What to Know About Your Dog's Vaccines

What Exactly Are Vaccines?

Vaccines help prepare the body's immune system to fight the invasion of disease-causing organisms. Vaccines contain antigens, which look like the disease-causing organism to the immune system but don't actually cause disease. When the vaccine is introduced to the body, the immune system is mildly stimulated. If a dog is ever exposed to the real disease, his immune system is now prepared to recognize and fight it off or reduce the severity of the illness.

How Important Are Vaccines to the Health of My Dog?

Bottom line—vaccines are very important to managing the health of your dog. That said, not every dog needs to be vaccinated against every disease. It is very important to discuss with your veterinarian a vaccination protocol that’s right for your dog. Factors that should be examined include age, medical history, environment, travel habits and lifestyle. Most vets highly recommend administering core vaccines to healthy dogs.

Are Any Vaccines Required By Law?

Each state has its own laws governing the administration of vaccines. New York State requires a yearly rabies vaccination for all dogs. Be sure to keep proof of your dog’s rabies vaccines with their medical records.

How Often Should My Adult Dog Be Vaccinated?

Your veterinarian can best determine a vaccination schedule for your dog. Some adult dogs might receive certain vaccines annually, while other vaccines might be given once every 3 years.

 

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