How Often do Dogs Need Shots?
How often dogs need shots really depends on the shots that you are trying to give. All shots have different amounts of time for which they are effective.
Should I give my dog shots every single year to keep them up to date?
Shots need to be given to dogs on time to make sure there is not a lapse and that they are continually protected. That being said, for some shots, every single year is entirely too much. In fact, sometimes your dog can fall sick if he has been given too much vaccination.
Puppies need to be dewormed and need to be given their shots between the age of seven to nine weeks, twelve to thirteen weeks and sixteen to eighteen weeks to make sure that they are properly protected against distemper, canine adenovirus and canine parvovirus.
It is not a good idea to give the shots to puppies only any earlier than about seven weeks because the puppies are still protected from the immunity passed on to them from their mothers. The antibodies from their mother’s body might still be in their bodies, offering them protection. Sometimes this amount is still not enough and the puppy suffers from diseases. This is why, many times, just to be safe vets will give them the shots anyways. You could always get their antibody level checked, but this would be more expensive than giving the puppy a shot, so why not just protect them instead?
Bordetella vaccines are given to puppies at about 12 to 18 weeks. According to Doodle Dog Shop the Bardatella vaccine is optional at 6-8 weeks. There are three year rated rabies virus such as Imrab-1 that can be given to puppies at twelve to sixteen weeks as well.
For adult dogs, rabies vaccines are given according to whatever the state mandate is. There are different shots that can be given to a dog every three years, but some states mandate rabies shots be given every single year, so it really depends on the state in which you live.
Bordetella in Dogs
This is a vaccine that is most often given to dogs. Whenever we go to board our dog, we are always asked if he has his Bordetella shots or not. Bordetella is also known as the kennel-cough shot. Kennel-cough is very mild and lasts for a short period of time. It is usually contracted while your dog is sent to boarding or if he has been to the pet-groomers’ lately. Sometimes, people say that if your pet is not going to a groomer’s and if you never board them you do not need them to have this shot. I would disagree with that. You never know when and for what reasons you might to board your dog. What if a family member died and you were flying out of state and could not get your dog on the plane with you at the last minute? You would need to board him or her! I believe it is best to be prepared with these kinds of things all the time.
You should always be up to date on the Bordetella, especially if your dog is a toy-breed (such as pugs) since the cough is longer lasting in them.
Lyme Disease in Dogs
For more information on Lyme Disease, read our article Ticks on Dogs.
Some pet owners give their dogs shots for Lyme disease. Lyme disease can occur if your pet is constantly exposed to ticks. I don’t think this is necessary if you are already using monthly flea and tick prevention medication, as you should be using every single month. There are certain parts of the United States where there is a higher risk of your pet contracting Lyme disease. Mostly, however, the monthly prevention should be good enough. There have been cases of generalized arthritis, allergy, and other diseases resulting from the Lyme disease shot so I would talk to a veterinarian and make sure I have all the knowledge on this subject before administering it on my dog.
Whenever my dog is being sent to daycare or any other programs, we are always asked about shots. Now, as much as we love our vet, whenever we go to her we get so much paperwork that I am sure that my dog is up-to-date on everything but can’t really figure out when she did what with him. This is why, I want to make a calendar that outlines all the shots that my dog has gotten, when he got them and when he is due to get them again.
Leptospirosis in Dogs
Apparently the shot for leptospirosis lasts for only one year so this needs to be given to dogs every single year. It is important though that this is done correctly. First, you would have to give your dog the vaccines for parvo and distemper. Once that is done, wait several weeks and then give them the vaccination for leptospirosis. Make sure this is not being given to a dog while there are other vaccinations being administered as well.
The problem with leptospirosis is that it is present in many different animals, including wildlife, and thus can easily be contracted if a dog does not have the shots for it. A lot of times dogs can get it from sniffing the pee of an animal who has it or even from waddling, swimming or jumping into water that might have it.