Your own veterinarian can suggest what vaccines are needed to protect your dog based on where you live, and your dog’s age and lifestyle. Here are some that they may recommend:
Rabies: Most countries require that dogs get a Rabies vaccine because it is deadly to both animals and humans. Animals who catch Rabies will either die, or are put to sleep. Any person who has been around an animal with Rabies will need to get some painful shots. If a person gets sick from Rabies, they will need a long hospitalization – and may not recover.
Distemper: This is a serious illness for dogs, but does not make humans sick. It can look like a really bad cold, upset stomach, or seizures. Some forms of Distemper can be hard to treat and the dog may not survive.
Parvovirus: Often called ‘Parvo’, it will also not make a human sick, but can hang around in the environment for years and spread to many dogs. Parvo causes a very upset stomach, with diarrhea, and can be deadly without medical treatment.
Leptospirosis: This illnessis is spread by urine from sick animals, especially in damp areas. Humans can catch Leptospirosis, and it causes kidney failure - which is very serious. A sick dog or person would need to be hospitalized in order to survive.
Bordetella: Otherwise known as‘Kennel Cough’, it is like a doggie cold. People don’t catch this and it is usually not deadly to dogs. But, you know how it feels to have a cold – and your dog may cough and sneeze and keep you up at night.
Canine Influenza: This is a more serious type of ‘doggie cold’. It can make a dog really sick and possibly get pneumonia. Canine Influenza has caused some dogs to die and requires more treatment than Kennel Cough.
A Note on Vaccine Reactions: Some people are concerned about vaccines causing an allergic reaction in their dog. Less than 1% of dogs have a reaction, so it is a low risk compared to the protection from a vaccine. If your dog ever gets sick after a vaccine, you need to call your veterinarian and let them know right away.
Keeping your dog current on the right vaccines is an important part of owning a dog – and can help them stay healthy and happy for years to come.