Northside Veterinary Clinic

Dog Vaccinations

Vaccinations are one of the most important preventive measures you can take for the health of your dog. Vaccinations help protect your dog from viral and bacterial disease. At some time in its life, your dog may be exposed to a serious or even fatal infectious disease. Without proper vaccination, itís left unprotected.

Whether your dog spends more time indoor than outdoors, he may be at risk of exposure to infectious diseases. Fortunately for your dog, vaccinations to prevent many of these diseases is available through North Side Veterinary Clinic. Vaccinating your dog is the best and most inexpensive way of preventing infectious disease. Prevention helps assure the best quality of life for your dog and is much less costly than treating your dog for a serious illness that could have been prevented.


How does vaccination work? When your dog receives a vaccine, its immune system produces special substances called antibodies that work against viruses or bacteria that cause the disease. Later, if your dog is exposed to that same same disease, these antibodies will help destroy those viruses or bacteria. In many cases, vaccines against several diseases are combined, reducing the number of shots your dog receives at one time.

How often should my dog be vaccinated? We recommend that a puppyís vaccinations start at 8 weeks of age. Then additional shots are given every 4 weeks until they reach 16 weeks of age (the rabies vaccination is given at this time). Booster shots are given once a year. Special shots may be recommended if the dog is groomed or boarded.

How do I know which vaccinations my dog needs? The immunizations your dog needs are dependent upon its lifestyle, lifestage, and risk of exposure to certain diseases. As a general rule of thumb, puppies typically receive a series of initial vaccinations, followed by boosters. At each wellness exam we will recommend which vaccines your dog needs as well as when they should be administered.

Why do puppies require more shots than older dogs?Puppies are as vulnerable as they are adorable because their immature immune systems canít fight off disease as well as older dogs. The protection received naturally through their motherís milk can interfere with early vaccinations, making it difficult to pinpoint when vaccines stimulate immunity. This is why puppies need vaccinations several times during their first months of life. That way, if maternal antibodies interfere with early vaccinations, later doses will still stimulate the puppy to produce its own antibodies to the disease.

What possible risks are associated with vaccination?Severe reactions to vaccination are very uncommon. Your dog is at a higher risk of contracting an infectious disease than of experiencing side effects from a vaccination. Talk to us if you have concerns about vaccinating your dog and to find out more about the risks associated with vaccination.


Did you know? The cat is one of only a few animals that can stare fixedly into the human eye.

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