Canine Vaccines

Podcast - Canine Vaccines

Podcast Episode 2: Canine Vaccines

As I am not a veterinarian, I am not permitted to give medical advice regarding canine health. I am not going to. I will share publicly available information from the latest studies on canine vaccines.

This is NOT an anti-vaccine podcast. This is about understanding the importance of canine vaccines and vaccinating responsibly. That often means less frequently.

Your dogs need to be vaccinated against things that can kill them. Legally, you are required to get a rabies vaccine every three years in most states. There are efforts underway to change the interval to five years (tests are in progress to prove seven-year immunity) by the Rabies Challenge Fund. Dr. Ronald Schultz and Dr. Jean Dodds, two highly respected vaccination experts, outline the current state of knowledge on established canine vaccine durations and immunizations on their website.

No other canine vaccine is mandated by law, but Parvo and Distemper are also considered core vaccines and should be administered. Some also consider Hepatitis a core canine vaccine, but Dr. Dodds disagrees, and she is the expert.

Understanding Canine Vaccines and Immunity

Based on studies, most canine vaccines last five years to your dog’s lifetime! Studies consistently show that most vaccines only need to be given once for lifetime protection. Luckily, more and more veterinarians (especially holistic veterinarians) can now perform affordable titer tests in-house. Titer tests show with absolute certainty if your dog has immunity (antibodies in the blood) or not and need a new vaccination (Journal of Veterinary Medicine, February 2002). Vaccines, like every medical procedure, have risks and there can always be adverse reactions (Canine Vaccine Adverse Events, Aguirre, 2007).

Personally, I don’t give my dogs any other vaccines aside from the core vaccines. The diseases addressed by all the other vaccines are either easily treatable, should they occur, or are rare, to begin with. If a veterinarian—especially the ones in veterinary hospital chains are known for this—recommends vaccines against diseases other than the core vaccines, it is always a good idea to spend a few minutes searching online how many cases of this disease were reported in the prior year in the country overall and in your state in particular. The fewer the cases, the lower the risk. Decide from there what is best for your dog.

Keep in mind that most boarding and grooming places require your dog to get a Bordetella vaccine (basically your dog’s flu shot), some every six months! That is pretty reckless. This is one of the reasons I groom my dogs myself and have a private, in-home pet sitter when necessary.

There is also coronavirus in dogs. The canine coronavirus is a respiratory infection like all coronaviruses. However, it has nothing to do with COVID-19. Canine coronavirus infections are rare, easily treatable and generally considered a low-risk disease.

Listen to the Experts

Dr. Ronald D. Schultz is the Professor and Chair of the Department of Patho-Biological Sciences at the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Dr. Jean Dodds, DVM, was a research scientist with the New York State Health Department and Executive Director of the New York State Council on Human Blood and Transfusion Services. She is also the founder of (thyroid blood tests) and (saliva food allergy tests). I frequently listen to this vet’s advice.

In short, these two experts know what they are talking about.

Related Article: Dog Vaccinations

Links to the Canine Vaccine Studies:

Book: Stop the Shots

Stop the Shots

This is a great book for short-and-sweet overview on canine (and feline) vaccination. The author explains how dog’s immune systems work and what to know about vaccines, titer tests, and risks. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to know more and learn what is best for their pets.

I wrote extensively about the research, data, and studies on pet vaccinations in my articles Dog Vaccinations and My Vet Said ….


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Ralf loves helping people have a better relationship with their dogs. He is a certified professional dog trainer in the Training without Conflict™ methodology by Ivan Balabanov (TWC CPDT). Ralf is also a member of the International Association of Canine Professionals and also holds their basic and advanced dog trainer certifications (IACP CDT, CDTA). In addition, Ralf is an AKC-approved evaluator for the AKC Puppy Star, CGC, and Advanced CGC programs and is also certified in canine first aid by the Red Cross.

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Sarah Gill, is a professional service dog trainer and handler. Sarah entered the world of professional service dog training after a car accident. As a result, she had to use a wheelchair for almost two years, trying to maneuver in a house not designed for it. No one expected Sarah would walk again. This opened her eyes and became a driving force behind pushing herself to defy the odds. When she regained some stability, Sarah attended a dog training school and learned how to train service dogs. Sarah completed her Master Trainer Certification and gained further experience by training new trainers. However, the school wasn’t accommodating to those with physical difficulties and PTSD. Hence, Sarah moved home to Dallas. In 2019, Sarah teamed up with Ralf and moved to California.

Sarah started this journey because she had a trained dog to mitigate her disabilities. But Sarah needed additional tasking for a new diagnosis. The only option she could find was getting a second dog for the new diagnosis. She knew there had to be a different way to address this. Sarah's passion is changing the ways of the service dog training industry.