Vaccinating your dog is essential to keep it healthy and happy throughout its life. Vaccines provide your canine companion with vital protection from diseases that could otherwise prove fatal. Certain vaccines, referred to as 'core vaccines,' are required by state and local authorities. In addition, based on breed, lifestyle, health, age, and location, a veterinarian might recommend a 'non-core vaccine' that offers protection from other diseases. Vaccination starts when puppies are six weeks old and continues throughout the dog’s adult life. It’s important for you, as a responsible dog owner, to know more about the most important and commonly administered canine vaccines.
Rabies is one of the most dangerous infections for dogs. In addition, because it can be transmitted to other mammals—including humans—your dog needs to stay current on this vaccine. The disease is one hundred percent fatal and there is no treatment, which means prevention is the only solution. For these reasons, this is a core vaccine for your dog. Not only is it required for licensing, most grooming, boarding, walking, socializing, sitting, and other care facilities will only serve a dog if it is current on this vaccine. For a long time, the only available vaccine for this virus was a one-year shot, administered around three months old (the precise age is determined by state law) in a single dose and then in single-dose boosters every year after. Now, however, a three-year shot is available. This vaccine is first administered around the time the puppy is three months old and then in a single-dose booster one year later; after that, another single-dose booster is administered every three years.
Read more about major vaccinations for dogs now.