Every responsible dog owner wants to know that they are doing everything that they can to keep their canine companion happy and healthy. A core component of caring for your dog is ensuring that they are up-to-date with their vaccinations.
Despite much controversy around the effectiveness and safety of vaccinations, almost all veterinarians firmly believe that they are absolutely crucial for the health and wellbeing of our pets. Many of the dangerous diseases that vets routinely vaccinate against are now extremely uncommon, but that is primarily due to owners choosing to vaccinate their pets against them. In areas where dogs are not routinely vaccinated, the disease is much more prevalent, and in many cases, fatal.
Vaccines have improved a great deal over the last few decades, and modern-day vaccines are considered to be extremely safe and reliable. That said, they do often have side effects that can be felt for a short while after receiving them – usually a maximum of 72 hours. This can make your pet feel out of sorts and a little unwell, but certainly nothing serious.
There are several reasons why you should ensure that you keep up with your dog’s vaccination schedule.
Vaccination schedules may seem like something you need to be super-organized to stay on top of. However, many veterinary offices will happily send out reminders to owners when their dog’s vaccines are due.
Vaccines are now being divided into two groups:
Core Vaccines These should be given to every dog regardless of breed or geographical area
Non-core Vaccines These are only recommended for certain dogs and depends on a variety of elements including:
Your veterinarian will be able to advise which, if any, non-core vaccines are suitable for your four-legged friend.
In most US states, it is a legal requirement for your dog to be vaccinated against rabies. The first vaccine lasts for 12 months and is usually administered at around 12 weeks of age. A year later (at around 1yr 12 weeks of age), your dog should be given three-year rabies vaccinations. You will then be expected to ensure that your dog has rabies vaccines every 3 years (or according to your state’s laws – check them for more accurate information).
There are no legal requirements for these vaccinations, but most vets consider them essential for the health of your dog. Initially, dogs should have immunizations against Parvovirus, Distemper, and Adenovirus every 3-4 weeks between the ages of 6 and 16 weeks. At just over a year of age, he should receive a booster vaccine, and then the schedule for further vaccinations will also be three-yearly.
If you have an adult dog and have no prior knowledge about any vaccines that your pet may have received, a single vaccination after 16 weeks and follow-up boosters every 3 years should be recommended.
If you have any questions about a core or non-core vaccination, contact our experienced team at Manson Veterinary Clinic in Manson, IA by calling (712) 469-2008.
By following your dogs’ vaccination schedule to the letter, you can help to keep your pet happy and healthy for years to come.