Vaccinations and Your Pet

Everyone is asking about the new research on vaccinations, so we are sharing what the experts are saying.

So, just how long do your pet’s vaccinations last? Definitely longer than a year! We all want our pets protected from life-threatening diseases, but did you know your pet may be carrying enough protection from their puppy and kitten shots to last a lifetime?! (Just like your childhood immunizations.) Your pets may not need to be “boosted” at all, and giving more shots to an already-immunized animal is not only a waste of money, but in worst case scenarios, may cause serious immune issues of all types.

According to the top pet immunologist (aka vaccine expert) in the world, Dr. Ronald Schultz, Ph.D., “Annual revaccination provides no benefit and may increase the risk for adverse reactions.”

And according to the other rock star pet immunologist Dr. Jean Dodds, “Side effects from dog vaccinations can occur anywhere from instantly up to several weeks or months later. Vaccines can even cause susceptibility to chronic diseases that appear much later in a dog’s life.”

So, how long exactly does our pet’s vaccine last? According to the recommendations of the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), (basically the people/organization who set the standards for the vets), “Among healthy dogs, all commercially available (core) vaccines are expected to induce a sustained protective immune response lasting at least five years thereafter.”

Here’s the breakdown of the core vaccines from Dr. Ronald Schultz, Ph.D., DACVM Emeritus Professor of Immunology, Department of Pathobiological Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine (

Minimum Duration of Immunity for Canine Vaccines:

Distemper: 7 years by challenge

Adenovirus: 7 years by challenge

Parvovirus: 7 years by challenge

Canine rabies: 3 years by challenge

The moral of the story, titer first: If you have no idea when your pet is due or has been vaccinated, then titer first. This will confirm if you are due, rather than over-vaccinate your poor pet, setting the stage for future problems! A titer test is a simple blood test that provides information about your pet’s current immunity to the diseases he’s been immunized against in the past. Titer testing instead of automatic boosters (except when required by law) can help lower your pet’s chemical (antigen) load by providing only what is needed to maintain an alert immune system.

Please do not lose the overall message here: Vaccinate, just do not over-vaccinate. According to Dr. Dodds, “Vaccines have achieved many important benefits for companion animals and has saved more animals’ lives than any other medical advance.”

You can read more about titers and other ways to reduce and detox your dog’s chemical load in The New York Times number-one bestselling book The Forever Dog, by Dr. Karen Becker and Rodney Habib. Hug those necks! Rovers Kids are excited to see you on June 11 in the Cottonwood Dance Room! Need more information or help, call 480-600-2828.