Is your dog up-to-date on all his recommended vaccinations? If not, then it may be time to schedule an appointment with your local vet. After all, vaccinations provide your dog with a strong line of defense against many different types of illnesses and diseases. And as a dog owner, there are a few basic things you should know about canine vaccines.
They Might Be Legally Required
First if all, understand that depending on where you live, certain dog vaccinations may actually be legally required. Many cities and municipalities, for example, require dogs to be licensed. These licenses need to be renewed every so often, and in order to renew your dog license, you will likely need to provide proof of an up-to-date rabies vaccine. You could even be fined or otherwise penalized if your dog is found to not have his required vaccines.
Facilities Can Require Them, Too
Even if you don't live in an area that requires certain vaccinations for licensing, there's a good chance your local dog park, groomer, or boarding facility will require that your dog be up-to-date on certain vaccines in order for you to use their services. Any reputable facilities will require, at the very least, proof of an up-to-date rabies vaccine. However, there are other vaccinations that could be required for the health and safety of pets and staff.
Rabies Isn't the Only Vaccine Your Dog Needs
Speaking of other vaccinations, keep in mind that while rabies is generally seen as the most important and basic dog vaccine, it's far from the only one your pet needs. Specific vaccination requirements can vary greatly from one pet to the next, but there's a good chance your dog could benefit from vaccinations for lepto, canine influenza, canine distemper, and more.
Vaccination Side Effects Are Minimal
Some dog owners are understandably worried about potential side effects from vaccinating their pets, but the good news is that most vaccine side effects are minimal or non-existent. Dogs who do have a reaction to a vaccine usually experience minor nausea and lethargy, but these symptoms will typically pass within 24 to 48 hours.
Overall, pet vaccinations should be a key part of any dog's health and wellness plan. Not sure which specific vaccines your pet needs? Speak to your veterinarian today. Likewise, if you know your dog is due for certain vaccines, now is a good time to schedule a vet appointment.