Dog Vaccinations: Keeping Your Pet Healthy and Protected

We're aware that vaccinating our furry friends is both necessary and mandatory. However, are you familiar with how vaccinations work and the various types available for dogs? Keep reading and you'll learn all the essential information about canine vaccinations.


Dogs vaccines, what are they?


Vaccination is a process of immunization to a disease by means of an injection, by means of which a weakened antigen (the causal agent of a disease) is introduced, forcing the organism to confront it in order to destroy it. In this way, the disease does not appear or, if it does appear, it is much milder.

og Vaccinations - Everything you must know


The antigen introduced is weakened to the point of not being able to spread the disease, but it is strong enough to force the body to react to immunize itself. This works as well in vaccines for dogs as it does for other animals, including humans. There are different types of vaccines depending on the degree of attenuation of the antigen:


  • Live attenuated vaccine: the organism is alive, but it has lost its virulence. By performing cell culture series, or by inoculating the virus into another animal species where it has no effect.
  • Inactivated vaccine: This type of vaccine deals with antigens and destroys them, but is not able to provide immunity to the body.
  • Synthetic vaccine: It is introduced into the body for the sole purpose of provoking a response to the antigen.


Vaccines for dogs can be of any of these three types, depending on the disease to be treated.

The vaccines in dogs are very varied. Some of them serve only to prevent a particular disease, such as rabies. This is called a monovalent vaccine.

Others, on the other hand, are versatile. That is to say, the same injection serves to avoid several different diseases. There are these types of polyvalent vaccines for dogs:


  • Trivalent vaccine: covers distemper (a viral disease that is often fatal, affecting the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts, and often the nervous system), viral hepatitis and leptospirosis (a bacterial disease that affects several systems including the kidneys and liver; can be fatal. Only a risk in certain geographic locations so not used routinely for every dog. Your vet can help you decide if your dog should have this vaccination).
  • Tetravalent vaccine: protects against parvovirus (a viral disease that causes severe vomiting and diarrhea, and which can be fatal), distemper, viral hepatitis and leptospirosis.
  • Pentavalent vaccine: effective against parvovirus, distemper, viral hepatitis, infectious tracheobronchitis and leptospirosis.
  • Hexavalent Vaccine: Faces distemper, viral hepatitis, parvovirus, kennel cough, rabies (a fatal viral disease that attacks the nervous system and that is contagious to humans) and leptospirosis.
  • Heptavalent vaccine: distemper, hepatitis, canine leptospira, leptospira hicterohemorrhagicus, parvovirus, kennel cough, adenovirus type 1.

Related: Dog Vaccination for Travel and How Much Cost

In the United States, some vaccinations for dogs are required by law, while others are optional but recommended based on your local environment. Always consult with your veterinarian about your dog's vaccine schedule and make sure your pet is up-to-date on all necessary vaccinations for optimal health.

og Vaccinations - Everything you must know

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