We don’t vaccinate our children every year for their entire life, so why the heck would we vaccinate our dogs every year for their entire life?
Every year they show up in the mail – brightly printed post cards informing you that your dogs are due for their annual vaccinations. We may moan and groan, but most of us will set up an appointment because we love our dogs and don’t want them to be sick. Unfortunately, recent research shows this may be more harmful than helpful.
The recommendation to vaccinate annually has been under scrutiny since the early 1980’s when veterinarian Dr. Ronald Schultz began checking the immunity levels of vaccinated dogs. He found that vaccines last a very long time. Even as long as the dog’s lifetime!
His studies resulted in the AAHA revising their vaccine schedule from vaccinating annually to vaccinating only every three years. These changes in protocol are not only based on how long the immunity lasts, but on how best to reduce the often unpleasant and little known side effects of over-vaccinating, such as cancer and allergies.
These concerns have lead some people to forgo shots altogether. We do not advise this. This practice could lead to outbreaks of diseases that were previously under control. Titer testing is a method of testing your dog’s blood to see if your dog has antibodies to diseases such as parvo and distemper.
With so much controversy surrounding shots it can be hard to decide what the correct course of action is for your dog. The answer is individual for every animal. Please do your own research to determine what is best for your pets.
We suggest these links to get you started: