Over the past couple of years 'vaccines' have been a hotly debated subject, but it’s not just us who have vaccines to avoid getting diseases or illnesses - our dogs do too!
It’s safe to say that most doggies become stressed and agitated when heading to the vets for their routine vaccines. This can lead to complications in getting them to the vets in the first place.
There is no legal requirement in Canada, USA or UK to vaccinate your dog, except for the Rabies vaccine which is a legal requirement if you are travelling in or out of either country. In Australia rabies is not found and as such a dog in Australia does not legally require a Rabies vaccine. Dogs flying into any of these countries must have Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus and Bordetella vaccines.
Vets will recommend core vaccines for your dog to keep them safe from canine diseases such as kennel cough, canine distemper (CDV), canine adenovirus (CAV) and canine parvovirus (CPV) - all of which which can lead to series consequences if not protected.
When you first get your puppy it is important that you register them with your local vet who will be able to advise what vaccines are due and carry out the relevant vaccinations for them whilst registering what vaccines they have been administered on their file. Puppies are required to have their vaccines between six to nine months old and respectable breeders will have a full record of what has or hasn’t been administered to the puppy.
Multiple vaccines, particularly in small dogs, can increase the chance of your dog showing an adverse reaction so in many cases multiple visit will be required. If your dog has documented health issues then vaccinating the dog can exacerbate their illness. If you are planning on travelling with your dog and require vaccines for that trip ensure that the vaccines are administered at least one week prior to travel. This means if there are any adverse reactions that your vet is available to support them.
The majority of vaccines, as with us humans, require boosting every year so this article should help if you are struggling to manage their annual vaccine visits.
Many holistic vets around the world believe that routine pharmaceutical vaccinations create large percentages of chronic disease in domestic pets - and as we have seen since the arrival of Coronavirus the topic of vaccines and whether you should or shouldn’t have them creates significant debate. For the purpose of this article we will not get involved in these arguments, but it’s safe to say that many pet owners look for homeopathy and natural remedies which focus on the animals immune system and their natural immunity rather than 'mainstream vaccines'.
And, on top of vaccines, there may be other scenarios where you need to visit the vets such as if your dog has had an injury, is showing signs of canine arthritis or elbow or hip dysplasia.
Here are five tips which should come in handy to prepare your pet for their vaccination:
Stay calm yourself and be an example
Your dog is likely to pick up an anxiety or stress you may be showing. Try and stay calm, speak softly and give yourself plenty of time to get to the vets - rushing around will not help.
Provide them with their favourite treat or toy
A special treat (or their favourite toy) is a great way to get your dog in the habit of going for their vaccinations without increasing their anxiety levels. As many of us know, getting them out of the car and into the vets practice can be the trickiest challenge. It's as if they know what's about top happen! One little trick is to give them their favourite treat for the journey. If they have a particular treat they like then giving them this treat on the way can also help; and help them associate the trip with a treat.
Positive reinforcement is important
Praise your pet when they have had their shot, and reward them with a special treat such as a brand new bone or a new toy afterwards. This will help them to associate getting their shot with something positive and pleasurable, rather than negative and uncomfortable. At the same time, nothing is better than a good cuddle or a scratch behind their favourite ear to reinforce how proud of them you are.
Travel safely and comfortably
When it's time to bring your pet in for their shot, make sure they travel safely, comfortably and in a relaxed environment. Remember there are laws on how your dog should travel in a car; a dog with their head out of the window may appear to be having fun but is likely to be breaking the law and is not ‘safe travel’. No hand brake turns and if your vets is a long journey away then try and break this up with a quick walk. If you are not used to travelling with your dog then get advise on how best to travel with your pet. If your dog does not like going in the car, you may want to take a few trips to the local park beforehand, simply so they don’t associate the car with a jab. If you get to the vets early then have a walk around beforehand and try to avoid long waiting times inside the building.
Apply a relaxing pheromone
Pheromone diffusers and sprays are available on the market developed to help relax your dog. Advanced magnetic dog collars, such as the DOG StreamZ magnetic collar, have also shown significant benefits in helping keep your dog relaxed.
With these simple tips, you can make sure that your pet's experience with getting vaccinated is a positive one. Vaccines are essential for any pet's health and safety, so it's important to take the time to ensure that they're receiving their shots in an environment where they feel safe and comfortable. With enough preparation and understanding, there's no reason why your pet shouldn't be able to get the vaccines they need – and in a way that's enjoyable for everyone involved without howling in the car for an hour beforehand!
We take a quick look at some of the more commonly administered health conditions which are now supported with vaccines:
Kennel cough wis a respiratory infection simmer to human colds and is caused by a number of bacteria and viruses. Your dog will develop a nasty cough which can last several weeks. Kennel Cough is highly contagious and has no lasting immunity meaning they can pick it up several times throughout their lives. Treating Kennel Cough requires plenty of rest and is some cases anti-inflammatory medication, it is also important to prevent the dog from mixing with other dogs as the infection is highly contagious.
Parvovirus is a highly infectious disease which can be fatal and a large percentage of dogs diagnosed with the disease will die. The virus attacks cells in the dogs intestine and prevents them from absorbing vital minerals and nutrients. Symptoms often include foul smelling diarrhoea containing droplets of blood, a complete lack of appetite and even sudden death. As the virus is so contagious a booster vaccination is required.
Canine Distemper is a highly contagious virus which targets the respiratory, gastrointestinal and nervous system of puppies and dogs; in the majority of cases distemper is fatal and dogs who do survive will have permanent damage. The virus itself is found in many wild animals such as foxes, wolves, skunks and many other wild animals. Distemper is transmitted through the air or via food bowls but can also be transmitted between mother and puppy through the placenta. Symptoms can be extremely distressing to see as the virus attacks the nervous system leading to circling behaviour, vomiting, uncontrolled muscle twitching and seizures.
Canine Adenovirus (canine hepatitis)
Canine Adenovirus is an infectious hepatitis virus which effects the liver and other major organs of the dog. The virus attacks the liver, blood vessels, kidneys, eyes, lungs and heart of the animal and is spread through the transmission of body fluids. There is no specific medication to treat the virus and as it is highly contagious dogs are required to isolate if diagnosed with the disease. A dog with a mild case has a good chance of surviving but left untreated or anything other than a mild bout will be fatal.
Remember your veterinary practice is used to this scenario so always ask their advise if you are concerned or worried about your dog.
Providing your dog with the correct healthcare and rest, recuperation and recovery opportunities is important - DOG StreamZ magnetic collars provide dog owners with a unique approach to their dogs ongoing wellbeing.