Vaccines and Your Dog
As a pet owner, there are many things we do to keep our furry babies safe, healthy, and happy. Among the many preventative measures we can take to allow our canines to lead long, healthy lives, vaccinating is one that is very important. Vaccines can save a dog’s life, even if it is unbeknownst to the owner or the dog. There has been much controversy over the last few years regarding vaccines and our canine friends. Diseases such as leptospirosis and distemper are avoidable if the proper vaccine regimen is followed. Even a dog that is not “social” can still be exposed to several different diseases, some of which are zoonotic (meaning transferable to humans).
Vaccines are designed to stimulate the immune system by introducing antigens, which look like disease causing organisms, so that it can begin developing antibodies which will help fight the disease if the dog is ever exposed to it.
The worry of adverse reactions due to vaccinations is also a concern for many pet owners but as research has progressed, manufacturers are working hard to improve their vaccines and reduce the risk of reactions.
The health and lifestyle of your dog is also another factor taken into consideration when choosing which vaccines are necessary. There are several different vaccines available to our canine friends but not all of them are necessary and can depend on your pet’s lifestyle and health conditions. The American Animal Hospital Association has set up guidelines to help guide veterinarians while they decide which vaccines are needed for pets. You can always discuss what exposure your dog has to certain viruses and diseases to decide what vaccine regimen works best. Any questions regarding diseases and viruses your four-legged baby can contract and spread can be answered by your veterinarian. We also have information about both diseases/viruses and the corresponding vaccines below.