Do Dogs Really Need Annual Vaccinations?

May 19, 2021

Vaccines are important for your pets – just as they are for humans. It protects them from dangerous diseases, and saves you from expensive trips to the vet – or even hospitalisation.

Vaccinating your dog is crucial to their wellbeing, no matter what age they are. In fact, the first course of vaccines your pup receives is important to protecting them as they go through vital stages of development. Vaccinations are essential to the survival of your pup – because prevention of life-threatening illness is better than a race against the clock to save their life.

But what happens after pups get their initial vaccinations, and what about older dogs? Do they need to be vaccinated every year?

Why regular vaccinations can help your dog

It’s recommended that humans get regular vaccinations to protect against diseases and their mutations, such as the flu. Some vaccines depend on circumstance, like pregnancy or travel. Vaccines aren’t just about protecting the individual against the nasty effects of disease – it’s about protecting our friends, family and everyone (especially immunocompromised people) within our community.

The same is true for our furry companions. A regular vaccination plan is one of the best ways to bolster their immune system, and protect other dogs from becoming ill where possible. Some vaccines are helpful to receive annually, and some are more appropriate to have depending on certain lifestyle, travel and health factors.

Types of vaccinations

Core vaccinations are treatments your dog must receive no matter their age, where they live, their breed or circumstances. These vaccines are typically administered yearly, as part of your dog’s annual checkup. Certain health conditions may preclude them from receiving an annual vaccination, such as if your dog is pregnant, but it’s best to speak to your vet about your dog’s health prior to treatment.

Non-core vaccinations are dependent on where your dog lives, their environment and their lifestyle.

Both types of vaccination may form part of an annual health plan for your dog.

Extra things to consider for yearly vaccinations

Planning on boarding your dog this year? Or maybe taking your furry companion to stay with a family member or friend that already has dogs? Boarding kennels typically ask owners for proof of vaccination prior to booking. This will often include requirements for core and non-core vaccinations (such as vaccination against ‘kennel cough’). Plan in advance of any travel or bookings you may have and take your dog to the vet to ensure they are covered.

Location is an incredibly important factor for vaccinations. While Australia’s biosecurity laws keep us safe from most diseases, if you are moving overseas with your dog you will need to alter your annual healthcare plan for them. They will also need to be vaccinated in advance of their journey, with treatment depending on the location of their new home.

Your dog’s health

The best way to determine your dog’s vaccination schedule is to talk to the friendly local vets at Matraville Veterinary Practice. We’ll take into consideration all their health and lifestyle factors, and come up with a treatment plan tailored to their needs.

Got a question?

We’re here to help you with any urgent enquiries or assistance you might need. Need a little extra help, or not sure if you should bring your pet in for a check-up? Give our team a call and we’ll happily answer your questions.