What exactly are dog vaccinations?

Dog vaccinations are immune stimulants that help dogs' bodies to recognize the disease and fight it.

Dr. Becka Byrd
Northern Oaks Bird And Animal Hospital

How do vaccinations impact the health and wellbeing of my dog?

Their vaccinations help their own immune system recognize an invader and fight it off so that they don't get infected by that disease.

Are vaccinations required by law?

Some are. Rabies is required in most states. In Texas, it is absolutely required.

Does my dog's lifestyle factor into the vaccinations my veterinarian will recommend?

Unlike a vaccine clinic where you walk in and choose from a menu, when you visit a veterinarian, we're going to perform a complete exam and then ask you a series of questions to determine your dog's lifestyle. Vaccinations will vary based on what your dog is exposed to, what activities your dog participates in, and whether or not your dog has exposure to things like deer ticks or other dogs or places they might go.

How soon should I get my dog vaccinated?

Vaccines for your dog will start around six weeks, and then we will repeat those throughout their lifetime, depending on their lifestyle.

Do I really need to avoid allowing my puppy to socialize with other dogs until they're fully vaccinated?

Yes. Dogs should avoid all dog parks, other dogs, any big box pet store, and anywhere a dog would go, including social circles, until they're at least 16 weeks old and have had their full set of puppy vaccinations. They're at very high risk of parvovirus.

Why is it important to avoid missing a dog vaccination?

If you miss a vaccination, then they're at risk of the diseases we're trying to prevent.

What diseases are prevented with vaccinations?

Rabies is one of them, which is deadly. It is not a treatable disease. Distemper is a respiratory disease that can become neurologic. Parvovirus is an intestinal and very deadly disease. Kennel cough is one that we see a lot. Leptospirosis causes kidney failure and liver failure and is endemic in our area. It's carried by wild animals that can run through your yard. And lastly, Lyme disease, which is carried by our deer ticks. So a lot of things that we see in this area, we have to worry about.

If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (210) 496-1315, you can email us, or you can reach out on social media. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as fast as we can.