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Do I need to vaccinate my dog every year?

In short: Yes. Our pets rely on us to be advocates for their healthcare, they depend on us to speak up on their behalf when they’re feeling unwell or sore. But that’s not where our responsibility stops. As a pet-parent, our obligation is bigger than our furred-family. We must contribute and work toward making our community a safe environment for all pets and their families. Making sure that you vaccinate your dog every year keeps your pet healthy, and also protects vulnerable pets in your neighbourhood.

Did you know that our hospital regularly treats young, healthy adult pets after contracting contagious diseases such as infectious canine cough and cat airway viruses? 

Did you know that our hospital actively diagnoses and manages dogs with deadly Parvovirus and Leptospirosis?

Did you know that some viruses can be transmitted from pets to people?

These are many viruses and bacteria which are occurring locally, in our community. It’s a reality to which I can personally testify. 

These nasties range from causing sickness which can be debilitating, all the way through to fatality. The reason to vaccinate is clear as day, the same reason we vaccinate our children or ourselves; it’s easy and it’s life-saving. When pet families don’t keep vaccinations current, these diseases come back on the rise and the risk of your pet being exposed will climb.

You may have heard that some vaccinations only need to be given every 3 years. This is partially true – let me explain. Most dogs are routinely vaccinated for 5 different diseases – distemper, parvovirus, hepatitis virus, and canine cough viruses and bacteria. Whilst the first three only need to be administered every three years, the latter canine cough viruses and bacteria must still be given yearly. Of all of those listed diseases – infectious canine cough is also the most commonly diagnosed!

The bottom line?

 

Both dogs and cats depend on yearly vaccinations to maintain their immunity. This keeps them, and other local pet families protected. There is no such thing as ‘over-vaccinating’ your pet. If your pet doesn’t have severe adverse reactions to vaccinations, choosing not to get them immunised is a failure to provide a healthy environment for not only your pets but everyone else’s as well. It’s the exact same logic as human vaccinations, for the exact same reasons.

 

Do the right thing.

 
 
Are you worried that your dog or unsure about vaccinations?
 
 
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Dr. Vicky Wade

Veterinarian