Question: Which vaccines does my 11-year-old dog really need?
We've got that answer and more during this month's chat on dog vaccines for is 11-year-old dogs.
Depending on where you live, your dog may be able to get some immunity against disease by inhaling disease-infected particles from infected animals. This is how the original immunity was thought to work. These particles were thought to be more effective in creating immunity than any vaccine. Even though we know better today, immunity from this "horizontal" source still plays a very important role in canine immunity.
That said, we’ve learned that none of the dog vaccinations are 100% successful – 100% of the time. Therefore, it makes sense to be vaccinated for diseases that your dog is very likely to receive while out and about in his community.
Most veterinarians agree that your dog still needs to be vaccinated against:
- Lyme disease
- Canine distemper
Because there is no known cure for these diseases, vaccination is your best defense against them. Even if your dog has encountered the disease in the past, his immunity may have waned. Waning immunity, or a decrease in resistance to a disease, frequently happens with distemper in dogs over the age of five. It’s believed that the immunity for distemper tends to last longer in younger dogs.
Should your dog have their shot?
Why every dog should have their shot depends on the dog.
If your dog is healthy, then the answer is that they don’t need any shot.
Vaccines are used for dogs that go out in public areas or play with other dogs. You should have your dog vaccinated against Rabies and Distemper-Parvo however. All other diseases can be treated with prescription medication.
As for how often your dog should have their shot, the condition of the dog will determine how frequent they get them.
If your dog is healthy and does not often leave your property then every 3 years would be sufficient. But if your dog is in contact with a lot of other dogs, has frequent vet visits, or goes out often then they should be vaccinated on a yearly basis.