Responsible dog owners know that it's important to keep up to date with their pet's vaccination schedule — but which vaccinations does your dog need to get, and how often should you be having them boosted? In Australia, there are three main classifications for canine vaccination: core vaccines, which all dogs should have on a set basis; non-core vaccines, which are administered based on risk; and travel vaccines, which are given only if you're taking your dog to a place where they'll be needed.
Core vaccines are given first when your dog is a puppy, and before the initial course is finished you shouldn't take a very young dog for walks. These vaccinations will need to be boosted throughout your dog's life; some are administered annually and others once every three years. Speak with your vet to determine how often you'll need to bring your dog in for a booster vaccine and to find out if they can schedule email reminders to let you know when it's time to make the appointment.
Core vaccines include:
- Canine adenovirus, also known as infectious hepatitis and Rubarth's Disease
- Canine distemper virus, also known as footpad disease
- Canine parvovirus, often referred to as CPV
Non-core vaccines aren't required, but most vets will recommend that you arrange to have them done anyway. In some cases, whether or not you need a non-core vaccine will depend on variable factors: where in Australia you live, how many dogs you have or how good your dog's health is in other regards. Discuss non-core vaccines with your vet to find out what they advise, and help you to make the best choice possible for your dog's safety and future.
Non-core vaccines include:
- Bordetella bronchiseptica, also known as tracheobronchitis and canine cough
- Leptospira interrogans, also known as leptospirosis, canicola fever, mud fever and Weir's Disease
- Parainfluenza virus, also known as canine influenza, greyhound disease and race flu
The most notable exclusion from the above lists is rabies: Australia is a rabies-free country, and as such it's not standard to have your dog inoculated against it. If you will be travelling with your dog, however, rabies is amongst a long list of vaccines that it might be recommended for you to have; exactly which vaccines these are varies depending on your destination, just as with humans, so your best course of action is to make an appointment to speak with your vet.
For more information on pet vaccination, contact a professional near you.