Understanding dog vaccinations can be a tricky business. You want to do what's best for your pet, and you don't want to make an uninformed decision. Your veterinarian's pet vaccination clinic can be a valuable source of information and comfort when it comes to making these important decisions.
Deciding What's Best
Some vaccinations are mandatory, depending on where you live. Checking state and local laws is a good idea. These "core" vaccinations are administered to protect your dog (and the dogs he comes into contact with) from extreme illnesses that can cause debilitation or even death.
Non-Core Vaccinations: Some Tips
Some vaccinations fall into the category of "non-core", meaning you can make your decision based upon your dog's needs and even the diseases that are currently a problem in your area.
Some basic considerations come into play, including:
- Your dog's age. Puppies have immature immune systems, which is why some vaccinations include a minimum age at which they can be administered. Stick with these requirements to avoid harming your puppy. Older dogs can also suffer if their immune system is compromised. Let your veterinarian be your guide when it comes to giving non-core vaccinations to your aging companion.
- Your dog's size. Small dogs or dogs that are undernourished because of illness may require a different vaccination schedule.
- Allergies. If your dog is allergic to certain ingredients, let your vet know. He may skip or recommend a different vaccine.
- Your dog's breed. Some breeds can have negative reactions due to sensitivities. Your veterinarian will be well-informed about these types of difficulties.
- Vaccination record. Keeping a record of your dog's vaccination history is important. Your veterinarian will note any negative reactions as well as making sure both core and non-core vaccinations are administered at the proper times.
- Your dog's health. A dog that's suffering from illness can often wait for a non-core vaccination in order to avoid unnecessary stress during the recovery period.
Staying in close contact with your veterinarian is key to keeping both core and non-core vaccinations current. Contact us at Intermountain Pet Hospital to help keep your canine friend healthy and happy!