"Why does my dog need to get their shots? Can I vaccinate my dog at home? Are there vaccinations that need to be given to my dog at a vet clinic?" Today, our Hopkinsville vets answer your questions about dog vaccines.
Why Up-To-Date Vaccines Are Essential for Your Dog
At Skyline Animal Clinic we steadfastly believe that preventing your dog from becoming sick in the first place is one of the very best ways to help your canine companion live a long and healthy life, but there are other benefits to keeping your dog's vaccines up-to-date.
Reasons to Keep Your Dog Fully Vaccinated
Here are our top three reasons to keep your dog's vaccines current:
Keeping Your Dog Healthy—Routine vaccinations are your pup's frontline defense against a range of highly contagious and potentially fatal conditions such as rabies, distemper, and parvovirus. These common dog diseases can spread rapidly from one pet to another and pose a serious threat to the health and longevity of your pup.
Haulting The Spread of Disease—Maintaining up-to-date vaccinations for your dog contributes to the overall health of your community's pets by preventing the spread of contagious diseases. This is especially important in environments where dogs interact with one another such as off-leash parks, boarding facilities, doggy daycare, groomers and even just on-leash walks around your neighborhood.
Potentially Saves Your Hard Earned Money for Other Things—Investing in your pup's preventive care, including vaccinations, can help save you money in the long run by preventing the need for potentially costly treatments to address diseases that could have been avoided.
Pros & Cons of Dog Vaccination at Home
Many people wonder if they can save the cost and hassle of a vet visit by administering their dog's vaccinations by themselves, at home. While on the surface this may seem like a straightforward way to save time and money, there are actually a number of pitfalls to this approach.
Let's take a look at some of the pros and cons of vaccinating your dog at home:
Pros of At-Home Dog Vaccinations
Convenience—No doubt about it, providing your pup with their vaccines at home offers the convenience of vaccinating your dog at a time that's best for you, with no worries about getting to the vet's office.
Familiar Environment—Many dogs find going to the vet to be a stressful experience and may feel more at ease receiving their shots in the comfort of their own home.
Cons of At-Home Vaccines for Dogs
Risk of Error—For vaccines to be effective it is important to get the dosage correct. Providing vaccines at home can lead to an increased risk of administering an inadequate dose that does not provide your dog with protection from the disease, or too much of the vaccine that could lead to an adverse reaction.
Limited Vaccines Available for At-Home Use—While giving your dog the bortadella vaccine at home may be possible, not all vaccines for dogs are suitable, or available, for pet parents to administer. Some require the expertise of a veterinary professional, to help ensure the safety and efficacy of the vaccination.
Pros & Cons of Getting Your Dog Vaccinated at Your Vet's Office
We know that you have a busy schedule and sometimes finding the time to bring your dog in for routine vaccinations can feel like just another hassle you could do without. But, there are some important advantages to getting your dog's shots administered by a veterinary professional, including:
Pros of In-Clinic Vaccines for Dogs
Professional Expertise—Veterinarians and other veterinary professionals, such as vet techs and nurses, have the training to ensure that your dog receives the optimal effective dose of each vaccine and can address any concerns that may arise. They can also answer any questions you may have about possible side effects, and when your dog's next booster shot is due.
Wider Variety of Vaccines Available—While some vaccines are recommended for all dogs, there are several 'lifestyle vaccines' that are given on an as-needed basis. Your vet's office, (and local pet vaccine clinics), offers a broader range of core and lifestyle vaccines and can assess your dog's overall health and lifestyle to determine the best vaccines to meet your dog's unique preventive care requirements.
Proof of Vaccination Certificates Provided—In most states, the rabies vaccine for dogs is mandatory and pet parents must be able to prove that their pet's rabies vaccine is current. Only your veterinarian or a veterinary vaccination clinic can provide you with an official proof of rabies vaccination. Pet parents with dogs that visit boarding facilities, groomers or daycare may also be required to produce a vet-provided proof of vaccination for other vaccines such as kennel cough.
Can Be Part of a Comprehensive Health Checkup—Although you may want to simply get your dog vaccinated and leave, there are a number of benefits to annual wellness exams for dogs. These health checkups allow your veterinarian to check for developing health concerns, provide guidance, answer any questions you may have about your dog's health, and provide your pet with the right vaccines to meet their unique needs.
Cons of In-Clinic Dog Vaccines
Time & Effort—Getting your dog to a vaccination clinic or vet every 12 months can be time-consuming, and some dogs find visiting the vet's office to be stressful, adding an extra level of complexity to the task. Busy pet parents may find annual vaccine appointments inconvenient.
Cost—It's true that dog vaccines at your vet's office may cost a little more, but investing in correctly administered vaccines for your pup may save you money down the line, and could save your dog from having to suffer the health effects of catching a preventable disease.
What Vaccines Where
While at-home vaccines may seem convenient, they simply cannot ensure that your dog is getting the protection against disease that they need and deserve. When it comes to safeguarding the health of your canine companion it's always best to seek the expert help of a veterinary professional.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding people or pets. Always follow your doctor's advice regarding asthma or other allergy symptoms.