Vaccinating your dog is one of the most important steps you can take towards managing your dog's overall health. Vaccines help avert different illnesses common in dogs. It is one of the easiest ways to guarantee your dog a long healthy life. Here are some of the things you need to know about dog vaccination.
Types of Vaccines
Dog vaccines have antigen in them; these look exactly like the disease-causing organisms, but do not actually cause any disease. Once the vaccine enters the dog's body, it stimulates the dog's immune system and helps it prepare to fight the disease. If the dog is ever exposed to a particular disease it has been vaccinated against, the immune system will recognize it and take appropriate measures to fight it. The vaccine, in this case, helps reduce the acuteness of the disease.
There are different kinds of vaccines administered to dogs. The type and number of vaccines to give your dog depends on certain things like its breed, age, health status and the prevalence of the disease in your area. Vaccines are divided into either core or non-core vaccines. Core vaccines are critical vaccines every dog should be given; these helps prevent diseases likely to affect every dog. They include vaccines against diseases like rabies and DA22P (Distemper). Non-core vaccines, on the other hand, are vaccines given depending on the known disease likely to affect your dog. These are usually vaccines against diseases prominent in your geographical area.
Timing and Frequency
The main factors used in determining the timing of a particular vaccine are your pet's age, medical history, lifestyle and the environment it lives in. Puppies usually receive a series of vaccinations when they are six to eight weeks old. These vaccines are administered in intervals of between three to four weeks. Adult dogs can receive annual vaccinations—usually against diseases they are likely to encounter or are typically known risks. Your veterinarian is the most suitable person to determine the frequency and schedule all vaccinations.
Your local government has a series of laws designed to help govern dog vaccination in your area. These are usually based on research and are intended to help combat common risks where you live. In some areas, the law insists on yearly vaccination against certain diseases. In some cases, you might be asked to provide proof of vaccination. All in all, local laws have a significant role to play when it comes to dog vaccination.