There are several different types of vaccines, but the idea behind all of them is the same:
Expose your pet to a weakened, killed, or signalling part of a disease-causing bacteria or virus in a safe and controlled way. Once vaccinated, your pets’ immune system is ready to combat the bacteria or virus if it ever shows up.
Core vaccines and non-core vaccines for dogs:
Generally, vaccines can be divided into core vaccines and non-core vaccines. Core vaccines are considered the essential ones, while non-core vaccines are recommended if your dog’s lifestyle puts him or her at risk for certain diseases.
Core vaccines for dogs include the vaccines for rabies, distemper, infectious hepatitis (adenovirus), and parvovirus. We recommend all dogs get these vaccines on a rotating basis.
There are many non-core vaccines, but the most common one we use in dogs is the kennel cough vaccine. We recommend the kennel cough vaccine for dogs that go to the dog park, the groomer, doggy daycare, the kennel, or often come in to contact with other dogs.
Other non-core vaccines include vaccines for Lyme disease, canine influenza (dog flu), and leptospirosis.
If you’re planning on travelling with your dog, talk to us about it! We may recommend one or more the non-core vaccines to protect your pup. For example, while Lyme disease is not a significant threat in our part of the province, in other parts of Canada and much of the United States it is more common. An ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure – that’s what vaccines are all about!
Written by: Dr. Ira Froimovitch, DVM