Vaccinations for Dogs

We’re here to help you ensure the health and well-being of your dog. To that end, we use and recommend certain vaccines to prevent and control infectious disease that present a danger to your pet.

Does my dog need all of these vaccines?

Vaccinating every patient against every possible disease on an annual basis carries risks, is probably not needed, and may even be harmful to your pet. All the veterinarians at Clinton Parkway Animal Hospital take the age and lifestyle of your dog into account when recommending pet vaccinations and will work diligently to protect your dog from unnecessary vaccination.

Although no age group can be considered entirely free from risk, puppies less than 6 months of age are generally more susceptible to infection than adult dogs and therefore represent the principal target population for canine vaccination protocols.

The following recommendations are simply guidelines, and we will customize a vaccination program specifically for your dog. We constantly review scientific studies, expert opinions, and vaccine technology to determine which vaccines and what protocols are best for your pet. We are committed to giving as few vaccines as possible at any given visit.

Wellness Health Exams

Regardless of the vaccines that your dog may require, we recommend a physical exam every 12 months to evaluate your pet’s health. Senior dogs should have a physical exam every 6 months. Remember dogs age faster than humans. Every 1 year of your pet’s life is equivalent to 5-6 human years. During these regular checkups our doctors can identify developing problems including dental disease, heart disease, kidney disease as well as other conditions which might not be apparent to you at home. With early detection, many of these diseases may be easily treated or even prevented.

Dog Vaccine Recommendations:

  • DAP (Distemper virus, Adenovirus or hepatitis, Parvovirus)
    • Puppies under 16 weeks: Start at 7-8 weeks old, repeat vaccines every 3-4 weeks until 16 weeks old; booster vaccines one year later, then every three years thereafter.
    • Adult dogs:  Minimum of 2 annual boosters, then every three years.
  • Rabies
    • Puppies under 16 weeks: We do not vaccinate.
    • Puppies over 16 weeks and adult dogs: 1 dose followed by booster one year later; then every three years thereafter.
  • Leptospirosis
    • We recommend this vaccine for all puppies. Adult dogs at risk should be vaccinated. These dogs include those that visit dog parks, Clinton Reservoir or spend time in the country.
    • Puppies:Initial dose at 12 weeks with booster 4 weeks later.
    • Adults at risk: Annual boosters.
  • Bordetella/Parainfluenza (Kennel Cough)
    • We recommend this vaccine for all puppies and for adult dogs, especially those who are boarded or kenneled, visit dog parks, or receive grooming services. All dogs staying at Clinton Parkway Animal Hospital, must be protected against Bordetella.
    • Puppies: Initial dose administered intranasally, followed by an injection 3-4 weeks later, with annual boosters.
    • Adults: Annual boosters.
  • Canine Influenza H3N2 ("dog flu")
    • ​​Patients most likely to benefit from vaccination include dogs attending doggy day care, are boarded or groomed,  or frequent dog parks.
    • Adults at risk: Initial vaccine with booster in 3-4 weeks. Annual boosters thereafter.

Vaccine Reactions

Fortunately, vaccine reactions are rare in pets.  Most dogs never experience adverse reactions to their vaccines. However, please notify us right away if you notice any the following symptoms:

  • Facial swelling
  • Hives
  • Itching
  • Sneezing
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy

Dogs will often be temporarily sore at the site of vaccination, but any pain or swelling should be reported and checked by one of our veterinarians.

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