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Canine Vaccinations 101

What You Need to Know and How a Vet Can Help

If you’ve got a dog in your household, it’s important to have him vaccinated. Some vaccines are even required by law, such as the rabies vaccine. Even if vaccination isn’t legally required, it’s often still wise to get your pets vaccinated. Visit Animal Hospital of West Nashville in Nashville to ensure that your pet is up-to-date on all of his vaccines.

If you have questions about vaccines and which are appropriate for your dogs (or other pets), it’s wise to speak with a veterinarian. For now, let’s cover canine vaccinations.

Canine Vaccinations: Core Versus Non-Core Vaccines

Our veterinarian will recommend certain vaccinations for every dog. Your dog should get these vaccines no matter where he lives or his lifestyle. These vaccines are considered “core vaccines” and are all but necessary for every dog. Core vaccines for canines include parvovirus distemper, canine hepatitis, and rabies. Let’s look at a specific example of why a vaccine is considered “core.”

Rabies is a very deadly disease and can afflict humans and pets alike. If your dog contracts rabies, it’s almost always fatal if your pet has not been vaccinated. As such, vets and some government authorities consider a rabies vaccine to be necessary for all dogs.

Besides core vaccines, your vet may recommend certain non-core or “optional” vaccines based on your dog’s lifestyle and other risk factors, such as where he lives. Some non-core dog vaccines include influenza (yes! Dogs can catch the flu), Bordetella, and Lyme Disease. As mentioned, non-core vaccines are recommended based on your dog’s lifestyle and certain risk factors.

Take Lyme Disease, for example. This disease is spread by ticks. If your dog spends a lot of time outdoors, especially in wooded areas, getting a Lyme Disease vaccination is wise because your dog will be exposed to ticks. If your dog spends most of his or her time in the city and indoors, a Lyme Disease vaccine may not be needed. Still, it’s wise to speak with a veterinarian about non-core vaccines.

Live in or near Nashville? Speak with our vet at Animal Hospital of West Nashville in Nashville about vaccinations!


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