My Dog Has Never Been Vaccinated – Does It Matter

My Dog Has Never Been Vaccinated – Does It Matter?

The title says it all. My dog has never been vaccinated. I have always wondered why my dog hasn’t been vaccinated.

Why does he still live with me and how come he doesn’t go to the vet?

I read many blogs, articles and even books about vaccinations but nothing really helped me. So I decided to research myself and try to figure out why my dog isn’t getting vaccinated.

I found some interesting facts about vaccinations:

Vaccines are very safe and effective. They prevent diseases such as measles, mumps, rubella (German measles), chicken pox, diphtheria, tetraplegia (whooping cough) and polio. There have been no cases of any vaccine causing death or disability since their introduction in the 1950’s.

Vaccinations are recommended for everyone from birth until they turn 6 months old. From then on, children may receive vaccines only when they reach school age. For example, your child will need to be up to date on the MMR vaccine before starting kindergarten. Children must continue receiving the DTaP (diphtheria, tetraplegia and pertussis) vaccine through high school graduation.

Vaccinating your dog is the best way to prevent your pet from getting sick or causing an outbreak in your community.

You should bring your dog in for a check-up at least once a year.

Vaccinations are very important: they help your dog’s body build up immunity against 12 deadly dog diseases such as rabies, distemper, parvovirus, and hepatitis.

What are the recommended vaccines?

These are the most recommended vaccines:

Hepatitis (Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B)

Distemper (DA2PP: Distemper, Adenovirus-2, Parainfluenza, and Parvovirus)



Bordetella (kennel cough)

Parasites (depending on where you live and your dog’s risk of exposure)

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The recommended vaccines change from time to time based on new information about which viruses and bacteria pose the biggest threat to dogs. Still, some of the vaccines that your dog receives are the same ones that humans receive such as those for measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR). Vaccinating your dog has some benefits for you, too: it helps protect other dogs from your pet.

What are the most common dog vaccinations?

Most vaccinations help your dog’s body build up immunity against a number of 12 deadly dog diseases such as rabies, distemper, parvovirus, and hepatitis. The most common ones include:

DA2PP: This vaccine protects your dog from distemper, adenovirus type 2, parainfluenza, and parvovirus.

Leptospirosis: This vaccine protects your dog from leptospirosis, a potentially deadly disease that affects the kidneys and liver.

Bordetella: This vaccine helps protect against kennel cough, or Bordetella. It’s given alongside the DA2PP vaccine.

Rabies: This vaccine protects your dog from rabies, a virus that affects the central nervous system and is almost always fatal. In some states, you must vaccinate your dog against rabies.

The best time to vaccinate your dog is when he’s a puppy. If you adopt an adult dog, it’s a good idea to get him checked out by the vet to see what vaccines he needs, if any.

What are the side effects of vaccinations?

Most dogs who receive vaccines don’t experience any side effects, but some experience mild side effects such as:

Slight fever

Loss of appetite

Lethargy (tiredness)

If your dog experiences these side effects, they should disappear within a day. You can help make your dog more comfortable by placing a cool washcloth on his collar for a short time. If you notice any of the following side effects, take your dog to the veterinarian immediately:

Severe allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; hives; coughing; swelling)

Diarrhea or vomiting that lasts more than a day

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How are vaccines given?

The type of vaccine that your dog receives depends on his age, risk of disease, and which diseases he’s already had. Most vaccines are given by injection. Your veterinarian should give you instructions on when and how to vaccinate your dog.

What else should I know about vaccines?

It’s important that you keep all vaccinations up to date. Don’t allow your dog to socialize with other dogs before completing the vaccination process. Most importantly, remember that vaccinations don’t guarantee that your dog won’t get sick. They merely lower his risk. It’s important that you maintain good hygiene when handling your dog so that you don’t get sick, too.

If you’re still unsure about vaccinations, talk to your veterinarian and make a vaccination plan that’s right for you and your pet.

Sources & references used in this article:

Necrotizing meningoencephalitis of Maltese dogs by IH Stalis, B Chadwick, B Dayrell-Hart… – Veterinary …, 1995 –

The ecology of dogs and canine rabies: a selective review by AI Wandeler, HC Matter, A Kappeler… – Rev Sci …, 1993 –

Study of the dog population and the rabies control activities in the Mirigama area of Sri Lanka by HC Matter, AI Wandeler, BE Neuenschwander… – Acta tropica, 2000 – Elsevier

Practical significance of rabies antibodies in cats and dogs by MFA Aubert – Revue Scientifique et Technique-Office International …, 1992 –

Vaccination coverage and epidemiological parameters of the owned-dog population in Thungsong District, Thailand by W Kongkaew, P Coleman, DU Pfeiffer… – Preventive veterinary …, 2004 – Elsevier

Assay of oral vaccination of dogs against rabies in Tunisia with the vaccinal strain SADBern by DP MACIvER

Evaluation of mass vaccination campaign coverage against rabies in dogs in Tunisia by N Haddad, RB Khelifa, H Matter, H Kharmachi… – Vaccine, 1994 – Elsevier