Dog Vaccination 101

If you’ve recently adopted a dog or plan on adding a canine companion to your home in the near future, you’ll have to look into vaccination. It’s an essential part of your dog’s care needs! Below, your Upper Arlington, OH veterinarian goes over the basics.

How Do My Dog’s Vaccines Work?

Your dog’s vaccinations work by introducing something called an antigen to your dog’s immune system. Your dog’s body recognizes the antigen as a disease, and responds by developing natural antibodies to that particular virus. If the real disease ever comes along later in life, your dog’s body has prepared itself to recognize, fight off, or—at the very least—lessen the severity of the disease.

What Vaccines Does Fido Need?

Most dogs will receive what are called the core vaccinations early on in life. The core vaccines are considered necessary for all dogs, thanks to the dangerous and contagious nature of the diseases that they’re designed to prevent. Some examples of core vaccines are those that protect against distemper, calicivirus, parvovirus, hepatitis, and rabies, among others. Most of these vaccinations will require booster shots, administered yearly or in multiple-year increments, to remain effective over your dog’s lifetime.

Many dogs also benefit from non-core vaccines, which aren’t considered essential for all dogs but might help some. It all depends on circumstances like risk of exposure, pre-existing health conditions, environment and location, and others. The Lyme disease vaccination and the Bordetella virus vaccination are just two examples.

Are Vaccines Legally Required?

This depends on your particular area and its regulations, but certain vaccinations are required legally in many areas. In addition, it will be difficult to get a dog into dog parks, doggie daycare centers, spas, training classes, dog-friendly hotels, and the like without proof of up-to-date vaccinations.

Are There Any Risks?

Side effects from vaccinations are rare, but they can occur. In most cases, symptoms will be very minor in nature and may include low-grade fever, muscle soreness, swelling, or minor allergic reactions. Let your veterinarian know if you think your dog is reacting poorly to a vaccination.

How Do I Get My Dog Vaccinated?

Do you want to know more about the vaccinations that your dog needs? Ready to have your canine companion vaccinated to provide him with a lifetime of great health? We’re here for you. Set up an appointment today at your Upper Arlington, OH veterinary clinic.