For seasoned dog owners, visiting the vet for doggy vaccination is no longer much of an issue. It’s become routine. New dog owners, however, might find the whole affair a bit confusing, if not totally inconvenient. Also, there’s the question of over-vaccination.  Here’s a quick rundown of things you need to know.

The Danger of Over-Vaccination

Inadvertently getting your dog over-vaccinated is a legitimate fear. After all, anything that is overdone can potentially be risky. The key to avoiding this potential problem is consistent consultation with your vet.

Make your vet aware of your dog’s lifestyle. This information will allow them to decide which vaccines to give your dog. Keep in mind that doggy vaccines come in two main categories: core and non-core.

Core vs. Non-Core (Lifestyle) Vaccines

Core vaccines are administered to address diseases known to have high stats in terms of fatality. These vaccines are also given to address location-specific diseases, as well as to counter infections that can easily be transmitted to people by animals, whether domesticated or not.

Core vaccines that are typically given to dogs include the following: rabies, parvovirus, distemper, and hepatitis (adenovirus). In the mainland United States, anti-rabies vaccine for canines is required by law.  Make sure you know the vaccination laws in your country, and ask your vet if you’re not sure.

Meanwhile, non-core vaccines are lifestyle-dependent, hence their other moniker, lifestyle vaccines. Whether or not you want these vaccines given to your pet is entirely your decision as the dog owner. Your decision must be guided by your perception of your dog’s risk level with regards to specific diseases.

Examples of non-core or lifestyle vaccinations include lyme disease, kennel cough, leptospirosis, and dog flu, among others.

Keep in mind that these vaccines take at least two weeks to be fully-effective. This said, careful planning and consideration is crucial. For instance, if you and your dog are scheduled to visit an area that has a prevalent lyme disease diagnosis, you must have your dog vaccinated against the infection at least two weeks before your date of departure or travel.

Discontinued Vaccines

Aside from core and non-core vaccines, it’s also important to be aware of a third (non)category — discontinued vaccines. These are vaccines that are no longer administered by vets and animal experts. Examples include giardia, rattlesnake, and coronavirus, to name a few.

These vaccines were discontinued because they were seen as ineffective or the corresponding sickness they seek to address doesn’t currently pose any significant risk.

Knowing Which Vaccines Your Dog Needs

To know which kind of vaccines you need to provide your dog, talk with your veterinarian. Discuss your dog’s medical history as well as their lifestyle in order to give your vet all the essential details they need to make an informed decision. Remember that these vaccines will have to be administered in schedules that must be followed strictly.

To make sure you follow through with your dog’s vaccination schedules, mark down the vaccinations dates accurately to ensure you’re able to squeeze the vet visit into your busy schedule. Otherwise, you may want to hire animal experts that have services like accompanying your dog to the vet.


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Family man and dog lover. I know two things: anybody who doesn’t know what soap tastes like has never washed a dog, and there are no bad days when you come home to a dog's love.


  1. It’s interesting that you point out that vaccinations are important for keeping your dog healthy. I want to make sure my new puppy doesn’t catch any diseases, so I’m considering taking him to a veterinarian to get vaccinated. I’m going to look for a good veterinarian in my area that does vaccinations for dogs.


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