Dog Vaccination - Key Dog Vaccination Facts For Optimal Health


What exactly are dog vaccinations?

Just as with humans, vaccinations are substances that are injected into the patient to help build immunity against certain viruses, bacteria, and diseases in general.


Dr. Lander
Advanced Animal Care in Richmond

How do vaccines impact the health and well-being of my dog?

They help build immunity against those diseases.

Are vaccines required by law?

Yes, especially the core vaccines. Rabies is of the utmost importance because if your dog were to bite someone or another dog but they're up to date on vaccines, especially rabies, that's really important.

Does my dog's lifestyle factor into what vaccines my veterinarian will recommend?

Absolutely. So maybe they hike a lot or they're exposed to a lot of water. In those cases, we’d recommend Leptospirosis and Lyme Disease vaccines, the latter of which protects against tick-borne diseases. Bordatella is another really common one if they go to dog parks or they go to boarding facilities in order to protect against kennel cough.

How soon should I get my dog vaccinated?

The typical age to kind of start with puppy vaccines is six to eight to nine weeks and that's kind of the first period there. And then each one after that occurs at three-week intervals, with the last one being around four months. The additional annual puppy vaccines help build upon that initial immunity.

Do I really need to avoid allowing my puppy to socialize with other dogs until they are fully vaccinated?

Absolutely. So this is a really big point for me too. Sometimes people may think, "Oh, we've received all of our puppy vaccines." Number one, those puppy vaccines should be administered by a veterinarian. Those administered or sold by other corporations may not be temperature regulated, whereas, in a veterinary hospital, they're temperature regulated and backed by multimillion-dollar companies. So that's number one. Two, we need to wait at least three to four weeks after the last puppy vaccine until we're exposed to unvaccinated dogs and unknown environments. That’s because things like Parvovirus, which can be really detrimental, very expensive to treat, and can even be fatal, can live in the environment. And that virus can live in the environment for years.

Why is it important to avoid missing a dog vaccination?

It's kind of that whole point of building immunity. Certain vaccines especially need to have a booster period where, unfortunately, if we don't make it within that certain amount of time (ideally three weeks), then we may have to start over and then add another booster.

What diseases are prevented with vaccinations?

So prevention is kind of a hard term in the way that nothing is 100% preventable, but vaccinations assist and increase your odds of providing immunity and the prevention of certain diseases for your pet—Parvo Distemper, so DA2PP is what it stands for, Distemper, Adenovirus, Parainfluenza, and Parvovirus. Rabies and Leptospirosis may also exist in the environment. Certain things that we vaccinate against will help you prevent it.

If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (859) 202-3641, you can email us, or you can reach out on Facebook. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as fast as we can.

Dog Vaccination - FAQs


Dr. Lander
Advanced Animal Care in Richmond

Are all puppy and dog vaccinations necessary?

Not all are necessary. I strongly recommend certain ones. The core vaccines are absolutely required, which are DA2PP, distemper, adenovirus, parainfluenza, parvovirus, and rabies.

Are those all of the core vaccines that you just listed?

Yes, those are the core vaccines.

Are core dog vaccinations mandatory?

Yes, they are, especially rabies. If another dog bites your dog, you would hope that your dog and the other dog are vaccinated against rabies because certain things can come into play, such as the need to quarantine or even euthanize one or both dogs.

What are the non-core vaccinations and why does my dog need them?

The leptospirosis vaccine is a well-known non-core vaccine. Lepto is a three-shot series at 6, 12, 16 weeks, and we then give it annually as well. We can also vaccinate against Lyme Disease. These vaccinations depend on exposure and what kind of environments the dog is typically in.

Does my senior dog still need core vaccinations?

I would recommend it unless there's some reason why not to do so in their history. It's always good to have that immunity on board, especially for our older patients if they can tolerate the vaccines. It’s beneficial for them to have that extra immunity against diseases.

If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (859) 202-3641, you can email us, or you can reach out on Facebook. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as fast as we can.

Dog Vaccination - FAQs 2


Dr. Sarah Crank
Advanced Animal Care - Waco

When does my puppy or dog need to be vaccinated?

We usually will start puppy vaccines around six to eight weeks old. And then they're going to be getting vaccines about every three weeks until they've had four total. And then, as far as dogs go, their first set of vaccines is usually going to be about a year after they've gotten their last set of their puppy boosters. So about a year and four months old or so is whenever we anticipate that. And then from there, it's usually every one to three years based on what vaccines your dog is getting.

Can there be any variations in the puppy and dog vaccine schedules?

There can be variations in the puppy and dog vaccine schedules. As I said, the puppies will be getting that every three weeks, and then they are good for a year after that last booster. And then dogs sometimes will be able to go every three years, depending on the types of vaccines they need. We’ve come to find that some of them last a little bit longer, but as far as your puppies go, you need to make sure you're doing that every three weeks.

Is it safe to get multiple dog vaccines at the same time?

So it certainly can be, especially if your dog has never had any problems with vaccines before. So we always like to make sure that your dog has tolerated vaccines well in the past. Still, as far as things go, especially if your dog is fairly good size, we usually don't see any problems giving multiple vaccines, but we don't like to overdo it either. So if your dog's small or has had a problem with vaccines in the past, we will tend to split those up.

What is titer testing?

Titers are for dogs with owners who do not wish to have them vaccinated, as perhaps they have had an adverse reaction to a vaccine before. The owner may choose to do that instead of relying on the medications that we give them beforehand to do their job. Sometimes we don't want to trust that. Titers can be a way to test your dog's blood and determine if they have a good immune response with that vaccine that we had previously given them or if the levels are a little too low and they need to get a booster.

Does my puppy need to restart boosters if they miss a vaccination?

It depends on where they are in the schedule. We recommend puppies get a booster vaccine three weeks later, especially if it's a leptospirosis vaccine and they've only had it the one time. If they have missed it, if it's been over that three-week or four-week mark, it's going to be most ideal to give them an additional booster three weeks afterward.

If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (859) 369-5678, you can email us, or you can reach out on social media. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as fast as we can.

Dog Vaccination - FAQs 3


Dr. Sarah Crank
Advanced Animal Care - Waco

Are there any risks associated with dog vaccines?

There can be, just like any vaccines that a human will get. There are risks associated with vaccines. But from our studies, the overall risks do not outweigh the benefits that the vaccines provide. And so, as far as the risks go, you're going to have the possibility of allergic reactions, swelling, or that can be things as far as an actual vaccine-type reaction that can cause some swelling and discomfort down the road. So, there are risks that you have to certainly keep in mind.

Are there ways to minimize these risks?

As far as that goes, if your dog has had an allergic vaccine reaction before, we will generally give them a Benadryl injection and potentially even a pain injection to try and help minimize that as a possibility.

Are vaccines painful to dogs?

They can be painful. I try to give the analogy of when we have had a vaccine. You're generally a little sore. The vaccine itself has a needle, so it is going to sting a little bit. Most dogs tolerate it pretty well. And especially if we can distract them with a treat, they don't tend to mind. But they will usually be a little sore and perhaps a little more tired than usual that day. But generally, after that, they bounce back.

If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (859) 369-5678, you can email us, or you can reach out on social media. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as fast as we can.

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