The recent debates about human vaccines and their importance have left many pet owners wondering the same about their pet’s vaccines. To put it simply: Vaccinating your pet is a safe preventative measure that is vital to your pet’s wellbeing. Like children, dogs need vaccines to help build their immune system and protect against many serious illnesses.
Our veterinarians recommend staying up to date with your pet’s vaccines for many reasons including:
- Vaccines protect against highly contagious diseases, such as parvovirus. These illnesses transfer rapidly in social areas like dog parks, pet hotels, and grooming salons.
- Pet vaccines don’t just protect your dog, they protect you! For example, rabies affects both humans and dogs.
- Vaccines are a cost-effective preventative measure that protects against costly treatments.
What Vaccines Does My Dog Need?
Some pet vaccines are medically necessary, while others depend on the pet’s age and lifestyle. Veterinarians differentiate these two categories as “core” vaccines and “non-core” vaccines. The American Animal Hospital Association recommends the following core vaccines for all dogs:
- Parvovirus: Causes vomiting, bloody diarrhea, and severe dehydration in puppies
- Canine Distemper: Damages the nervous system and is often fatal
- Rabies: Can be transmitted to humans, is always fatal
- Bordetella: Also know as kennel cough, affects the upper respiratory tract and is highly contagious to pets
Additionally, your veterinarian may recommend these vaccines depending on the specific needs of your pet. These can include:
- Lyme disease: Transmitted by ticks and common in forest areas
- Canine influenza: Infectious respiratory diseases that can infect easily
- Leptospirosis: Present in contaminated water and cause liver/kidney failure
- Rattlesnake Virus: Recommended for dogs that live near desert areas
Are Pet Vaccines Required By Law?
The only dog vaccine required by law in the state of Nevada is the rabies vaccine. While other vaccines are not required by law, many groomers, training facilities, and pet hotels require your dog to be vaccinated due to high transmission rate and importance to your pet’s overall well-being.
When Should I Vaccinate My Dog?
Our veterinarians recommend vaccinating your puppies as early as 6 weeks old. They recommended to start this early because puppies are the most susceptible to diseases due to their underdeveloped immune systems. It is ideal to begin their series of vaccines once they’re weaned off their mother’s milk. After three rounds of vaccines, your puppy will have built a stronger immune system and be protected against most viruses. Adults dogs that have received puppy vaccines can go on an annual schedule.
Feeling overwhelmed with your dog’s vaccine schedule? Our Wellness Plans make managing your pet’s health simple and affordable. Our puppy plans include all their series of vaccines, as well as their spay/neuter, microchipping, unlimited exams, and more! We also offer adult plans that include all their annual vaccines, dental cleaning, bloodwork, and more. Learn more here.
Are there are risks of vaccinating my dog?
While no medication has zero risks, the benefits of vaccinating your pet far outweigh the potential risks. For instance, some pets may experience mild side effects after receiving one or more vaccinations. These side effects can occur within an hour and they include:
- Discomfort or swelling near the injection site
- Decreased appetite
- Decreased activity
While it is rare, some pets can have a more serious reaction to vaccines. These reactions can be medical emergencies and should be seen by a veterinarian immediately:
- Continuous vomiting or diarrhea
- Facial swelling
- Difficulty breathing
Please always inform your veterinarian about your pet’s medical history or known allergies prior to any vaccines.
Need to schedule your pet’s next vaccine appointment? Click here to book now.