Do I Really Need to Vaccinate My Dog?

Science has developed vaccines that prove to be effective, and preventive when it comes to battling certain diseases. Just like what it does to humans, vaccines can also help protect your pet dog against various diseases that can threaten the life and overall health. But many pet owners are constantly faced with the dilemma about whether they should or they shouldn’t vaccinate their dogs.

But do you really need to vaccinate your dog? The thing is, although your pet will definitely need to be vaccinated, they shouldn’t necessarily be vaccinated for all kinds of diseases at all times. Vaccines are grouped into two categories, and these target specific diseases. These two categories are core and non-core vaccines.

Not all vaccines are necessary, and it can get quite confusing. It is therefore important to familiarize yourself about these two categories before making a decision. What’s the difference?

Core Vaccines

Basically, core vaccines help protect your pet dog against diseases that are very common. It also provides protection against diseases that can easily be transmitted. These core vaccines are important because it targets diseases that can be very difficult to treat. Also, some of these diseases, such as rabies, can also be transmitted to people and bring in devastating and harmful effects. Core vaccines target diseases that are contagious and severe. It is also important to know that once you’ve given your dog the core vaccines, then yearly vaccines of the same kind are no longer needed. Most veterinarians generally recommend core vaccines since they will protect your pet against various common and deadly viral diseases. Some of the core vaccines include the following:

  • Rabies
  • Canine Hepatitis or Adenovirus
  • Canine Parvovirus
  • Distemper

In the past, core vaccines were actually recommend to be given once a year, but after completing the set of core vaccines, your dog can just be given a booster shot or revaccinated after a few years. It will also be up to you or the recommendation of your veterinarian.

Non-Core Vaccines

Non-core vaccines, on the other hand, protect your pet dog from other conditions that aren’t included in the core vaccines list. Basically this means that these are of lesser severity, and they aren’t always recommended because it will depend on your location, lifestyle, and many other factors. Some examples include Leptospirosis, Lyme Disease, Kennel Cough, Bordetella, and Canine Influenza. Not all of these are needed by all kinds of dogs, but they can benefit certain dogs, depending on its situation or conditions. These types of vaccines have low effectiveness rates, and most of them will also cause side effects or possible adverse reactions from your pet. It is therefore important to evaluate and consider all pros and cons before deciding to vaccinate your dog with non-core vaccines. In the event that you decide to vaccinate your dog with non-core diseases, then you should know about the risks and side effects that it may cause.

Avoid Over Vaccination

Too much vaccination for your pet dog can cause more harm that protection, and it can lead to other risks and dangers. There are vaccines that cause adverse reactions especially of they are given too often. Core diseases are usually set for life, so make sure you consult your veterinarian in case you are planning to get a booster shot. Non-core vaccines are less affective, and the protection usually lasts for a year, but make sure that you are aware of the possible risks and harm that it may cause on your pet dog.


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