Dog care includes vet care, which includes regular dog vaccinations, right? That’s what good dog parents have always done, haven’t they? They take their dogs for vet dog care check ups and make sure dog vaccinations are up to date.
Well, that may be what good dog parents have done in the past, but times are changing. Or they’ve already changed.
Barking, uh, breaking news: All 27 North American veterinary schools are changing their dog vaccination protocols. Good dog care no long requires regular dog vaccinations.
Dog immune systems are fully mature by the time a dog is six months old. If a vaccine (which is a live virus given in a dose that activates the dog’s immune system for that virus), is given after the dog is six months old, the immunity produced by that vaccine lasts for the rest of the dog’s life.
According to veterinary specialists, if another dog vaccination is given a year later (or at other regular intervals as we’ve been told our dogs need), the antibodies from the first vaccine will wipe out the antigens from the second vaccine. In other words, the second vaccine will have very little to no effect at all. There is no “boost” given by the second dog vaccination.
This is why regular dog vaccinations aren’t necessary. And not only is this kind of dog care unnecessary, it’s also risky. Annual dog vaccinations put a dog at risk of allergic reactions and an illness called immune-mediated haemolytic anaemia.
So when exactly should you get your dog vaccinations?
You don’t want to wait until your dog is six months old because your this puts your dog at risk. Although puppies do get antibodies from their mother’s milk, this natural immunity lasts only 8 to 14 weeks. During the first 8 weeks of a puppy’s life, the puppy shouldn’t be vaccinated because the immunity from his mom’s milk will neutralize the vaccine.
The best vaccination schedule, as outlined by veterinarians using this new dog vaccination protocol, is a series of vaccinations given at 8 weeks, then another set once a month up until 16 weeks (4 months) of age. After that, another set of vaccinations should be given after 6 months of age (veterinarians usually suggest waiting until your dog is a year old).
This last dog vaccination is all your dog needs then for the rest of her life. These early vaccinations provide lifetime immunity.
So how’s that for good news? Good dog care no longer requires regular dog vaccinations. You’ll be providing your dog better dog care if you don’t get regular vaccinations. And you’ll be saving a little money too on dog care.