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What vaccines does my dog need?

What type of lifestyle does your dog have? Is he a social butterfly, an explorer, a tick magnet, or all three? Be sure to discuss your pet’s lifestyle with your veterinarian in order to determine the vaccinations your pet needs to stay healthy. Core vaccines are considered those that are needed by all dogs and include the Rabies, Distemper, Parvovirus, and Hepatitis vaccines. Your pet’s lifestyle may suggest other vaccines are essential to maintain your pet’s health. If you find yourself wondering “what vaccines does my dog need?” continue reading for some guidance from our Longwood Veterinary staff.

Every Dog:

What They Do: Dog stuff like laying on couches, going for hikes, hanging out in the yard, judging your driving from the backseat of the car, and so on.
Where They Go: Anywhere, from the foot of your bed to mountain top trails.
What Vaccines They Need: The Distemper, Hepatitis, and Parvovirus (often called the distemper combination), and the Rabies vaccine.
Why They Need Them: These are considered “core” vaccines and are recommended for every dog. Rabies is a universally fatal disease that can be transmitted to humans, vaccination is required by law. The other viruses are highly contagious between dogs and can cause deadly infections, especially in puppies. Antibodies provide protection against these diseases if your dog has been vaccinated.

What vaccines does my dog need as an adventurer?


What They Do: Work hard and play hard. They love the outdoors and may swim in or drink from freshwater lakes or streams. Explorers also stroll the city streets and parks and drink from rain puddles.
Where They Go: Wherever the wild things (wildlife, livestock, rodents) are: forests, parks, neighborhoods, farmlands, bodies of water, and city streets.
Vaccines They Need: Core vaccines (Rabies, DHP) and Leptospirosis (4 serotypes: canicola, icterohaemorrhagiae, grippotyphosa, and pomona).
Why They Need Them: Leptospira bacteria can live in soil and water contaminated by the urine of livestock, rodents, wild animals, and other dogs. If the bacteria comes in contact with a dog, they can develop kidney and/or liver failure, lung disease, and bleeding disorders. Leptospirosis can cause disease in humans as well. An infected dog is a source of potential infection for human family members.

What vaccines does my dog need as a tick magnet?

Tick Magnets:

What They Do: Get bitten by ticks in areas where Lyme disease is prevalent.
Where They Go: Yards, forests, parks, and fields where deer, rodents, and ticks live.
What Vaccines They Need: Core vaccines (Rabies, DHP) and Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme) vaccine.
Why They Need Them: Vaccination against the organism that causes Lyme disease can help prevent clinical signs associated with the disease. Joint pain, fever, and fatal kidney failure can be consequences of Lyme infection. Never forget flea and tick preventatives as an additional layer of protection against Lyme disease.

What vaccines does my dog need as a social butterfly?

Social Butterflies:

What They Do: Spend time around other dogs
Where They Go: Dog parks, doggie daycare, dog parties, dog shows, boarding kennels, grooming parlors.
What Vaccines They Need: Core vaccines (Rabies, DHP) and commercially available strains for canine influenza (dog flu), Bordetella bronchisceptica, and parainfluenza virus.
Why They Need Them: Dog flu, Bordetella, parainfluenza, and sometimes adenovirus type 2 viruses are easily transmitted. Once infected, dogs can develop sneezing, coughing, and even pneumonia.

Your veterinary team uses lifestyle information to recommend the perfect vaccines for your pet. If you have questions or concerns regarding vaccinations, discuss this with your veterinarian.

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