Do I Really Need to Get My Dog Vaccinated?
For a long time, veterinarians have been administering vaccines to dogs year after year or as prescribed by vaccine manufacturers. This was done to ensure that the dog has optimal immunity.
There is, however, an increasing debate as to whether a majority of these vaccinations and booster shots are necessary. Some have been associated with effects that could be detrimental to dogs’ immune system as well as other body functions.
Legally and ethically, veterinarians should observe the label recommendations when administering vaccines. However, vaccine manufacturers are under pressure to give evidence supporting the frequency of administering vaccines to dogs. Today we have an increase in the number of holistic veterinary experts who believe that giving dogs vaccinations repeatedly diminishes their immune resources, creating disorders such as degenerative joint disease, lupus, and affecting the dogs’ ability to fight disease naturally.
Most modern veterinarians and research scientists, however, hold that vaccinations are key elements in keeping animals alive and have been instrumental in helping get rid of diseases in animals in the very same way they have impacted the landscape for human beings.
Importance of Vaccines
To understand why vaccines are important for your dog, we first need to explore the various vaccines.
There are two different kinds of vaccinations your dog is expected to receive:
1. Core Vaccines
These are considered essential for all dogs and they help protect the animal from diseases that are easily contagious or fatal. Diseases such as rabies, parvovirus, adenovirus, and distemper.
2. Non-core vaccines
These are administered to protect the dogs against diseases that occur from exposure to elements in the environment or lifestyle. Before administering this, you need to discuss with your veterinary doctor to determine if they are necessary for your dog. They include vaccinations for Lyme disease, leptospirosis, and kennel cough.
Laws & Regulations Governing Vaccinations
The American Animal Association (AAHA) provide an annual vaccination schedule which is ideally followed by veterinarian practitioners. They are, however, not obliged to follow this schedule and some, such as holistic veterinary doctors often use their own methods of administering vaccines.
While your veterinarian has the prerogative of deciding which vaccines are necessary for your dog, especially the non-core vaccines, should your dog get an illness the practitioner chose not to vaccinate against, they can be liable to a lawsuit. That is why most conventional veterinary practitioners follow the AAHA schedule to protect themselves from plausible legal issues.
State and city governments usually determine how often a rabies vaccination must be administered. They also have other specific guidelines where vaccination is concerned. So if you own a pet, it’s important that you familiarize yourself with these regulations specific to your city and state. Your veterinary doctor should also be familiar with the laws and can advise accordingly.
Ultimately, we all want healthy dogs. Ignoring vaccination altogether or subjecting your dog to too many vaccines are both bad for your dog’s health. Once your dog has been given all the core vaccinations, a titer test can be performed to determine which other vaccinations might be necessary. Do what’s best for your furry family members.