Dog Vaccinations In St. Petersburg, FL

Pictured: “Panic” Casey
Pictured: “Panic” Casey

Which vaccinations will you give my dog?

Vaccinations protect your pets from diseases as well as other problems that could arise. There are numerous vaccines available in the United States; not all are recommended for every pet. We try to tailor vaccines to each pet’s lifestyle and exposure risks, knowing what is more likely to be encountered in our geographic area. These may include:

  • Canine Distemper, Respiratory Disease, Hepatitis, Parvovirus
  • Canine Influenza (H3N2/H3N8)
  • Kennel Cough
  • Leptospirosis
  • Lyme Disease
  • Rabies

Core vaccinations for dogs include canine distemper (paramyxovirus), canine hepatitis, respiratory disease (adenovirus 2), canine parvovirus, and rabies. These vaccinations are recommended for all dogs. Schedules for various vaccinations vary according to the vaccine and the age of your dog. But after initial treatments through the puppy stage, re-vaccinations are generally scheduled every 1 to 3 years.

Both canine distemper and canine parvovirus are commonly encountered and can cause severe suffering and death in unprotected dogs.

Your veterinarian may recommend additional vaccinations depending on your dog’s age, breed, history, lifestyle, and environment. These include canine influenza, kennel cough (bordetella and parainfluenza), leptospirosis, and lyme disease. As with core vaccinations, re-vaccination schedules vary for these additional vaccinations.

Be aware that rabies vaccinations for dogs are required by law in the state of Florida. Dogs should be vaccinated every 1 to 3 years. The veterinarian will provide the dog owner, and the local animal control authority, a certificate of rabies vaccination.

Please call us if you have any questions about your pet’s vaccinations.

Why does my dog need so many vaccinations?

Imagine an army trying to withstand an enemy invasion with only one kind of weapon. It would have very limited success if it fought, for example, with only tanks. If an army assumed tank-only warfare, how would it succeed in hand-to-hand combat, or against air and sea attacks? As you can imagine, not very well. Instead, an army trains in a variety of weaponry so that it has a greater chance of defeating any specific enemy agent.

Like humans, animals have immune systems that naturally fight against foreign agents. But no creature is born with the ability to fight off specific invaders. We can increase the chances that the immune system will defeat disease-causing "enemies" if we train the body to identify and target specific kinds of agents. This requires a variety of vaccines, each of which trains the body to fight a particular agent of disease—just as an army trains in a variety of weaponry.

We can help “train” your dog’s immune system to fight many infectious and life-threatening diseases. Some are more common than others, so it’s important to consult with your veterinarian to determine the right vaccination program for your pet. Please call or visit to learn more.

Should I get my dog vaccinated at a low cost clinic?

Consider the following:

  • Pets must be healthy to receive vaccinations. Many low-cost clinics do not perform thorough exams to determine the health of your pet.
  • Most pets don’t need vaccinations every year. Low-cost clinics may recommend yearly vaccinations regardless of your pet’s actual need.
  • Many low-cost clinics do not offer legally required county licenses, and obtaining adequate information to purchase a license can be difficult.
  • Best health practices obligate your vet to review your pet’s medical history. Low-cost clinics rarely maintain optimal records of your pet’s vaccinations.
  • Pets may experience a reaction to vaccines. Low-cost clinics are not equipped to treat pets that have adverse reactions to their products.
  • Many, if not most, low-cost clinics are based outside of the area (in some cases in different states) and can be quite difficult to contact when needed.
  • Vaccines require proper storage temperatures. Low-cost clinics are not likely to be inspected to ensure proper storage of vaccines.
  • You should trust vaccines only from legitimate sources. Low-cost clinics may save on costs by offering inferior or fake vaccines.

In view of the above considerations, Northeast Animal Hospital does not recommend “low-cost” or mobile clinics for the vaccination of your pet.

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