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Should I get my dog vaccinated? Why do it and when to do it

As a responsible pet owner, one of the most critical decisions for your furry friend is whether to vaccinate them. Ensuring your dog is up-to-date with their vaccinations is essential for their health and well-being. In this blog post, will cover why vaccinating your dog is important when to do it, and the potential side effects. 

Should you get your dog vaccinated?

Vaccinations are crucial in protecting your dog from various potentially deadly diseases. They help build your dog’s immunity by stimulating their immune system to recognize and fight specific pathogens. This keeps your dog healthy and helps prevent the spread of contagious diseases to other animals and humans.

Does my dog need all of the available vaccines?

In the North Providence area, the recommended vaccines for dogs include immunizations to prevent Bordetella, distemper, parvovirus, hepatitis, and rabies. Your vet will recommend the most appropriate vaccines based on your dog's age, where you live, and your dog's lifestyle.

Vaccination Schedule for Puppies & Adult Dogs

Puppy Vaccination Schedule

6 - 8 Weeks

  • *DHPP Shot 1
  • Bordatella
  • Leptospira
  • Lyme
  • Influenza Virus-H3N8
  • Influenza Virus-H3N2

10 - 12 Weeks

  • Influenza Virus-H3N8
  • Influenza Virus-H3N2
  • DHPP Shot 2
  • Leptospira
  • Lyme
  • Rabies

14 - 16 Weeks

  • DHPP Shot 3

Adult Dog Vaccination Schedule


  • Bordatella
  • Leptospira
  • Lyme
  • Rabies
  • Influenza Virus-H3N8
  • Influenza Virus-H3N2

Every 3 Years

  • DHPP Booster
  • Rabies

*DHPP: This vaccine protects against Distemper, Adenovirus, Parainfluenza, and Parvovirus.

Age Restrictions

Speak to your vet to determine which vaccines are suitable for your dog. Puppies and senior dogs with compromised immune systems may not be eligible for all vaccinations.

Are there any possible side effects of dog vaccinations?

While dog shots are generally safe, some dogs may experience mild side effects, including:

  • Mild fever
  • Reduced appetite and activity
  • Temporary swelling at the injection site
  • Sneezing, mild coughing, or nasal discharge (for intranasal vaccines)

In rare cases, more serious side effects can occur, such as:

  • Allergic reactions (facial swelling, difficulty breathing, hives)
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Persistent lethargy
If you notice any severe reactions, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Risks of Not Vaccinating Your Dog

Choosing not to vaccinate your dog can have serious consequences:

  • Increased Risk of Disease: Unvaccinated dogs are more likely to contract and spread contagious diseases.
  • Higher Veterinary Costs: Treating preventable diseases can be much more expensive than the cost of vaccines.
  • Legal Consequences: In many areas, rabies vaccination is required by law. Failure to comply can result in fines or other penalties.
  • Public Health Risk: Some canine diseases can be transmitted to humans, posing a public health risk.

The importance of vaccination 

A proper dog vaccine schedule is essential for keeping your pet healthy and safe. Following the recommended puppy shot schedule and maintaining regular booster shots throughout your dog’s life can ensure its protection against various diseases.

While there may be minor side effects, the benefits of vaccination far outweigh the risks. Not vaccinating your dog can lead to severe health issues, higher medical costs, and potential legal problems. Therefore, keeping your dog's shots up-to-date is crucial to responsible pet ownership.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

If your dog or puppy is due for shots, please contact our North Providence vets today to book an appointment. 

New Patients Welcome

Ferguson Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of North Providence companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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