How often should I get my dog vaccinated

How often should I get my dog vaccinated

This question about dog vaccination, came through our private community as a question to ask our resident Vet, Stephanie

The question was, "How often should dogs get vaccinations? We are advised to have them done yearly but some people are now saying every 2 years is fine for adult dogs - what are the facts?"

How often should I get my dog vaccinated?

And here is Steph the vet's answer:

"Vaccination is a key component to your dog’s preventative health care regime.

However, vaccine protocols can vary between regions and even between different veterinary practices.

Administering a vaccine stimulates your pet’s body to produce antibodies against that specific antigen.

How regularly you need to vaccinate your dog depends on how many antibodies still remain circulating in their system.

There needs to be a sufficient number of antibodies present to combat disease at the time of exposure. Once vaccinated, antibody levels slowly decline over time.

This time frame can vary depending on the individual animal as well as the type of vaccine.

Some dogs may have a stronger immune response to the vaccine than others, and some vaccines (such as Kennel cough) don’t stimulate immunity for longer than 12 months.

Your dog’s vaccines usually consist of core vaccines and non-core vaccines. The core vaccines are considered essential to protect your dog regardless of where he lives and his risk of exposure.

These are vaccines against contagious, potentially fatal conditions.

Examples of core vaccines include: canine parvovirus, canine distemper virus, canine adenovirus and rabies. Non-core vaccines can be tailored down and given according to your dogs’ individual needs, lifestyle and exposure risk. Most non-core vaccines require annual boosters.

Some examples of non-core vaccines include Kennel cough (Bordetella), Leptospirosis, Coronavirus and Parainfluenza virus.

Primary puppy vaccination is a critical, non-negotiable step to protect your furry friend.

Work closely with your local veterinarian to decide on the best protocol of core and non-core vaccines for him according to his situation and lifestyle.

Typically, your pup will receive a set of 3 vaccines, 3-4 weeks apart, until 16 weeks old and thereafter a booster at either 6 months or a year. 

As many of the non-core vaccines require annual boosters, it is generally recommended that we vaccinate our pets yearly.

However, it is known that some of the core vaccines can provide immunity for 3 years or longer. Again though, this depends on the actual vaccine, and the pet’s immune response.

The reality is that the only way to truly know whether your pet still has immunity and will require a booster is to do an antibody titre test. This is a blood test which determines the levels of antibody to a certain disease. If the level is below a certain point, then the current immunity is insufficient for protection and your pet will require a booster.

One other thing to consider when developing a dog vaccination schedule for your pet is whether they need to travel.

Canine vaccine regulations differ from country to country, and while some accept a 3 yearly schedule, others require a yearly schedule.

Ultimately, how frequently your dog should be vaccinated will depend on his area, lifestyle and risk of exposure. Your veterinarian will be able to best advise you on a program that is most suited to your pets’ needs.


Back to blog