Are yearly vaccinations important for my dog?



Does my dog really need yearly vaccinations?

I’m often asked the question by pet families who are wondering whether their pet truly needs to be vaccinated. Families will explain to me that the pet has been vaccinated every year, without incident, and seems to be otherwise fairly healthy and robust. 

My answer, to be simple; Yes. Your pet must be kept current with vaccinations. 

My firm response to this question has certainly been met with skepticism in the past. ‘Is that really true? Are you just trying to ‘trick’ me into coming into the vet clinic?’ 

Vaccinations save lives.

It’s the simple truth. 

My very good friend and colleague Dr. Rafael began his veterinary career in his home country of Venezuela. Dr. Rafa is our biggest advocate for vaccination, driven by his first-hand exposure to pets and families that have suffered without them. His experiences are a great reminder for us all of what we take for granted – vaccinations keep heartbreak at an arm’s length.

Deadly Diseases Still Lurk

So, you’ve never seen a puppy too tired to stand from Parvovirus?

Not ever known a dog’s gums to turn yellow after contracting leptospirosis? 

Or seen a beloved family cat unable to open its eyes from cat flu? 

We have. All. The. Time.

Thankfully, with so many pet families onboard with the importance of vaccination, most pet families have been sheltered from these severe diseases. But, make no mistake, they are present in our community. 

If you have been unlucky enough to have been in any of those situations, my heart goes out to you. 

Do Your Bit 

Vaccinating every pet that is able to be vaccinated not only helps to protect your pet – but also other pets around them who may be at-risk. This is called ‘herd immunity’, it’s the concept of vaccinating large portions of the population to protect individuals who are unvaccinated.

Without even knowing it, vaccinating your pet helps to protect vulnerable pets in the community that need your help. This can include those who are very young, elderly, sick or unable to benefit from a vaccination for whatever reason. 

So, there it is, that’s exactly why I unapologetically want your pet to be vaccinated. Not because veterinary is just my job. But because it is what we can do together to keep your pet protected and healthy, as well as continue to suppress awful, deadly diseases which are now thankfully quite rare. 

No pet or their family should ever have to suffer through preventable illness – we’re here to help with that. 

Still have questions about vaccinations and your pet? That’s fair, there is just so much information and misinformation available at our fingertips. Book an appointment with the team and your fur family to tailor the right plan for you. 

And remember, if you’re worried that annual vaccinations are a bit scary for your pet, be sure to call and speak with our great nursing team about fear-free options for your pet!

vicky | Ringwood Emergency Vet | Australia | Ringwood | Victoria

Dr. Vicky Wade