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Do Senior Dogs Need Vaccinations?

Hand holding a shot in the forgram with a black dog blurred in the background

Vaccines are Different

It seems that when you are given medication for your pet’s ailment, their size and weight are taken into consideration. However, when your vet gives a vaccine treatment to your pet, they give whatever is in the bottle as a single dose no matter how big or small your pet is.

That practice includes your senior dog. Whether or not your pet gets annual vaccinations is up to you and you should continue to read our article in order to make an informed decision.

Vaccines are given in different frequencies as some are 3-year treatments and others may be annual treatments.

Senior Dog Vaccination Schedule

calendar isolated on a white background

One of the problems of creating a good vaccination schedule is that different vets have different philosophies about these medications. But one of the key factors you need to take into account is that as your pet gets older, their immune system gets weaker.

Providing them with core vaccines on a yearly basis does not harm your pet. Instead, it gives your dog a fighting chance against different infectious diseases. In the end, it will be up to you to decide how often your senior pet gets a vaccination.

Sometimes you can skip a vaccine because your senior pet has built up enough immunity and has been vaccinated against a disease when they were a puppy. It is best to have a talk with your vet and see what is their point of view

What you have to be careful of is that many pet owners are opting out of different vaccines. This move has allowed a window of opportunity for the disease, giving it permission to strike unprotected dogs.

A Handy Scheduling Chart

  Vaccine  First shot- 4 months+ years of age  Booster
  Rabies- 1-year duration  Single dose  Annually
  Rabies- 3-year duration  Single dose  Booster at 1 year anniversary, every 3 years after that
  Distemper  2 doses with a month in between  Booster at 1 year and then every 3 years after that
  Parvovirus  2 does with a month in between  Booster at 1 year and then every 3 years after that
  Adenovirus- type 1  Depends on vaccine  Booster at 1 year, then every 3 years after that
  Adenovirus- type 2  2 doses with a month in between  Booster at 1 year then every 3 years after that
  Parainfluenza  1 dose  One year booster then every 3 years
  Bordetella  1 dose  Every year, sometimes every 6 months

  Lyme disease  2 doses 2 to 4 weeks apart  Possible annual booster
  Leptospirosis  2 doses 2 to 4 weeks apart  Annual for those dogs living in high-risk areas
Canine influenza  2 doses 2 to 4 weeks apart  Annually

Do Senior Dogs Stop Getting Vaccines

Gloved hand drawing a shot from a vial while a yellow labrador is blurred in the background

Generally, you will be giving your pet vaccines every year depending on the nature of the vaccine and where you live in the country. The one that has to be given almost every year, is rabies. That is because it is a legal requirement.

If you do a lot of traveling, with your pet, their rabies vaccination has to be kept up-to-date. When you travel, you should be bringing your dog’s vaccination records with you to prove that they are healthy and have been vaccinated.

One of the aspects of rabies you need to know about. It is not given to your pet to protect your dog. it is administered to all dogs to protect humans. if you are wanting to stop some vaccines from being administered there is one alternative.

You can subject your pet to the Titer test. This test will determine if your pet has built up enough immunity against a particular disease. if it has, then your dog may be able to skip that vaccine.

Is There Any Risk to Skipping Vaccines

Humans hands pinching up dog fir to administer a shot

Yes, there is. Older dogs tend to have weakening immune systems as they age. This means they need added protection to remain disease-free. While vaccines won’t guarantee that your dog will not get sick, they do give them a better chance of survival.

If you do your own research, you will find that different dog owners approach vaccines in different ways. You will be the final decision maker when it comes to your pet. Get all the facts first and weigh them in the balance and see which is the best path for you.

Some Final Words

Vial of Distemper vaccine next to a syringe on a white background.

Your senior pet depends on you to provide for them. That provision includes making sure they get the right vaccines at the right time. Do some thorough research to make sure you make an informed decision as you may not be living in a region of the country that allows you to skip certain medicines.

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