Vaccinations and booster shots help your pet build up an immune response to certain types of infectious diseases. The vaccines contain commonly inactive forms of a disease that help your dog’s immune system understand and fight the disease. With this immune response ready, your pet’s body will be prepared to fight an active disease it might come into contact with. Vaccines make illnesses less severe, and in most cases, they can prevent the disease altogether. 

Why You Need to Vaccinate Your Dog

By vaccinating your dog, you are helping your dog stay safe and stay alive. Vaccinations help prevent some very serious illnesses that can cause immediate pain and discomfort, as well as long-term effects like paralysis and even death. Puppies and senior dogs have the highest risk of dying from an infectious disease, so vaccinations are extra important for them.

Most vaccinations have a range of times when they are most effective. This is why many of the vaccinations that your dog gets need a booster every year. Some vaccinations, like the 3-year rabies vaccine, only require a booster every three years. Be sure to talk to your vet about creating a vaccination schedule that will keep your dog healthy and happy.

What to Expect at Your Dog’s Yearly Vaccinations 

Along with offering tips to keep your dog healthy, your vet will likely recommend vaccinations at your dog’s yearly checkups. Your vet will give you a list of which yearly vaccines your dog needs, and which ones they think are the most important for your dog’s health. 

You are always given a choice as to whether you want your pet to get the shots or not. However, some vaccines are always recommended. Dogs who get their yearly shots live longer, which gives you more time with your furry friend. 

Six Important Annual Dog Vaccinations

1. DA2PP 

This vaccine protects against five different diseases: Distemper, Adenovirus 1 & 2, Parainfluenza, and Parvovirus. These viruses have no known cure, and the DA2PP vaccination helps to prevent them from spreading. 

2. Rabies 

This disease is transferred from an infected animal through a bite or scratch, and it is fatal. It is particularly important for dogs who spend time outdoors and off leash or who have a high prey drive to get rabies vaccines, as they are more likely to come in contact with an infected wild animal. Along with transfer from animal to animal, it can also pass from animal to humans, making it extremely dangerous.

3. Bordetella 

This disease is the most common cause of kennel cough in dogs. It spreads quickly, so this vaccination is required at many kennels, dog shows, groomers, and doggy daycares. 

4. Leptospirosis 

With many different types of symptoms, this disease can often go undiagnosed for a while. It may cause kidney failure, and can live in water or soil for weeks at a time. Animals may also pass it to their humans, making it an important disease to vaccinate against. 

5. Canine Influenza 

Dogs can get the flu, too. Symptoms range from lethargy and trouble eating, to coughs and sneezes, or more severe symptoms. It also spreads rapidly throughout dog populations. 

6. Lyme Disease 

While this one is a hotly debated vaccination in the veterinary medicine community, it may be recommended for dogs who live in an area with a high tick population and routinely spend time outside in high grasses or thickly wooded areas. 

Taking Care of Your Dog After Vaccinations

Some dogs may feel tired and sore after they receive their vaccinations. Plenty of rest and relaxation should have them feeling better within 24-72 hours of the inoculation. Complications are rare, but if you notice any swelling, hives, vomiting, diarrhea, or difficulty breathing, contact your vet immediately.

Vaccinating Your Dog in Gilbert, Arizona

Whether your dog needs their first puppy vaccinations or their annual booster shots, we’re here to help. Maricopa County requires certain vaccinations for your dog, and we’re happy to answer any questions you may have about vaccinations and which ones your pet needs. The highly educated and loving staff at East Valley Animal Hospital can help you keep your dog safe and healthy for years to come. To protect your pet, schedule an appointment with our veterinarians today.


Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (2/26/23). Photo by Mufid Majnun on Unsplash.