It is important that pet owners learn about the type of vaccines which will be most beneficial for their pets.  The pet's age, health, vaccination history, geographics, environmental exposure, and other important factors play an important role to determine the proper vaccines for your pet and the frequency of their administration.

"Over-vaccinating" or "Under-vaccinating" can both pose a health risk to your pet.  Your pet should not receive any unncessary vaccines, or receive them too often or too close together.  They should not lapse, or be given at the wrong age of the pet.  

If your pet has ever experienced a reaction to a vaccine, and depending on the severity, it may be recommended that your pet no longer be vaccinated.  It is unlawful for any dog over the age of 4 months old not to be vaccinated against Rabies; however, some exceptions are made if the vaccine would threaten the life of the pet.  In such an instance, a special Deferment or Waiver must be submitted by your regular veterinarian to the appropriate authority.

Studies have shown that dogs at higher risk of vaccine reaction are small dogs between the ages of 1 to 3 years old weighing under 23 pounds, dogs of any age which have "flat" faces (such as Pekingese, Boxers, Bull Dogs, etc.), and pure white dogs.  Administering vaccines one at a time and waiting at least two weeks between administration can help reduce the risk of a vaccine reaction.  

To prevent soreness and to help decrease the risk of vaccine reactions, pre-medication can be administered to pets approximately one-half hour prior to vaccinating, and again post-vaccination as prescribed/instructed by the attending veterinarian.  


It is strongly recommended that all of your pet's vaccines be administered only by a licensed veterinarian or a veterinary assistant.  These experienced professionals are better able to determine which vaccines are necessary for your pet, and there is better assurance that the proper handling of the drugs were performed at the correct and consistent temperature.  Additionally, in the event that your pet experiences a vaccine reaction, immediate emergency treatment can be rendered by a vet or vet assistant.

Would you purchase vaccines for your children at a grocery store?  

Purchasing vaccines from FEED STORES, PET STORES, BREEDERS, PRIVATE INDIVIDUALS, or OTHER SOURCES, can potentially be dangerous.  There is always a chance that you are taking a greater risk by purchasing vaccines distributed through such retailers because of the possibility of improper handling, transporting, and/or storing of the vaccines at inconsistent or incorrect temperature levels.  This can reduce or eliminate the efficacy of the vaccines.  Additionally, especially since such retailers purchase vaccines through a third party, they would not be notified by the pharmaceutical manufacturer of any recalls, as would veterinarians.    

Be Vaccine Smart

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