What vaccinations do my dogs need?
It's time for my dogs yearly exam, heart worm test and shots, but I've heard a lot of controversy over which shots they really need and which are safe every year. I've heard it's bad for them to get all the shots every year. Some only every 2-3 years, some only a few times during their life and others are needed every year..Which one's should they have and are safe for every year and which aren't needed?
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Dr. Jean Dodd's minimal vaccine schedule is a great place to start. You can find it here - www.doglogic.com
Once your dog has had all their puppy shots, they do not need to be vaccinated annually - you cannot create "more" immunity by vaccinating repeatedly. It doesn't work that way.
Realistically, you only need to revaccinate if your dog's antibody count is low. The way of figuring that out is to run titers annually. Titer tests are done by drawing blood and testing for the presence of antibodies.
Alternative to that, you can go onto the three year schedule, getting rabies every three years (this is required by law - you cannot titer for rabies) and getting the DHPP every three years, preferably not getting both rabies and DHPP at the same time. (We do ours in alternating years.)
I take my dog in every six month for a health exam, fecal and heartworm/lymes/ehrlichia test, and do shots on the three year schedule.
Abby answered on 8/28/08. Helpful? / 4