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Our Vaccination Protocol for our Dogs

A fellow blogger reached out to me after listening to Episode 19 of my podcast where I discussed my thoughts on vaccinations.  To catch you up, I think an annual protocol is over kill.  Our dogs don’t need these chemicals pumped into their bodies annually, especially when titer tests (blood tests that reveal antibody levels in our dogs) show that the vaccinations last much longer than 12 months.

Our vaccination protocol…

Please note: I am not a veterinarian nor am I experienced in dog health beyond the searches I do for our dogs.  My choices regarding vaccinations should not be taken as medical advice.

Our dogs get their puppy series.  Then they get vaccinated every 3 years for rabies, because it’s the law (although no one is going door to door checking our dogs records).


I don’t vaccinate for bordatella (kennel cough), because we don’t kennel our dogs.  I know that our dogs can pick this up outside a kennel, but I believe it’s a rarity for our area.

“Kennel cough in dogs and cats is a contagious upper respiratory infection caused by a combination of bacteria and viruses. The syndrome most commonly occurs when pets are exposed to crowded, and/or poorly ventilated conditions found in many kennels and shelters. Pets that spend a lot of time at dog parks are also at increased risk of infection. Kennel cough often resolves on its own in 10-14 days, but pets with more serious infections might need antibiotics to clear the infection.” ~ 1-800-PetMeds


I don’t vaccinate for Leptospirosis, a bacterial infection that’s transmitted through the urine and feces of wild animals and can be transmitted to humans.  I was told that this is a good idea if we planned to take our dogs hiking so I had the puppies vaccinated.  The adults won’t be vaccinated and I won’t repeat this one for the puppies.

“One of the most controversial topics in veterinary medicine is the questionable emergence of the infectious disease leptospirosis, as well as the development of supposedly newer and safer vaccinations. The concerns about this disease involve not only its supposed risk in dogs and cats, but also the potential transmission to people.” ~ 1-800-PetMeds

Our veterinarian offers this as an addition to our dogs’ vaccinations; it’s not a core vaccination that is given to all dogs.


I don’t vaccinate for heartworm, because it’s not an issue in Washington State.  This can change at anytime and should that happen, we’ll revisit this one; but I don’t believe that we should vaccinate just because, because reactions to these chemicals can be deadly.

“Heartworm disease is caused by a worm that is carried by mosquitoes. Protected within the heart and pulmonary vessels, the heartworm matures to adulthood and grows to be several inches long. As an adult, the heartworm is able to breed with other heartworms and produce microfilaria. These tiny microfilaria are picked up by blood-sucking mosquitoes and carried to other pets where they can be injected under the skin and migrate to the heart.” ~ 1-800-PetMeds


I don’t vaccinate for lyme disease, because I was told my our veterinarian that this isn’t something that we have to worry about in our state.  This is one of those things that I personally believe can change and choose to keep an eye on the news and should I hear instances of lyme disease in dogs rising, I will call our veterinarian.

“Lyme disease is an infection that causes arthritis and lameness and is transmitted to animals through the bite of infected ticks. If it is untreated, canine Lyme disease can cause heart, kidney, and neurological problems. It is a zoonotic disease, which means it can be spread from animals to humans. In this case, Lyme disease can be transmitted if an infected tick from a dog bites a human. ” ~ 1-800-PetMeds


So what’s your vaccination protocol?  Annually?  Every three years?  Are there vaccines that you avoid or  must have?

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