Updated at: 14-06-2022 - By: Jane Brody

Dogs, just like humans, are prone to get affected by diseases throughout their lifetime. In fact, dogs are more susceptible to infections owing to their difference in eating habits, lifestyle, sniffing tendencies, and incapability to make hygienic choices. As a dog owner, you will be worried about your pet getting diseases and will have to employ all the necessary preventive measures available.

Since all diseases cannot be cured by medicines, some canine infections can be prevented through vaccinations. Although immunizing your dog against viral infections is important, over-vaccination is fatal.

To keep your dog safe and healthy, you should get all information regarding dog vaccinations.

What Transpires When A Dog Is Vaccinated Twice?


The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) reviewed its dog vaccination guidelines in 2003. Currently, they recommend veterinarians to vaccinate canines at least once every three years. After this decision was made, many vets are restricting their immunization period to once after every three years and with a compulsory annual examinations.

The main reason for avoiding frequent vaccination of dogs is because most inoculations are unnecessary. Therefore, you should not be easily convinced by vaccine providers that offer cheap annual vaccines. This is because inappropriate immunizations can be more harmful compared to actual medicines.

What if my canine gets vaccinated twice?

If you have vaccinated your furred friend twice under this period, you should not worry. The preventative effects of the vaccine will surpass any side effects. However, you should carefully observe your pet in such cases. Most adult dogs can tolerate frequent vaccination. However, smaller dog breeds like Yorkies and Chihuahua may have adverse side effects because their immune system becomes overloaded. Every pet owner should know the side effects caused by vaccination.

What are the Adverse Effects of Vaccinations on Canines?

Frequent vaccinations in dogs can trigger low to mild side effects. Although vaccines are beneficial, pet owners should monitor their dogs after injection. This helps to detect any problems that are caused by vaccination. Some of the common side effects that dogs experience after vaccination include:

  • Fever
  • Drowsiness
  • Vomiting
  • Swelling
  • Pain at the injection point
  • Breathing problems
  • Mild Seizures

Most of these common side effects are mild and will subside with time. However, if symptoms last longer than expected, you should consult your vet.

Why are Dog Vaccines Important?

Why are Dog Vaccines Important

Bacteria and virus cause adverse effects and infections in your dog’s body because is not invulnerable to them. If the dog’s body is attacked by viruses or other disease-causing pathogens, it will make it very ill owing to the lack of antibodies to help fight off disease and the sudden shock that the body system experiences. Vaccines help to boost the immune system of your canine enabling it to produce antibodies that help fight any diseases that may occur in the future.

Vaccines help to develop antibodies that will remain in the dog’s body and recognize the specific virus. Vaccines are made up of antigens that trigger mild disease in the body by emulating the disease organism. In defense, the canine’s body will start producing antibodies after identifying the pathogens i.e. antigens. The immune system of your dog will then become ready to fight off the disease organisms whenever they invade the body in the future.

The Different Kinds of Vaccines for Dogs

Before taking your dog for vaccinations, every pet owner should consider the local and countrywide laws. Some dog vaccinations are mandatory because they protect against life-threatening global diseases and are known as core vaccinations. Core vaccinations are mandatory for every canine in the world. Additionally, some vaccines are not compulsory but are specific to areas where the disease is prominent and these are known as non-core vaccinations.

Core Vaccines for Dogs

Core vaccines protect dogs from globally distributed diseases that can cause severe illness or death. Dogs should start receiving their core vaccines while they are still puppies. This is a series of three vaccines administered between 8 to 16 weeks of age. They include:

  • Canine parvovirus 2 (CPV-2)
  • Canine distemper (CDV)
  • Canine adenovirus 2 (CAV)

These core vaccines are then administered one year later and after every three years. However, the frequency of immunization can change if antibody titer test results show that the dog has protective antibody levels.

Another core vaccine is the rabies vaccine, which is administered once between 12 and 16 weeks. The second booster dose is given after a year and then after every three years. However, some local laws require dogs to get rabies vaccination more frequently than the standard three-year interval. Other core vaccines include:

Non-Core Vaccinations

There are countless non-core vaccinations such as Leptospirosis, Burgdorferi, and Bordetella bronchiseptica. These immunizations are not compulsory and offer protection against local viruses.  Your veterinarian will suggest the non-core vaccinations that your dog needs depending on the locality you live in.

Having a detailed discussion with the vet will determine the type of non-core vaccinations your dog needs. Epidemics or the occurrence of diseases and the environment your dog lives in will determine the type of immunizations needed. The interaction of the canine with other dogs or animals will also determine his susceptibility to specific diseases.

Your dog can get vaccinations against diseases like Lyme disease, Leptospirosis, canine influenza, Bordetella, and Parainfluenza. The AAHA no longer recommends vaccines like Giardia and Canine Coronavirus. You should consult your vet if Canine Coronavirus is currently spreading in your area.

How Often Should Dogs Get Immunizations?

How Often Should Dogs Get Immunizations

In dogs, immunization schedules vary based on the type of vaccine being administered, local laws, lifestyle, health condition, and age. If proper immunization series is administered, core vaccines can trigger immunity that lasts for many years.

Generally, puppies receive their core vaccines from about 6 to 8 weeks after birth. They are boostered after every 3 to 4 weeks until about 16 to 20 weeks. Dogs are then boostered again after a year and later on, they are immunized after every three years.

The frequency of rabies vaccinations depend on the local and state laws. The first rabies vaccination for dogs is usually at 12 weeks. Subsequently, the dog gets a booster vaccine after one year. Subsequent booster intervals for rabies are determined by the kind of vaccine used and the local and state ordinances.

For non-core vaccines, the intervals are usually one year. However, some vaccines such as Bordetella have shorter intervals because of the increased exposure risks and the probability of the protection level not lasting an entire year. Pet owners should work with their veterinarian to develop a custom vaccine schedule that suits the individual needs of your pet.

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How can Pet Owners Avoid Over-Vaccinating Their Dogs?

How can Pet Owners Avoid Over-Vaccinating Their Dogs

Vaccines are beneficial, especially when administered in the right manner and purpose. Dog owners must know what vaccines should be administered to their pets and at what time. This is important because dogs can over-vaccinated knowingly and unknowingly and pet owners should advocate for the interests of their canines. To avoid over-vaccinating your dog, you need to do the following:

Be Equipped with the Vaccination History of your Dog

Even though the AAHA’s recommendation is credible, it does not mean that your dog should be vaccinated only after every three years. You need to take your canine for regular checkups by making annual appointments with the veterinarian. This will ensure that he/she develops an in-depth understanding of your dog’s health. Routine checkups will ensure that your vet takes note of any subtle changes that go on in the dog’s body and assess their risk of diseases.

Every pet owner should keep a vaccination history of their dog so that they can know the intervals between immunizations and the amounts ideal for him. You can only reject the vet’s advice for annual vaccinations if you have a genuine copy of your canine’s health records. The best thing is to have written records that indicate heartworm test, urinalysis tests, antibody test results, and immunization schedules including their dates.

Know What you Want

Every pet owner should know the best vaccines for their dog. This can only happen if you know the purpose and schedule of every vaccine. If you are not sure of the available dog vaccinations, you can confirm with your veterinarian. Be sure to also ask about the vaccines that are warranted to prevent the conditions that dogs in your locality are susceptible to.

Seek More Knowledge

Pet owners should seek more knowledge about vaccines so that they do not feel dumb while conversing with their vet. Being informed will help you know the pros and cons of immunizing your dog and will help you make better decisions. Check out pet websites and blogs to get loads of information on immunizations schedules and their benefits.

Keep Tabs of your Canine’s Health

You should be informed about the health status of your dog at all times. This will help you note any behavioral changes or physical changes that may indicate they have health issues. Before going to the vet, every pet owner should know their dog inside out to ensure proper vaccination and treatment. This will help to avoid any unnecessary vaccinations.

Know the Cost of Vaccines Beforehand

You should know what a visit to your veterinarian will cost. This will help you avoid any surprises or situations where you are forced to make decisions based on the strengths of your pockets. The health of your canine is your first priority and this cannot be compromised for money.

Never Accept Vaccine Recommendations Blindly

If you are not comfortable with what the veterinarian is saying, you should never be scared to take your canine home. With vaccinations, you should not make your decisions in a hurry. If you feel the recommended vaccination is not compulsory based on your research, you can simply say no and take your pet home. Be sure to seek a second opinion to help you make a solid and more informed choice.

Be Prepared When Consulting A New Vet

If you are taking your dog for their first vaccination or consulting a new veterinarian, you should first meet the vet personally. This will help you know how he/she handles the immunization process and his/her philosophy.

Make the Right Vaccination Decisions for Your Dog

When it comes to decisions regarding vaccinations every pet owner has an upper hand. When taking your canine for annual examinations, keep in mind that you have the power to make decisions for your pet. Most vets will assume that you are there for vaccinations and they will recommend annual immunizations for your pet. You need to be the best advocate for your dog by educating yourself about different tests and vaccines to know those that are beneficial to him and those that are not. You should also check the local laws regarding how frequent vaccines like rabies should be administered.

By educating yourself, you can easily convince the veterinarian to do the right thing for your pet. Most pet owners who have an in-depth understanding of dog vaccinations and have built successful relationships with their vet end up making better decisions for their furred animals. With the right information, you can choose immunization for your dog based on the tests needed, vaccination history, and immunization intervals. You can also decline the vet’s recommendation to administer all types of vaccinations to your dog in one go.

In a Wrap

Your dog deserves the best regardless of the cost involved. However, in your pursuit to guarantee the health and life of your pet, do not be overzealous that you end up vaccinating him/her twice. The consequences of such an action may seem minimal, but it can leave behind negative effects that may affect your dog for a lifetime. It is advisable to always keep proper records of your dog’s health history and vaccination schedules.

It is entirely your choice as a pet owner to choose to adhere to the current vaccine recommendations, take a holistic approach, or go for optimally-timed titer testing or vaccines. We all desire to do what is best for our furred friends and have to follow whatever our minds and hearts tell us. Regardless of the choice you make, ensure that your canine gets the vaccines that he needs to keep his/her immune system in perfect shape. This will protect him from infections, keep him healthy and cheerful for years to come.

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