In recent years, the topic of vaccination has been debated over and over by pretty much everyone, it seems. Thought it would be interesting for me to share what I’ve learned from speaking to vets, breeders, and also doing my own research. I personally follow Jean Dodds’ vaccination protocol that's become very popular. Basically, research has shown that pet owners around the world have been over-vaccinating their pets for decades. The logic comes from the fact that human babies are only vaccinated a couple of times as babies and toddlers, and sometimes as teenagers (BCG, etc.), so why are pet owners advised by their vets to have their pets vaccinated every single year? The problem stems from the fact that the pet medical industry is not tightly regulated by authorities, so basically, vaccine makers and recommend anything they want to. Why yearly vaccines? So that they can make more money, of course.
Anyhow, in a nutshell, Dr. Dodds recommends this vaccination protocol for dogs:
The second part is US-centric, but I do take note of side effects and stuff. I hate that in Malaysia, all the vaccines come with Lepto (I asked about opting out, was told that it's not available). Since my dogs never swim in lakes or play in them, pretty sure that they will never get infected with leptospirosis. The one good thing is that rabies has pretty much been eliminated in the country, so vets don't even recommend it anymore.
I now vaccinate my dogs only once every 3 years, with a 5-way booster which covers distemper, parvovirus, hepatitis, parainfluenza, and leptospirosis (DHLPP). The vets here also offer a 7-way and 9-way booster, which I feel are completely unnecessary. If I can find any vet which offers vaccines WITHOUT lepto, I would be going to them for sure. In the future, if I have puppies, I definitely wouldn't want them to have the lepto vaccine at such a young age. DHPP is sufficient, I think, for 8-week, 12-week, and 16-week shots.
The vets here don't vaccinate for bordatella either--back in Canada, Cadence used to get it and it's administered in the form of nose drops. He hated it (but then again, he hates the needles too), but it was pretty funny to watch the vet force the syringe filled with liquid into his nose.
So that's my 2 cents on vaccinating--I would never go the "no vaccinations at ALL" route, but definitely want to steer clear of over-vaccinating as well.
Blog for the Dogs
Here's where I chronicle the dogs' daily lives, write reviews on dog products, and share tips on everything under the sun.