Dog vaccinations are important from both a legal and a health aspect. Every state requires dogs to be vaccinated for rabies, and other dog vaccinations like distemper and leptospirosis can protect our pets from deadly diseases. But when is a dog too old to get vaccinations?
An Overview of Dog Vaccinations
To know whether your dog is too old to get vaccinations, we have to first take a look a dog vaccinations. These vaccines have come a long way from the ones our dogs got years ago. They are vastly more safe and there are far fewer allergic responses reported. In addition to that, dog vaccinations protect our pooches from some seriously bad stuff – namely rabies, distemper, leptospirosis, and parvo.
Dog vaccinations are laid on pretty heavy in the puppy days to force a puppy’s immune system to boot up against some nasty stuff. It’s an important part of their health care. After the puppy years, dog vaccinations are administered annually to continue their protections against the various nasty diseases that can make them extremely ill or cause death.
However, in recent years, there has been a push by many in the veterinary community to space dog vaccinations further apart, much like the three year rabies vaccine. Research has shown that many dog vaccination don’t need to be given every year to maintain effectiveness. Which brings us to vaccinations in elderly dogs.
Elderly Dog Vaccinations
There are opposing schools of thought on getting vaccinations for elderly dogs. One school holds that even old dogs need protections against various diseases, and they should have them. The other school of thought is that elderly dogs could be too old to handle the vaccinations, and they shouldn’t have them.
It really comes down to your and your vet’s judgement when it comes to dog vaccinations. If your dog is elderly but is still in relatively good health, they should be fine to have their vaccinations. Your vet may suggest spacing them further apart, and in lieu of yearly vaccines, conducting a titer test annually to see if your dog still has antibodies for particular viruses.
Vaccinations may not be the best thing if your elderly dog is in poor health or has certain problems. To stay legal, you’ll have to have any dog vaccinated for rabies, but after that, you and your vet can determine if your elderly dog’s medical conditions make getting vaccines a bad idea.
Always Talk With Your Vet
Whatever your dog’s age or health always talk with your vet, whether you have questions about dog vaccinations or a chronic cough. Your vet has years of experience, and he or she can guide you to what is best for your pooch, whether they’re 5 months or 15 years. If you have questions about dog vaccinations, call your vet and see what they have to say.