Once upon a time, dog parents took their dogs to the vet for their annual exam and, like clockwork, their dogs got their yearly vaccinations. But, as the years pass and veterinary advances have been made, more dog owners and veterinary professionals are beginning to question the necessity of vaccinating dogs every year.
While vaccinating dogs annually for rabies may no longer be necessary, some people are taking it a step further and asking: Is it even important to vaccinate my dog? If you are one of those people questioning the importance of vaccinating your dog, you are the only one who can make that decision.
However, to make an informed decision, be sure to do your research, including talking to your veterinarian.
The Argument for Vaccinating Your Dog
Perhaps the most important and the only reason for vaccinating a dog is to prevent disease and illness. Vaccinating your dog helps his body build immunity should he come into contact with diseases such as rabies, distemper, and parvo. Protecting your dog from rabies, for example, could ultimately save their life.
Worth the Risk? Some say no.
Sometimes dogs have adverse reactions to a vaccination with symptoms varying from mild to severe. A dog who has a bad reaction to a vaccine may experience pain, develop a fever, break out in hives, or even vomit. Once your dog has shown an adverse reaction to a vaccine, you can have him take medication prior to his next vaccine to help curb the negative response.
However, consider the potential side effects of a vaccine versus the dangers of the disease against which the vaccine is designed to protect your dog. Parvo, for example, can result in your dog becoming extremely lethargic, cause bloody diarrhea, and heart damage. If your dog even survives, he will likely have heart problems for the remainder of his life. On top of that, parvo is highly contagious and can quickly spread to other dogs.
Do your research on vaccines and talk with your vet about the pros and cons of vaccinating your dog if you’re not sure vaccines are right for your dog.
Learn about the disease the vaccine is protecting against, so you can determine if the potential allergic reaction is more desirable than the disease symptoms, should your dog be exposed.
Making an informed decision means knowing all the risks and benefits of vaccinating versus not vaccinating.
What are your thoughts? Are vaccinations important or not?