Northeast Animal Hospital
1401 4th Street North
St. Petersburg, FL 33704
What’s wrong with getting my dog vaccines from a “low-cost clinic”?
Answer: They often don’t have you or your dog’s best interests at heart (see below).

Which vaccinations will you give my dog?

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

Core vaccinations for dogs include canine distemper (paramyxovirus), canine hepatitis plus 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.

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, revaccination schedules vary for these additional vaccinations.

Be aware that rabies vaccinations for dogs are required 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.

Why does my dog need so many vaccines?

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

Like humans, animals have immune systems that naturally fight against foreign bodies. But none are born with the ability to fight off specific invaders. We can increase the chances that the immune system will defeat disease-causing organisms if we train it how to identify and target specific kinds. This requires a variety of vaccines, each of which prepares the body to fight a particular agent of disease.

Northeast Animal Hospital 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?

  • 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. As another option, you may choose a Northeast Animal Hospital Wellness Plan, where your dog can receive all of his or her vaccinations, along with other preventative health services, on a yearly basis for 12 affordable payments.