We all love our dogs. Regardless of their size, they have a gigantic place in our hearts. We buy them the best food we can afford, spend our free time walking and playing with them and groom them regularly. Keeping them healthy and happy is our main concern as fur parents, and we try to only do what is best for them.
But what about getting them vaccinated? If you have been wondering, "are dog vaccines really necessary?" you have come to the right place. Read on to learn how vaccines work, their benefits, risks and which ones you should get for your dog.
How dog vaccinations work
Just like it is for humans, dog vaccines are a preventative measure, not a cure. Vaccines are made from a deactivated agent which emulates a live virus but cannot reproduce. Once injected into your dog’s body, their immune system will react as if a live virus has been contracted, causing them to develop antibodies. Once this happens, your dog’s immunity is ready to fight off that specific foreign agent, so if the body reencounters the same disease, it is prepared to fight it.
Breakdown of dog vaccinations
In Australia, dog vaccines are divided into two categories. Core vaccines, which are compulsory for all dogs, and non-core vaccines, the administration of which depends on each dog’s specific circumstances.
Core vaccinations include:
- Canine distemper virus,
- Canine adenovirus,
- Canine parvovirus.
These vaccines are commonly administered together by your vet in one shot called a ‘C3’ vaccine when your puppy is 6 to 8 weeks old.
For ALL dogs that will be boarded, a Kennel cough vaccination will also be required and finalised at least 10 days before boarding. Please telephone us for more information.
Mittagong Veterinary Hospital also advises vaccination against Canine Leptospirosis which is an emerging disease, spread by rats, especially in Sydney.
Are yearly vaccinations for dogs necessary?
An adult dog doesn’t necessarily need a core vaccination booster every year. The frequency depends on the type of vaccines used, with the core vaccines varying from every 1 to 3 years. We do recommend, however, that your dog be subjected to an annual health check at the vet.
If you have just brought a puppy home, come and see us at Mittagong Vet Hospital and Clinic to discuss the best vaccination schedule for them. Since the decline of their maternal antibodies happens at variable times, puppies require a series of vaccinations to ensure they are completely protected. The usual timing is 6-8 weeks, 10-12 weeks and 14-16 weeks. I.e. a three vaccination regime.
Get in touch with us to discuss your dog’s vaccinations
We hope we have answered the question, “are dog vaccines really necessary”, but if you are still unclear about what they are, how they work, why yearly vaccinations for dogs are necessary or want to discuss any concern you have with an expert, please reach out to us. You can either call us on 02 4872 2028 to discuss this over the phone or book an appointment to come and talk to us in person at the Mittagong Vet Hospital and Clinic. Dr Keith and the rest of the team will answer any questions you have and help alleviate your concerns so that you can do what’s best for your dog with complete peace of mind.
All dog vaccinations (of owners with an email address) are also recorded on a database called Vetdb which is accessible at any time. This is a new and exciting service offered by Mittagong Veterinary Hospital.