yellow lab gets vaccine

Sam gets his vaccines!

What are vaccines,

how do they work and

how often should they be given for dogs?

  Author, Dorinne Whynott, Owner of Professional Pet Sitting Etc.


Vaccinating pets has long been considered to be one of the best and easiest ways of helping our pets live a long and healthy life. Today, vaccinations have become commonplace for dogs because they help prevent potentially serious diseases like rabies, distemper, and hepatitis. Regular vaccinations can not only protect your dog’s health, but they can also improve your dog’s overall quality of life.

There are 2 different types of vaccinations which your dog can receive. They are the core and non core vaccines.

The core vaccines include vaccinations which are considered crucial or essential for dogs; it involves fatal illnesses or illnesses which are easily transferred. Some of these diseases include; distemper, rabies, adenovirus and parvovirus.

The second type known as non core vaccines, and includes protection against the diseases which are dependent on lifestyle or/and environmental exposure. These are the vaccinations which you’ll need to consult with your dog’s veterinarian so as to determine if the dog requires them. They include kennel cough, Lyme disease and leptospirosis vaccines.
Why You Should Vaccinate Your Dog

Experts and veterinarians agree that the widespread use of dog vaccinations in the last century has really helped prevent diseases and deaths in millions of dogs.


Here are some of the main reasons to vaccinate your dog;

It’s required by the law

Failure to vaccinate your dog against diseases like rabies is unlawful in every state in the U.S. As a matter of fact, it is mandatory to have dogs vaccinated and failure to do so can lead to some hefty fines.

It’s very important for your health, and the health of your loved ones

There are numerous diseases which can be transmitted from dogs to humans (like rabies and Leptospirosis). Vaccinating your dog helps reduce risks of human infection, and is even more necessary if there are elderly, immuno-compromised or kids in the household.

Vaccination comes are needed at boarding facilities

If you plan on dropping your dog somewhere for boarding, then they need to have the updated Bordatella vaccination. The vaccine protects dogs against most strains of kennel cough; which are highly contagious amongst dogs in a close environment.

Vaccination prevents many diseases and protects your furry friend’s health

For instance, a rabies vaccine can be highly effective at protecting your dog in case he/she is bitten by a rabid animal. The vaccination will help prevent your dog from succumbing to the rabies symptoms like partial paralysis, drooling, behavioral changes and death.

Vaccinating you dog can help you save money in the long run

Vaccinations are much less expensive as compared to the cost of treating your dog for the diseases which you could otherwise protect against. In other words, vaccinations help avoid the costly treatments for the illnesses which can be prevented.

There are many things out there which could be very harmful to your dog. For instance, your dog can come in contact with unvaccinated wild animals which may have Distemper, Lyme disease and even rabies. Moreover, dog parks and play dates with the other pets can expose your dog to such preventable diseases. Therefore, vaccinating your dog is the best possible step you can take, to ensure your dog is always protected from the preventable diseases.

How Vaccines Work To Protect Your Dog

When a dog is vaccinated, a very small amount of infectious agent, (agents are modified to not cause any harm to your dog), gets administered to the dog. The infectious agent in the vaccine formulation stimulates your dog’s immune system so it can generate protective immune response. The vaccine induced immune response, prepares the dog’s immune system for any future exposure to the natural disease causing agent. In case of any exposure in the future, the vaccination induces a generation of the memory cells in your pet’s immune system to immediately neutralize the condition. A properly immunized dog will eliminate the pathogenic disease agents before they can cause a serious disease.

Canine Distemper 

What is a distemper vaccine?

A canine distemper vaccine is a combination vaccine.  It usually includes canine adenovirus-2 infection (hepatitis and respiratory disease), canine parvovirus infection, parainfluenza, Coronovirus and Leptospirosis. The abbreviation for this combination vaccine is frequently written as “DHPP,” “DA2PP,” “DHPPV,” or “DA2PPV” or “DHLPP” etc, on a pet’s health records.
The diseases a Canine distemper protect from are fatal viral diseases which can attack dogs, especially unvaccinated dogs and puppies. The virus attacks the dog’s nervous system and some of the signs include; respiratory problems, fever, runny eyes and nose, coughing, skin reactions, loss of appetite, vomiting and diarrhea. Some dogs can also develop progressive paralysis, muscle spasms and convulsions. Outbreaks of distemper tend to occur in areas which have low vaccination rates. Thus, distemper vaccinations are highly recommended.

The distemper vaccine is one of the first dogs get when they’re between the ages of 4 weeks to 20 weeks. The dogs then receive boosters based on the veterinarian’s recommendation.
How Often Do You Need To Vaccinate Your Adult Dog?

Adult dogs over a year old may require one initial dose of the core vaccines (Distemper and Rabies), a booster may be recommended for some in 3-4 weeks for Distemper. Then boosters should be given every three years.

As for puppies, there’s a standard schedule of the vaccinations which needs to be met in the 1st year of their life.  Typically, puppies should be vaccinated for Distemper at 8, 12 and 16 weeks. Rabies is given at 16 weeks. Then one year later they are boostered for Distemper and Rabies.   After that, core vaccinations of Distemper and Rabies will be administered every 3 years, based on the veterinarian’s recommendation.



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About the Owner and Professional Pet Sitting Etc

Dorinne Whynott, is a long time animal professional.  She is a successful business owner establishing one of the largest pet sitting companies in New Hampshire since 1990. Click to Read her complete History. 

Professional Pet Sitting Etc. is a leading business in the pet care field and continues to grow since 1990. It is an AWARD WINNING business, having been awarded the 2015 Best Pet Sitting , 2015 Best Dog Walker, Business of the Year Awards in 1996, 1997, 2006 and 2010.  It boasts 30+ amazing pet sitters on staff, over 3000 clients in 38 cities from Nashua to Concord, NH.  Hundreds of satisfied client testimonials can be found on their website and more 5 star reviews on their Facebook pageGoogle+ page and more.  They have sustained an A+ rating with the BBB, A rating with Angie’s List and are unmatched in the Pet Sitting Industry in New Hampshire.

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