Vaccinating your dog – The essentials revealed!

德国赛车Try our food today


德国赛车Rowan Sanderson sits down with Dr Brendan Clarke, President of the Raw Feeding Veterinary Society () to discuss vaccinating your dog. Listen in as Dr Brendan discusses the best time to give your puppy a vaccine, why you should consider doing a titre test or a VacciCheck for your dog, and things to watch out for if you do decide to give your dog a vaccine.

Want to listen during your dog walk? Download from iTunes


What is a Vaccination?

A vaccine in the purest form is taking a weakened or killed virus or bacteria that can cause disease and exposing yourself to it through an injection or orally to initiate an immune response which will protect you from the “real” disease that is out there in the wild.

Through a vaccination, your white blood cells will become primed to identify and fight that virus or bacteria.

Vaccinating your dog, the best time to do it

德国赛车The majority of experts recommend giving the vaccine later rather than immediately after the puppy is born, contrary to most people’s belief.

When puppies are born, they consume mother’s milk containing colostrum, which is full of antibodies. The mother’s immunity is passed on to the puppy via those antibodies and are active for around 12 weeks.

This is considered a good time frame to keep in mind when deciding on when to give them a vaccine. You should vaccinate for distemper, parvovirus, and hepatitis or adenovirus.

Should you give the dog a vaccine within these 12 weeks, be aware of potential issues. For one, the immune system may simply take out the vaccine. Secondly, the puppy’s immune system may be too immature to respond effectively.

What is a Titre Test?

WIth a titre test, one can monitor, very specifically, not just the amount of antibodies present in the dog, but also the strength of the antibodies in taking out viruses. Basically, a titre test tells you how immune your dog is through its antibodies.

德国赛车The alternative to a titre test is the VacciCheck, which was created with the premise that, if you can detect antibodies for viruses, then the dog is immune, regardless of the actual strength of those antibodies. Therefore, owners can avoid over-vaccinating their dogs.

What to Look Out for in a Vaccine

德国赛车The ideal situation is to have the material in a weakened, if not killed, form which will be exposed to the patient, creating an immune response. Unfortunately, it is not that simple in reality.

Preservatives are often added to the vial alongside adjuvants, which aggravate the immune system once the material is injected in order to increase the immune response. These preservatives and adjuvants can actually cause adverse effects or reactions that take place after administering the vaccine.

What to ask your Vet

德国赛车As always, please check with your vet as they are your best informed source of recommendations for your dog’s health and wellness. Ask them for potential risks when administering the vaccinations, and what is actually in the vaccines.

德国赛车If your vet is unsure, ask them to check, and only go through with the vaccination when you are confident that the vaccine is the right thing for your dog at that point in time.

Where to report an adverse reaction

If you suspect that your dogs has had an adverse reaction to a vaccination, you can report it here: .

You might also like


  • My 4 year old Tibetan Terrier is due his core vaccine boosters in January and I intend to Vaccicheck/Titre check. However, I am battling in my brain as to the Lepto vaccine, particularly the Lepto 4 which he has had yearly to date. His has a long list of environmental allergies and is on immunotherapy and currently low dose steroids. So his immune system is not great. He has frequent walks in the countryside – plenty of fields, mud, puddles and whatever wildlife there may be. Last year I voiced my concerns about the Lepto 4 vaccine and was told that due to my dog’s lifestyle she would recommend it. When asked how many cases of Lepto she has seen I didn’t seem to get an answer. When asking about the lesser of the evils Lepto 2, she said they didn’t stock it and I would have to pay for a whole batch of that is what I wanted. I do want to compromise Merlin’s already stressed immune system, but can’t seem to find a scientific vet opinion as to whether I would be doing him an injustice by giving him the Lepto vaccine. My only experience of dogs was when I owned two Rough Collies twenty years ago, they had no health issues, were yearly vaccinated for the core ones, wormed as puppies but never after as adults and never had chemical flea/tick treatment and never once had fleas or ticks. They were certainly never vaccinated against Leptospirosis.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Try our food today

Ready for a happier, healthier dog? Let’s Declare Raw on pet nutrition