Avoiding Excessive Dog Shots: 4 Guidelines

Protecting your dog from disease is an essential aspect of pet health but it is also important to avoid administering excessive dog shots to puppies and adult dogs. The proper amount of vaccinations for dogs depends on the animal and it's age and lifestyle.

Guidelines for Vaccinations

  1. Know the Core and Non-Core Vaccines: Veterinary medicine has changed recently when it comes to the recommended vaccines given to all dogs. Core vaccines that every dog should receive include parvovirus, canine distemper, rabies and adenovirus-2. Non-core vaccines depend on your dog's age, geographic location and lifestyle.
  2. Annual vaccinations: Many vaccines don't require annual boosters because immunity can last for years. Other vaccines are essential for puppies but aren't necessary for adult dogs who have strong immune systems and are less likely to contract the disease. Rabies shots, however, should always be kept up to date. Guidelines and laws for rabies vaccinations vary from state to state.
  3. Risks by regions: Some vaccines, like those for lyme disease and rattlesnake bites, are only relevant if your dog lives in a high risk area.
  4. Lifestyle: House pets and urban dogs who aren't exposed to wild animal habitats and the outdoors may not need vaccinations for diseases like leptospirosis. Dogs that aren't exposed to other dogs in kennels, colonies or dog shows may not need vaccinations against bordatella or coronavirus.

Talk with your veterinarian about the highest risks for your dog based on location, age and lifestyle in order to find the best vaccination schedule.

Keep careful records of all vaccinations by date administered, and bring them with you to every vet visit.