When you become a dog owner, one of the first things you must consider is vaccination.
Whether buying, fostering, or adopting, your priority is ensuring your furry companion and family are healthy and safe.
Severe infectious diseases are much less common now than in the past, but vaccines are the main reason for that.
If you just introduced your first dog to your home and your loved ones, it’s vital to consult a veterinarian who can help you understand the vaccination schedule and why it’s so important. Here are some basics to help you get started.
What do vaccines do for your dog?
Like every other living being, your pet, be it a dog, cat, bird, fish, rodent, or anything in between, has an immune system.
While some species and breeds are known for having a more robust immune system than others, vaccinating them all will ensure their health is protected regardless of age and species.
Regular vaccinations will ensure your dog stays healthy and lives longer, which we all want.
There’s also the fact that viruses and bacteria can make your dog sick, as well as yourself and your family. This is not the risk you want to take, especially if you have small children.
The quickest way to ensure everyone is protected and thriving is to keep track of your dog’s vaccinations and have a vet who knows your dog’s medical history.
That way, you’ll have a professional whenever you need assistance.
Benefits of vaccinations
Prevention is better than cure, goes the saying, and that’s precisely the role of vaccinations — to prevent diseases before they take hold.
Even if your dog is always in your house, vaccinating them is wise because you never know what they may get exposed to.
Here are other benefits that you should take into consideration.
Vaccination can help your dog live longer
This is the biggest and most obvious reason to inoculate your dog. Rabies, parvovirus, and distemper are only a few of the deadliest diseases out there against which there are vaccines.
When your dog has a strong immune response to them (thanks to vaccinations), chances are much smaller that they can affect them.
Since they were invented, vaccines enabled millions of animals worldwide to live longer and healthier lives.
Not to mention that a fragile immune system can allow other health conditions to develop, even if your dog has been cured of an infectious disease.
You can minimize the chances of your dog going through all the pain by vaccinating them.
It’s good for your dog and your wallet
If you have a furry companion, you know that taking them to the vet is not cheap. It’s one of the most expensive aspects of pet ownership.
Having your dog vaccinated significantly downsizes the chances of them getting severely ill, saving you a lot of money on vet bills.
Find a vet you can trust and ensure your dog has check-ups every six months or so, along with the standard vaccination appointments.
This will make it easier for the vet to notice changes in your pet’s health and act quickly to mitigate and solve any issues.
Some places can also provide urgent pet care, should you need it.
Just like with humans, having regular check-ups can go a long way for your furry friends, and it won’t break the bank, but trying to cure them for infectious diseases almost certainly will.
If you’ve got a dog that spends a lot of time outside, mingling with other animals and humans, vaccinating them protects them and those around them.
It’s important to note how you care for your pet can and will affect everyone, including yourself.
By ensuring your dog gets shots regularly, you’re in a win-win situation — your four-legged bundle of joy is safe and can’t get infected or be a carrier of problematic diseases.
You’re doing your part as a responsible human being and pet owner, another essential part of pet ownership and parenting.
Up-to-date vaccinations are a travel requirement
In some countries, like the US, you must vaccinate your dogs by law.
For all the reasons we already mentioned, the governments determine that vaccination is the safest way to protect their residents (human and animal).
If you plan on traveling with your dog, the same rules apply — you’ll need to have their vaccinations updated in their passport for the trip to be possible.
Many pet daycares and pet hotels have a similar policy — they’ll request a confirmation that all the vaccinations are in order before your dog can enter their facilities.
Final thoughts on vaccinations
As you can see, vaccinating your four-legged best friend will make your and their lives infinitely more accessible.
You want your dog to live long, be healthy and happy, and give you all the love they so unconditionally do.
Along with quality nutrition and proper care at home, vaccinations are another crucial part of the puzzle you should always keep in mind.
Nicole McCray is a die-hard animal lover who has worked in pet care for years. She is a former vet technician and a dog mom to her two rescue pups, and she grew up living and working at her family’s pet boarding facility. She loves using her writing talents to share the insight she’s learned throughout her career, hoping her knowledge can help other pet parents.