Questions New Pet Owners Often Have About Vaccine Protocols

As a pet owner, taking your pet to the veterinarian for their vaccines is one of the most important ways you can protect their health. However, if this is your first time owning a pet, some of the vaccine requirements and recommendations may leave you with a few questions. This article exists to answer them.

Why can't your pet get all of their vaccines at once?

After you take your pet to the vet once, having to bring them back for another shot a few weeks later can be a nuisance. But there are a few reasons your vet may be asking you to come back — and neither of them have to do with your vet making more profit.

Some vaccines require boosters. In other words, your pet will need one dose followed by a second dose a few weeks later in order to build complete immunity. This could be why your vet is asking you to come back for another shot in a few weeks.

Another possibility is that your vet does not want to give your pet two vaccines at the same time and risk overwhelming their immune system. Pets are more likely to experience side effects and less likely to develop full immunity when all shots are given at once. 

Why did your vet only recommend a few shots when you've heard of so many diseases that pets should be vaccinated for?

You've probably heard of a long list of canine diseases: hepatitis, distemper, parvo, parainfluenza, rabies — and the list goes on. So when your vet says "your puppy needs three shots," you may be a little confused. But this is just because many of the shots given to dogs provide immunity to multiple diseases. The DHPP vaccine, for instance, protects against distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza, and parvovirus. 

Why does your pet need new shots every year?

Most shots need to be given every 1 to 3 years. This is just because the immunity the vaccine conveys does not necessarily last forever. Your pet needs a booster — a repeat of the shot — in order to bring their immunity back up. In the case of rabies, booster shots are required by law. This is because by protecting your dog from rabies, you are also indirectly protecting yourself from rabies.

Hopefully, this article has answered some of your questions about pet vaccines. If you have any more questions about a specific vaccine, reach out to a veterinarian.