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When is too much enough?

Are you aware that many vets have been recommending excessive vaccinations for your dog? Beyond suggesting, many vet practices even push annual vaccinations – how do you know when enough is enough?

Brookside Barkery and Bath can help shed some light on a confusing topic.

How do Vaccinations Work?

First let’s understand a bit about how vaccinations work. A vaccine is intended to train the immune system to recognize and combat certain viruses and bacteria; this is usually done by injecting a weakened or dead dose of the virus or bacteria into the bloodstream expecting the body and immune system to kick in, learn the foreign bodies, and discover how to fight healthier, live versions of it in the future.

When Should I Vaccinate My Dog?

Your puppy will receive a round of core vaccines around 16 weeks. You might think their tiny body can’t handle that many introductions to pathogens at once, but babies’ immune systems are tougher than you think – in fact, it’s probably more efficient and stronger than yours!

Keep in mind that it is imperative that your dog be healthy when she is vaccinated. If she is sick or too old, her weakened immune system may not be able to tolerate the vaccinations well and may likely react very poorly causing harm. If your dog is weak or malnourished (think a rescue dog) you may want to wait until he is stronger and healthier before introducing vaccines; he may have been exposed to pathogens, but injecting him when he is weak may cause more harm than good. The same applies to sweet pups who suffer from chronic illnesses, or who have recent or upcoming surgeries.

How Long Does a Vaccine Last?

This is an important concept to understand – because the immune system has already been introduced to the pathogens, the goal of a vaccine has supposedly been achieved. Vaccines don’t magically induce life-lasting efficacy in every case, but the truth is that for most vaccinations, once is enough! This is because vaccines are intended to mimic natural immunity. Vaccines for distemper and parvo are core vaccines and will not need to be administered beyond that first round.

The problem is that many vet practices recommend annual vaccinations; these vaccinations are not going to make your dog “more immune” and can actually begin to cause severe health issues. Excessive vaccination will dysregulate your dog’s immune system instead of achieving the original intended purpose: teaching your dog’s system to fight for itself.

When your dog’s immune system becomes dysregulated due to dangerous over-vaccination, they become weaker and more susceptible to severe health concerns.

Excessive Vaccination Can Lead to Chronic Illnesses Like:

  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Cancer
  • Cataracts
  • Allergies
  • Asthma
  • Atopy
  • Arthritis
  • Anaphylaxis
  • Diabetes
  • Eczema and/or Hair Loss
  • Seizures
  • Aggression
  • Paranoia, Phobias, and Anxieties

And that’s just some of the most common adverse effects to over-vaccination. Leptospirosis and Lyme’s disease vaccines, for example, are high risk and low efficacy – meaning your dog can become very dangerously ill from them and still not be immune to the diseases in the future.

When it comes to “kennel cough,” please understand that this is not even vaccinatable since it can come from a myriad of sources and vaccinations don’t begin to cover it. Your vet may be literally taking a stab at it, but excessive introduction of harmful pathogens and other immune-endangering substances will likely only cause severe illnesses.

How Should I Approach Vaccinations?

Be cautious of chain veterinary practices that may be pushing vaccinations; practices across the UK and Australia and now the United States have been shown to press excessive vaccination with the end-goal of profit instead of your pet’s well-being.

Be wary of “Comprehensive Physical Examinations” or frequent check-ups that include additional services like “preventive x-rays.” There is absolutely no need for you to pay extra money just to expose your dog to regular radiation, especially if you have no cause for concern. If you do not suspect your dog has cancer or a broken bone or a necessary consultation, avoid the x-ray machine.

Opt for the 3 year rabies vaccine instead of the 1 year if possible – same shot, different label. This way you can reduce your dog’s exposure to pathogens while still complying with rabies vaccine laws.

The rabies vaccine is the only vaccine required by law; your pet’s vaccination is up to you no matter what a vet practice may tell you. Do your research on vaccines and don’t be pressured into accepting a vaccine you feel uncomfortable with.

Titer Testing One way you can help monitor your pet’s vaccination level is by titer testing; this can be done for both dogs and cats. Titer tests are safe and simple blood tests used to measure your pet’s antibodies to certain diseases. If your pet has a positive titer test, it means they have sufficient antibodies to fight off that disease. Read more about titer testing here!

Boost Your Dog’s Immune System with Proper Nutrition!

Let’s get down to the root of the issue! Core vaccinations can be helpful, yes, but beyond that, annual vaccinations are truly unnecessary and often quite harmful. What can you do to boost your pup’s immune system and keep her strong and healthy? The key is proper nutrition!

With proper nutrition, your pet can live a longer, better life – and you can save money on medications and visits to the vet!

At the Barkery and Bath, we know from years of firsthand experience that nutrition is the solution to a myriad of health concerns. Is your dog malnourished and you don’t even know it? Read Sebastian’s story and discover just how shockingly common pet malnourishment is! Learn the truth about pet prescription diets and let our pet nutrition experts help you find the perfect fit for your furry family.

The Barkery and Bath wants to help you make the best decision for your fluffy companions. Stop by or contact us today – we’re passionate about proper pet health and we can’t wait to support you in promoting your pet’s overall wellness.