What Vaccines Do Dogs Need to Stay Healthy?

Dog getting vaccine.

Vaccinations are a necessary part of health for pets and people alike. Vaccines are effective at protecting against a wide variety of serious and sometimes fatal illnesses in dogs. Although necessary, not every pet needs every vaccine. Many pet owners wonder which vaccines are necessary for their dogs.

Beverly Hills Veterinary Associates want to provide some answers to the question of what vaccines do dogs need to stay healthy. It is our hope to provide a better understanding of the advantages of vaccination among canine companions.

The Case for Dog Vaccinations

Before vaccines, our pet companions were susceptible to a wide array of dangerous diseases from rabies to parvovirus, and distemper to canine influenza. These illnesses not only wreaked havoc on the infected dog, but also spread to other dogs across North America. Some of these, such as rabies, are fatal in both pets and people. 

Vaccines are designed to bolster the immune system by introducing traces of a virus into the body. This gives the body a chance to fight off this tiny amount of the virus, so that the immune system can work against it later. In other words, your pet develops antigens as a result of the vaccine.

Guidelines for vaccinations for puppies and adult dogs have gone through a few iterations over the course of the past few decades. The time period between vaccines has increased to avoid over-vaccination. This is great news as it eases concerns about vaccines among dog owners.

Core Vaccines for Dogs

Adult dogs are generally on a three-year core vaccine schedule. Puppies under one year will require booster vaccinations as they are building their immunity. You may wonder which vaccines are necessary for your pooch. These recommended vaccines, or core vaccines, are:

  • Canine Distemper: This is a highly contagious virus that causes respiratory distress in dogs, which often leads to death.
  • Canine Parvovirus: This is another contagious illness that is more often diagnosed in puppies. It causes excessive diarrhea and vomiting, which can lead to serious dehydration. 
  • Canine Type 2 Adenovirus: This virus is related to kennel cough and causes a dry, hacking cough, discharge from eyes and nose, retching, and fever.
  • Rabies: This virus is fatal in dogs and most mammals, including humans, which is why the vaccine is mandated by law.

Non-Core Vaccines That Are Recommended

Depending on your dog’s lifestyle, some additional vaccines may be required. Our team assesses the risk of certain illnesses against your pet’s possible exposure. Dogs who are often outdoors, such as those who hunt, hike, and participate in outdoor recreation with their owners, are more at risk for certain viruses and illnesses in the environment.

Non-core vaccines include leptospirosis, bordetella (kennel cough), canine influenza, rattlesnake vaccine, and canine parainfluenza

What Vaccines Do Dogs Need? 

We are happy to discuss with you more about your dog’s vaccination needs and schedule. Most dogs get their vaccines and parasite preventatives at the same time during a comprehensive wellness examination. If you would like to schedule an appointment, please phone our friendly team at (248) 646–5655.