Vaccinations can be a point of uncertainty for many new pet guardians. Some vaccinations that are required by law. Core vaccinations are those that may not be required by law but are customary for the safety of every dog. And there are elective vaccinations a veterinarian may recommend based on lifestyle and threats in the immediate region in which we live. Of course, for their health and well-being, it’s also important to make sure they have the right supplements. Vet Organics has several dog supplement choices, all of which are delicious for dogs, high-quality, wallet-friendly, and serve a variety of needs, such as allergies, mobility, digestion, and immunity.
For a better understanding of vaccination basics, read our Primer on Pet Vaccines, Part One. For answers and solutions to common vaccine concerns, read our Pet Vaccine Primer: Concerns and Safety, Part Two.
Core Dog Vaccines
No matter where we live in the United States, there are core vaccines. These are vaccines that may be required by law. More importantly, they are vital because they help to reduce and eliminate the risk of exposure to deadly diseases that may be transmitted to other dogs, and to humans!
Core Vaccine Schedule for Dogs
Rabies vaccines are given to puppies at 12-16 weeks. A booster is administered every one to three years after that. The rabies virus is 100% deadly and can be contracted by humans as well as animals. It is carried by animals common to rural areas as well as cities, such as bats, rodents, and more.
Distemper, parvovirus, and CAV-1 are part of the core schedule and are commonly administered as a combination vaccination at 6-8 weeks. They are then given every 3-4 weeks until 4 boosters have been delivered. These are highly contagious viruses that are deadly for canines, and two of them can live in the environment for up to six months. Because of this, parvovirus, for example, can be contracted by an unvaccinated dog who is on a walk and steps on a blade of grass where a dog has defecated. Even if the Guardian has picked up that mess, the virus can be left behind.
Non-core vaccines are a matter of choice. Veterinarians will recommend vaccines beyond the core vaccinations according to the lifestyle and region of our pups. Dogs who go on hikes with us all the time may need vaccinations that will protect them against common diseases and infections they may contract in wild places or from ticks. Dogs who travel with us may be safer with vaccines that protect them from exposure to viruses and infections that may be more prevalent in regions we are traveling through.
Common Non-Core Vaccines for Dogs
Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection that can be spread from the urine of infected animals. The vaccine targets the four most common varieties and requires two injections 3-4 weeks apart. A raccoon, opossum or other infected animals might urine left on a blade of grass, in a rain puddle, or anywhere along our pup’s path, whether on a trail or in our backyards. Our unvaccinated canine will be unprotected and can become seriously ill. Humans can also be infected by this bacteria. It’s most common in warmer climates. For more, visit the American Veterinary Medical Association.
Lyme disease is also bacterial. It is transmitted by ticks and can affect both dogs and humans. This makes tick control one of the best ways to avoid tick bites. EcoBug is a powerful formula and all-natural pest solution. It protects against ticks as well as fleas, mosquitos, and mites. There is also a vaccine that can be given 3-4 weeks apart and then yearly, ongoing. However, it is not appropriate for all dogs, so we should always consult our vet about vaccine risks and tick exposure in our areas.
Canine cough or kennel cough refers to several varieties of upper respiratory infections our dogs may contract including bordetella, canine influenza, parainfluenza, and other viruses and bacteria. It is transmitted just like the common common cold is spread among humans. A dog breathing near an infected dog who is coughing can become ill. Dogs who are going to spend time in kennels or at doggy daycare will need to be vaccinated for their protection and the protection of the dogs around them.
Canine Influenza has several strains. The most alarming are the two strains, H3N8 and H3N2, that originated in Asia and are rapidly spreading across the United States. Both strains have an unusually high mortality rate, and similar to kennel cough, vaccines will be recommended, and sometimes required, for dogs we will be boarding, sending to daycare or the groomer, or who will be spending time in the company of other dogs who could be infected. For more information on Canine Influenza, check out our PSA: 2018 Update on the Canine Influenza.
For a longer list of Dog Diseases You Can Combat with Vaccinations and Deworming check out this article from the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Of course, the number one reason we vaccinate our dogs is so they can live a long, healthy life. For their health and well-being, it’s also important to make sure they have the right supplements. Vet Organics has several dog supplement choices, all of which are delicious for dogs, and serve a variety of needs, such as allergies, mobility, digestion, and immunity.