Both old and new dog owners can find themselves confused as to which vaccines their dogs need and when. This is an especially challenging consideration for those who want to limit the number of boosters their dog receives. A lot of dog vaccines exist, but there are some that many vets consider crucial and some others that aren't always so necessary.
Start With the State and Local Laws on Vaccines for Dogs
Before making any decisions about your dog's vaccines, you should know your state's laws on pet vaccination. These laws vary, but there is one core vaccine that just about every state requires a dog to have, and it is for rabies. Dogs aren't allowed to enter the country without proof of rabies inoculation. This rule also applies to some states.
The rules for how often your dog will need a rabies shot can also vary by state, and sometimes even by town or county. In addition, who can administer the booster can vary by state as well. However, you can never go wrong with a state-certified veterinarian at an animal hospital.
While most of the country considers the rabies vaccine an absolute necessity, some places legally require your dog to have some of the other vaccinations generally considered core vaccinations. Speak to a veterinarian. The vet will let you know which boosters are a strict legal requirement.
Learn What Veterinarians Consider Core Vaccines for Dogs
A core vaccine is one the established animal health industry agrees virtually all dogs need. Vets consider these vaccines as essential for the health of your dog. Nevertheless, what a vet considers a core vaccine for your dog may depend on individual factors, such as your dog's age and other health concerns.
Still, beyond the rabies vaccine, there are three vaccines most vets will recommend for all dogs:
These vaccines combat common but potentially fatal infections your dog can contract, which is why they're recognized as core vaccines.
Choose Non-Core Vaccines if They're Necessary
A non-core vaccine isn't always necessary. These vaccines typically come as recommendations from the veterinarian if he or she feels they offer some benefit to your dog's health and wellbeing. In some cases, a non-core vaccine will come up to help your dog with a singular issue. For example, a vaccine for kennel cough may help your dog deal with boarding situations more easily.
If you're afraid of overvaccination or aren't sure of the side effects of a non-core vaccine, you can choose to do without. Speak with a veterinarian at an animal hospital about which vaccinations your dog can benefit most from and which are truly essential to its health.
Nothing is quite like the bond you develop with a pet. You and your dog know each other to the core. You and your cat have your own way of communicating, even though you do not speak their language. These pets are, in a very real sense, your friends — but they are friends you have the responsibility of caring for completely. Determining what the best care for your pet really is can be a challenge. That's why we created this blog. The articles collected here will help you become a better owner and a better friend to your furry companion, whether they're a cat, dog, rabbit, or other species entirely.