Vaccinations are an excellent tool that owners can use to prevent dangerous illnesses that affect their pets. Dogs that aren’t vaccinated are highly susceptible to a host of serious afflictions, including canine parvovirus, distemper, rabies and canine hepatitis. That’s why it’s so critical for dog owners to understand what vaccinations are and which ones will be most beneficial for their animal. At Wapiti Labs, there’s nothing we value more than protecting the health and wellness of you and your pets, so today we’ll be discussing the potential benefits and risks of vaccinating your dog.
What Are Vaccinations and Which Ones Does My Dog Need?
Vaccinations are biological preparations containing killed or weakened microbes that cause disease. When an animal is injected with a vaccine, its immune system easily combats and destroys these microbes, developing an increased resistance to the threat in the process. Put simply, vaccines teach the body how to fight off diseases that it might encounter in the future.
Not all vaccines are appropriate or necessary for your canine friend. The proper vaccination protocol for your pet depends largely on its age, living environment, medical history and lifestyle. However, there are a select few “core vaccines” that are vital for almost every healthy dog, mostly due to the fact that the illnesses they treat are either highly dangerous or transmittable to humans. Be sure to talk with your vet about which vaccinations you should prioritize for your pet. These experts will be a fantastic source of information and guidance throughout this entire process, so make liberal use of their help.
Are Dog Vaccines Dangerous?
Administration of a vaccine is almost completely painless for your dog. Your vet will fill a small syringe with the vaccine, gently restrain your dog’s head, and inject it into the nape of the neck. Furthermore, your pet’s internal battle with the weakened disease is usually so rapid and simple that they won’t suffer any adverse effects at all. However, there is a rare chance that your dog will experience an anaphylactic reaction, resulting in low blood pressure, a slower heart rate, and unconsciousness. This can be fatal if left untreated, so it’s vital to ensure that any vaccine your dog receives is administered by a qualified veterinarian.
Other adverse side effects of vaccines include fever, sluggishness, loss of appetite, diarrhea, and vomiting. There’s also a small chance that your dog could develop small tumors near the point of injection or seizures. All of these scary side effects may compel you to abandon the idea of vaccinations for your pet altogether, but bear in mind that the benefits of these procedures vastly outweigh the risks. Vaccines save thousands upon thousands of humans and dogs alike from disease and death, and managing the side effects of vaccinations is certainly preferable to enduring the pain of losing a pet to an illness that could have been prevented.
How Often Should I Vaccinate My Dog?
Your dog’s vaccination timeline will vary depending on its age. Generally speaking, puppies are given their first round of vaccine injections about six to eight weeks after birth. Here’s a breakdown of which injections puppies should receive during their first year. As you can see, there are quite a few scheduled vaccines during their first 16 weeks, but this number drops off sharply afterward. Once puppyhood has passed, a majority of dog owners only visit once per year for their pet’s yearly rabies and DHPP (distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza, and parvovirus) shots. This is a perfectly feasible timeline you can follow to keep your dog safe from these nasty health conditions.
Of course, there are a number of optional vaccines you can elect to give your dog as well, including Lyme disease, bordetella and coronavirus. Depending on where and how your dog lives, these vaccines might be incredibly beneficial or almost pointless, so we highly recommend consulting with your vet before committing to any of them.
Consider Pet Supplements to Further Support Your Dog’s Health
Now that you’ve set your canine up with the ideal vaccination protocol, think about establishing a supplement regimen to maintain its long-term health. Wapiti Labs offers a diverse range of natural products that encourage your dog’s well-being, including mobility supplements that support the immune system while providing improved joint support and normal blood cell health. We’ve also developed special supplements for senior dogs that encourage proper eye function and kidney health while promoting stamina, endurance, and overall good quality of life. As always, speak with your vet before starting your dog on any new supplements or medication, and don’t hesitate to contact them if you need counsel on the best products for your four-legged friend.
Call or message us today for more methods of keeping your dog happy and in peak condition.