Are Yearly Dog Vaccinations Really Necessary?

Doctor examining golden retriever dog in vet clinic

Due to widespread vaccinations, many serious diseases in dogs, such as distemper and canine parvovirus, have become rare to catch. However, these diseases are still out there, and your dog could contract them if you don’t follow a vet-recommended vaccination schedule.

Most dog vaccine schedules recommend booster shots once every one to three years for certain vaccines. Boosters are an additional dosage of a vaccine that your pet has already received. They are vital in providing continued immunity against contagious diseases. 

What Are the Yearly Vaccinations for a Dog?

For most recommended vaccinations, your dog will need a booster shot one year after they receive an initial vaccination series as a puppy. Afterward, veterinarians typically recommend boosters once every three years. 

Scientific studies show that vaccination boosters have no adverse side effects in most dogs. In fact, forgoing these annual boosters is proven to put your dog at greater risk.  A vaccine schedule provided by your veterinarian can help you determine which vaccination boosters your dog will need each year to keep them safe and protected against disease.

What vaccines are included in a dog vaccination schedule?

Veterinarians will typically categorize vaccines as either core or non-core. Pet owners are required to make sure their pets receive core vaccines by local law. These vaccines protect your dog against:

  • Distemper: This highly-contagious virus, similar to measles, is usually fatal if contracted.
  • Rabies: Rabies affects the brain and spreads through the central nervous system. An infected animal can spread rabies to another animal or even humans. Rabies is almost always fatal.
  • Parvovirus: Puppies are especially susceptible to this intestinal virus and should be vaccinated between six and twelve weeks old. The vaccine is ineffective until they receive all three shots.
  • Canine Adenovirus (CAV): This disease is similar to hepatitis and spreads through the saliva and fluids of infected animals.

Typically, the vaccination for canine distemper, parvovirus, and adenovirus is administered as a combination vaccine, DA2PP, which also protects against parainfluenza.  

If your dog spends a lot of time outside or around other animals at a dog park or doggy daycare, your vet may recommend additional non-core vaccines. Common non-core vaccines protect against:

  • Bordetella bronchiseptica: This bacterial infection spreads quickly between dogs, so some kennels require inoculation.
  • Lyme disease: The bacteria present in a tick’s saliva causes Lyme disease. If you live in a tick prone area, your dog should get this vaccine.
  • Leptospirosis: City rodents and wildlife often carry the leptospirosis bacteria.
  • Parainfluenza virus: Parainfluenza is essentially the canine flu. 

At your dog’s annual wellness exam, your vet will likely ask you questions to determine your dog’s risk level for these diseases. 

How Much Do Yearly Dog Vaccinations Cost?

Generally, annual dog vaccinations cost around $100. While this can be costly to some people, it is important to remember that prevention is always more affordable than treatment. 

Count on Gables Animal Clinic to Protect Your Dog

At Gables Animal Clinic, your dog’s health and safety are our top priority. Our experienced and compassionate staff is ready to serve you and provide advice on which annual pet vaccinations are right for your pet. Call Gables Animal Clinic at (305) 384-6870 today to book an appointment and learn more.