. Some states insist that yearly vaccinations for some diseases, such as rabies, are carried out, and proof of this may need to be shown to the local department of animal control. Make sure that you keep proof of all vaccinations that your pet has should you be asked to produce them at any point.
Vaccinations are a crucial part of your dog’s care and not something that you can afford to leave to chance. If you would like further information about the vaccines that your canine should have, or if you would like to make an appointment to see our veterinary team, please do not hesitate to telephone our offices.