Dachshund dog getting an injection

For most vaccinations, a dog needs a yearly booster.

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How much are dog vaccinations?

By Dr Hester Mulhall MA, VetMB, MRCVS Veterinarian

Updated on the

With the cost of dog vaccinations varying, it's best to shop around – and you may also want to know what injections your pet will need, how often and why.

The cost of a dog's vaccination varies between practices and you can ask about prices over the phone, at their reception or online. Sometimes the cost of a second puppy vaccination is included in the fee of the first one, so this is worth checking.

Vets recommend keeping your pet’s vaccines up-to-date to protect them from a range of really dangerous diseases. The cost of prevention through vaccination is cheaper than the cost of veterinary treatment should they contract one of the diseases.

How much do puppy injections cost?

Ask at the vets for questions relating to fees. You can also find out whether they offer puppy packages or healthcare plans. These often involve paying monthly to cover the price of vaccinations and routine appointments.

How do puppy vaccinations work?

Vaccinations contain a small amount of a modified version of the virus or bacteria that they provide protection against. This will not cause disease, but will be enough to trigger a natural immune response in the body. This means that if your pet is exposed to the disease at a later stage, they will already have immunity in place to combat the disease. Although they're not 100% protective, these vaccines will greatly reduce the risk of your pet getting ill.

What vaccinations do dogs in the UK need?

Dogs will usually be vaccinated against parvovirus, canine distemper virus, leptospirosis, and adenovirus 1 and 2. They will be given two injections as a puppy to form their primary course and, after that, will receive yearly boosters. Some dogs are also vaccinated against kennel cough, which is a yearly booster. If your dog is going to be travelling outside of the UK, they must have a pet passport and will need a rabies vaccination.

How often do dogs really need vaccines?

For most of their vaccinations, a dog will need a yearly booster. This is because most vaccinations are licensed to be given yearly in order to provide the best immune protection for your dog. If a booster is over-due, you might need to restart the primary course.

At what age do you stop vaccinating your dog?

There is no age at which you should stop vaccinating your pet. Dog vaccines should be kept up-to-date throughout their life. Older animals may be at increased risk from certain diseases, as they can have lower immune systems.

What happens if your dog is not vaccinated?

As a result, they will be at a much higher risk of catching the diseases that dogs are normally vaccinated against. It's good to talk to a vet, if you're really not sure about this.

Do indoor dogs need vaccinations?

Yes, indoor pets should still be vaccinated. People can carry virus and bacteria on their hands, shoes, clothes etc. An indoor dog is therefore still at risk of catching a disease. They should be vaccinated even if they will not be in contact with any other dogs.

Why should you not vaccinate a dog?

Some people chose not to vaccinate their dog, although this goes against veterinary advice. There is a lot of research that shows the positive impact of vaccinating your pet when it comes to protecting them against disease. If you have any questions about the importance of vaccinating, speak to a veterinary practice.

Do dogs really need vaccines?

Yes, they do, because just like people, dogs need vaccines to help protect them against disease.

Can I vaccinate my own dog?

No, you should not vaccinate your dog yourself. A vet must give a dog a health check prior to vaccination to avoid giving it to a pet who is unwell, as this can make it less effective.

Can I give my puppy its shots myself?

No, you cannot. This is definitely not a good idea. In addition, your puppy must also be microchipped and registered by eight weeks of age.

Do dogs need Bordetella vaccines?

In the UK your pet can be vaccinated against Bordetella, which is a bacterial cause of kennel cough. This is given as an intra-nasal vaccination in combination with parainfluenza virus (another cause of kennel cough). A small amount of liquid is squirted up the nose and does not require injection with a needle. Most kennels specify that your dog has had this before staying with them.

Is kennel cough included in the vaccine?

Kennel cough is an upper respiratory tract infection in dogs that can be caused by a range of bacteria and viruses. Most commonly it will be caused by Bordetella bacteria or parainfluenza virus. The most common strains of these are vaccinated against in the intranasal kennel cough solution. Yet this is not covered in the usual dog booster. If you are unsure whether your pet has been vaccinated against kennel cough, check with the veterinary practice.

What to do if your dog has facial swelling after vaccination

Contact the vets practice immediately. If this happens outside of normal opening hours, it counts as an emergency and you must contact the emergency vet care straight away. Facial swelling suggests that a severe immune response known as anaphylaxis is occurring. Although very rare, this can sometimes happen following a vaccination.

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