This is not a widely known thing yet; dogs don't need shots every year. The more people I talk to the more I realize that this is not common knowledge. There are so many things that veterinarian offices will push on you that the average person just puts their trust in the vet and says okay. I'm am here to tell you that it is not okay. Let's start with the annuals, the parvo, distemper, rabies etc.
This is Dr. Jean Dodds vaccine protocol and one that I follow.
As far as I am concerned there are far too many booster shots given to dogs. When was the last time you had a booster? That's right, way back when you were a kid. Now don't get me wrong; I'm not bad mouthing vaccines, they are responsible for getting rid of many horrible diseases. But the old saying "more is better" does not apply here; to vaccines. And that sense of urgency you get when the yearly vaccination time comes around, forget about it. There is not a time bomb ticking away and the second that date comes and goes your dog is going to die of a contagious disease.
Titers are a wonderful thing; you can see just how well those vaccines are still working.
And just what happens to a dogs body when they receive too many vaccines? This is a good read.
It is extremely important that very young puppies not be given shots too early. Unfortunately many rescue and shelter groups double up on vaccinations which can cause severe damage days or years later. A dogs body can only handle so many vaccinations at one time and some of the cocktails that they are given are downright dangerous. Please research the subject; there is a wealth of information on the web about over vaccinating.
Okay let's move onto some of the other dangerous things. Flea and parasite treatments or shots.
There are the topical treatments where we put toxic chemicals onto our dogs. These topical treatments are made to stay on; you can barely wash them off so when and if there is a reaction it is nearly impossible to get it off. There are many many stories of this exact thing happening on the net. The warning on the box says to keep children away from it; hmmmmm and yet we put it right onto our dogs skin. That should be a red flag right there.
Then there is the pill, the one that puts the substance right into our dogs digestive system. It is powerful enough to work from the inside out; ever think about that? How toxic a substance has it got to be to kill ticks and fleas on the outer skin? Ivermectin (Ivomec®, Heartgard®)is the most commonly used and comes in the conconction to kill all. This product was originally created for heartworms; a parasite spread via mosquitos. I use to live where there were enough mosquitos in the summer to literally drag you off but here in Southern California I've seen probably 3 in almost 11 years. I do not treat my dogs for heartworm and I do not use flea and tick treatments.
A bath will kill most fleas so regular bathing will keep them in check; yes it is work but keep your dog chemical free is worth it. Got a pool? Let your dogs swim, and kill those buggers. As for ticks, you gotta pick them off. If your dog has been in a tick environment you must check them for ticks and remove them; I do it all the time. I use hemostats pictured above but you can use tweezers or these I have not used this device so don't know if they actually work or not.
Last summer was a bad season for kennel cough; I knew several people who's dog got it at the dogpark. Yes even when a dog has a been vaccinated against it with Bordatella they risk being infected because of the number of strains that can be out there. So for me I would rather steer clear of the dog park in the summer months and forgo the Bordatella shot in lieu of management. I don't walk around bushes in the hot months when ticks are bad and I watch for the first signs of fleas and get bathing. And I run titer tests on my dogs; they have all had numerous bouts of shots and now years later are still getting great immunity results on their titers.
Just something to ponder folks.