Should I vaccinate my dog? If you are the proud owner of a new dog, you might be wondering whether or not you need to bother vaccinating your pet. After all, humans do not need vaccinating every year, so why should you spend money taking your dog to the vet for an injection he probably does not need.
Should I vaccinate my dog every year?
Vaccinations for pets, including dogs, have come under increasing scrutiny in recent years. Some owners believe that annual vaccinations are both unnecessary and harmful to their pets. There have been cases of pets suffering fatal reactions to vaccinations and the number of owners refusing to vaccinate their pets is now higher than ever before.
As a result, many vets now recommend blood testing dogs for the level of antibodies present against specific diseases. If the levels are high enough, there is no need for a booster vaccination. If they are low, a booster vaccination is recommended. This helps to eliminate the possibility of over-vaccinating the dog and is more of a compromise between those who say dogs should be vaccinated every year regardless, and those who think vaccinations should be avoided at all costs.
But why should I vaccinate my dog and what diseases are dogs vaccinated against?
Dogs are normally vaccinated against the most serious diseases that are known to affect canines. Some of these diseases kill dogs and others make them so seriously ill that death would be a welcome release. Vaccinations offered by veterinary practices include parvovirus, leptospirosis, distemper, adenovirus, and parainfluenza. Other diseases that dogs can be vaccinated against include lyme disease and giardia.
Should I vaccinate my dog against lyme disease?
Since lyme disease is transmitted by ticks who live on deer, Lyme disease vaccination is only necessary for dogs that are likely to come into contact with infected deer.
Should I vaccinate my dog for leptospirosis?
This is a nasty bacterial infection spread by contact with infected urine or faeces and like rabies, it can be passed between animals and humans. Many vets consider vaccination against this serious disease essential.
A course of vaccinations is normally started at around eight weeks of age and boosters are then given at four weekly intervals until the puppy is sixteen weeks old. Thereafter, boosters are once yearly. Many puppies are given their initial course of vaccinations by the breeder and it is left to the owner to continue with the boosters once the puppy has settled in their new home. If a puppy has been vaccinated, it will come with a record card indicating that this is the case, but if in doubt, check with the breeder.
When making the decision: should I vaccinate my dog, you need to look at a number of factors. Some diseases are more prevalent in certain areas than others, so it is worth checking which diseases your dog is likely to come into contact with before you have it vaccinated. However, if you are intending to board your dog at kennels at any point, you will be required to produce evidence of vaccinations before the dog can be accepted.