Learn what are dog vaccines and their types from top veterinarians in your area

Dog vaccines are designed to protect your dog from dangerous diseases. They act as the first line of defense against diseases and preempt the diseases from affecting the body. In the USA, all pet owners are required to vaccine their dogs for rabies. You can protect your dog even further by administering multiple other important dog vaccines as well.

Autumn Trails and Veterinary Center located in Charlottesville, VA recommends dog owners innoculate their dogs against fatal diseases such as Canine Parvovirus, Canine Distemper, Hepatitis, and Rabies. Vaccines for these diseases are considered core vaccines that can help your dog live a happy, healthy, and disease-free life.

Let us take a more detailed look into what canine vaccines are, their working, and how often to administer them.

What Are Dog Vaccines?

  • The working mechanism of canine vaccines is similar to human vaccines. The dog is injected with a small quantity of disease-causing organisms whose potency is quite low. They stimulate the body to produce antibodies. These antibodies are encoded in the dog’s immune system. Now if the dog does contract the real disease, the immune system is prepared to fight it off and remain safe and healthy.

Types of Dog Vaccines

Dog vaccines are divided into two major categories:

  • Core vaccines
  • Non-core vaccines

Core Vaccines

They are the most important vaccines as they provide inoculation against the most widely-spread dog diseases. Vets agree that vaccination against the following diseases is considered core dog vaccines:

These vaccines are classified as core dog vaccines based on their spread rate and their risk of transmission to dogs and other species. These diseases also have the highest mortality rate and are considered quite severe in nature.  All vets agree that pet owners should administer core vaccines to their dogs.

Non-Core Vaccines

Non-core vaccines are not considered as important as core vaccines, but they are still highly recommended by vets to ensure the general wellness of your pups. Non-core vaccines include protection against the following diseases:

  • Bordetella
  • Canine Influenza (dog flu)
  • Leptospirosis
  • Lyme vaccine
  • Rattlesnake vaccine

Some of the above-mentioned diseases are communicable and humans can contract them too. Getting your dog vaccinated will ensure the safety of your pet as well as your family.

How Often Should the Vaccines be Administered?

dog vaccinesJust like humans, vaccines should be administered in dogs right from infancy. The first dose of vaccine is administered when the puppies are 6 to 8 weeks old. They will continue receiving the shot every third week till they become four months old at which stage they will receive the final dose of the vaccine.

If you have a healthy and well-nursed puppy, then the following schedule is good to go:

  • At the age of 6-10 weeks old – vaccination for distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus, parainfluenza (DHPP), and Kennel Cough will be administered.
  • At the age of 11-14 weeks old – vaccination for DHPP, Leptospirosis, Canine Influenza, and Rabies will be administered. The vaccine for Rattle Snake and Lyme Disease is administered if the puppy’s lifestyle demands it. Most of these vaccines are non-core, as per the classification.

Side Effects and Potential Risks of Vaccines

Just like human vaccines, dog vaccines have some side effects and potential risks as well. The following symptoms are associated with dog vaccines:

  • Rise of body temperature
  • Laziness
  • Reduced appetite
  • Swelling around the face, paws, or hives
  • Loose stool
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Swelling where the injection is administered

These are some usual and short-lived symptoms that dogs display after undergoing a vaccine dose. If they persist, then consult a nearby vet on an emergency basis.