VCA Animal Hospitals

Why are vaccines important for my pet?

Published: Jul 12, 2012

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When you bring your puppy to the animal hospital for the first time, the vet will explain the core vaccines for dogs, then will also discuss whether your dog would benefit from "non-core" dog vaccinations.

The "core" vaccines that are recommended by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) Canine Vaccine Task Force will protect your dog from distemper, parvovirus in dogs and the canine adenovirus, also known as hepatitis. The core treatment also includes a vaccine to protect against rabies in dogs.

"Vaccines serve a real purpose. Every dog should be evaluated for protection on an annual basis," Dr. Link Welborn, past president of the AAHA and chairperson of the committee that formulated the AAHA Canine Vaccination Guidelines, told the Chicago Tribune.

The Canine Vaccination Guidelines recommend annual titer testing, which tests a dog's immunity to diseases and thus determines whether the dog needs to be vaccinated against that disease that year. Welborn told the news outlet that not every dog needs to be vaccinated every year, and not all require every single vaccination available.

You should talk to your veterinarian about your dog's particular needs. Depending on the canine's lifestyle, your vet may also recommend "non-core" vaccines to protect against illnesses like distemper-measles, Lyme disease, canine parainfluenza virus and kennel cough, VCA Animal Hospitals reports. 

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