August Is National Immunization Awareness Month

August 3, 2020

August is National Immunization Awareness. Ensuring that your furry babies are up to date on their vaccinations is essential for helping them lead healthy, happy lives. Multiple vaccines are available for your dog. When working with your veterinarian to determine the right vaccinations for your pup, keep these 3 things in mind.

  • Timing and frequency. Determining when and how often your best pal should receive shots depends largely on age, health, lifestyle, and the type of vaccine. For example, healthy puppies typically receive three vaccinations every three to four weeks, beginning when they are six to eight weeks and ending at around 16 weeks. 

Senior dogs, on the other hand, may only need some vaccines every three years, since they have likely built a healthy immunity after years of vaccinations. 

  • Local and state mandates. All states and some local areas have vaccine requirements, typically as they relate to rabies vaccinations. While some areas allow pets to go three years between rabies immunizations, others require the shots annually. If you’re a new pet parent or have recently moved, make sure to familiarize yourself with any immunization requirements in your state or town. 
  • Lifestyle. Vaccines are divided into two categories: core and non-core vaccines. Core vaccines are recommended for every dog and include canine parvovirus, distemper, canine hepatitis (adenovirus type 1), kennel cough (adenovirus type 2), and rabies.  

Non-core vaccines are typically determined by your pet’s risk of exposure. For example, if your best buddy spends significant time outdoors near water or wooded areas, immunizations for Lyme disease (Borrelia burgdorferi) and Leptospirosis can dramatically reduce your dog’s risk of catching these diseases. Other non-core vaccines include canine influenza, parainfluenza, and Bordetella bronchiseptica

While most pets don’t experience any illness from immunizations, if your best boy develops a fever, has labored breathing, collapses, exhibits signs of lameness, experiences vomiting or diarrhea, contact your veterinarian immediately.