Vaccines Your Dogs Don't Need

Vaccines for dogs are generally divided into two categories: core and non-core vaccinations. Core vaccines include canine distemper, rabies, adenovirus-2 and parvo vaccine. Annual vaccinations and booster shots are no longer considered necessary for all dogs as studies indicate that immunity often lasts longer than one year.

Vaccines Not Every Dog Needs

Non-core vaccines include Bordetella (kennel cough), parainfluenza, Leptospirosis, coronavirus, Giardia, and Lyme vaccines. Many non-core vaccines are administered to puppies but then don't require annual booster shots as the dog gets older and his immune system strengthens while risk of exposure to disease weakens.

Vaccines that Depend on Region

Some non-core vaccines are only necessary if you live in a high risk area. Lyme disease, for example, is most prevalent in the Northeast, upper Midwest, and Pacific Northwest of the United States and lower Ontario and Quebec in Canada. A vaccine against rattlesnake bites may be important for dogs in California but unnecessary in areas without rattlesnakes, for obvious reasons. Consult your local veterinarian for more information on what is high risk in your area.

Lifestyle is an important aspect of immunization decisions. House pets do not need the same vaccinations as a hunting dog that spends most of his time outdoors with risk of exposure to wild animals. All of these factors are important to consider when choosing the best vaccination schedule for your puppy or adult dog.