By staying on top of pet vaccinations, you can ensure your furry friend’s health, wellness, and longevity. Much like humans, dogs need a series of initial vaccinations followed by periodic boosters. If you own a dog—or you’ll be adopting one soon—here’s what you should know about these pillars of preventive care.

How Do Pet Vaccinations Work? 
Vaccinations prevent disease by exposing patients to inactive microorganisms that prompt an immune response. Upon identifying these agents, the immune system develops antibodies to the disease in question. Should the patient ever be exposed to the disease-causing microorganism again, they will be immune from the condition—as long as they still have the necessary antibodies.

Vaccines are generally administered by injection. Your vet will work fast so your dog won’t be uncomfortable for long. In fact, your pup may not even realize they were injected. There may be some swelling and tenderness at the site in the days that follow, but otherwise, side effects are highly unlikely.

Which Vaccines Does My Dog Need?
Your vet will evaluate your dog’s health, habits, and lifestyle to determine which vaccines are necessary. Starting as a puppy, all dogs generally require the immunizations for rabies, distemper, parvovirus, adenovirus, and parainfluenza.

Additionally, if your dog will ever attend daycare or stay at a boarding kennel, your vet may recommend the Bordetella vaccine, which protects against kennel cough. And if you intend to take your pup hiking, it’s advisable to vaccinate your dog against Leptospirosis and Lyme disease. As for the schedule, most immunizations will need to be administered every one to three years.

If your dog is due for a round of pet vaccinations, head to Wards Corner Animal Hospital. Located in Loveland, OH, this practice is led by Dr. Timothy Henehan, who has been practicing veterinary medicine for more than 30 years. With a focus on preventive care, we are proud to perform routine checkups complete with immunizations. We are also equipped to perform surgery, provide emergency care, and make house calls. To make an appointment for your furry friend, call (513) 683-2883.