Labrador Retriever | The Vaccination Debate | Pros and Cons of Vaccines
Should you vaccinate your Labrador Retriever dog? The question has been controversial in recent years, as communities of veterinarians, pet shop owners, dog trainers, and other animal professionals have all disagreed widely on the issue. With all the pros and cons of vaccinating your dog out there, you might find it difficult to understand precisely what is going on in the debate, or to decide on a responsible course of action that is best for your Labrador Retriever dog.
While we remain officially impartial here at thelabradorretriever.org, we hope to present a balanced case both for and against frequent vaccination of dogs, and represent views of both sides of the debate. In short, the pro-vaccination camp sees frequent vaccination as a vital part of your responsibility to keep your dog healthy, while the anti-vaccination side argues that the pressure towards annual vaccination is a product of the desire of unethical vaccination manufacturing companies to turn a profit. What is important is that you research, read, and inform yourself about both sides of the issue, consulting as many different veterinarians and specialists as you can in the process, in order to make the most responsible decision possible. When it comes to the health of your Labrador Retriever dog, there is no such thing as being too responsible!
Technically, U.S. law requires your dog to be vaccinated at least once every three years against rabies. Yet, that having been said, your average dog owner probably takes his dog into the vet for a shot for more often than that: some shots are likely to be administered annually. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) makes the recommendation for vaccination for eleven different diseases. Of these, four – Parvovirus, Hepatitis, Rabies, and Canine Distemper – are considered “core” shots, and therefore are the most important for your Labrador Retriever dog to receive. The remaining seven vaccinations, which include Parainfluenza, CAV-2, Bordetella, Leptospirosis, Caronoa Virus, and lyme disease (which should receive annual revaccinations), are considered “non-core,” which means that they are recommended but not considered actually necessary.
If you choose to follow all of the AMVA’s guidelines, you will probably end up giving your Labrador Retriever dog a series of basic shots in puppyhood, when your dog is between 5 and 15 weeks old, followed by a few booster shots when your dog reaches adulthood. Many dog owners have been told by their veterinarians to do even more: to bring their dogs in annually for shots in order to ensure that everything is kept “up to date.”