If you are like many dog owners, you probably love your pet very much and will do anything you can to keep it safe and healthy. This is one of the reasons you probably take your dog to a veterinarian clinic each year for a checkup and vaccinations. Your vet will offer the vaccinations your dog needs, and this will primarily include the required vaccinations; however, there are other types of vaccinations you can choose for your dog that are not required. The following vaccinations are considered optional, and you can talk to your vet about whether your dog should get any of these or not.
One optional vaccination you may want to consider is a vaccination for Lyme disease. Lyme disease is something dogs get from tick bites, and it can usually be treated. If your dog gets this disease, it may feel very sick and weak, though, and normally dog owners do not even notice a problem for months after a dog is infected with it. With a Lyme disease vaccination, your dog will have a much lower chance of contracting this disease, because the vaccine fights the organism that leads to Lyme disease.
If you or your vet suspects that your dog already has Lyme disease, the vet can test your dog through a SNAP test, which is a blood test. Vets treat Lyme disease with antibiotics, but they prefer preventing it instead of treating it. If there is a high risk that your dog will get bit by an infected tick, your vet may recommend this vaccination.
Instead of the vaccination, vets always recommend that dog owners keep their dogs protected by using flea and tick repellants. These come in the form of ointments, powders, and collars, and they are usually very effective.
A second optional vaccination your vet can give your dog is called a leptospirosis vaccine. Leptospirosis is a disease that can be fatal if not detected and treated right away, and it is something that is transmitted primarily through bacteria found in watering holes, such as ponds and streams. The bacteria comes from infected animals, such as rats and raccoons, and it can infect your dog if it comes in contact with it.
The leptospirosis vaccination is great at protecting a dog from this disease; however, vets will usually only recommend it if the risk is high enough. For example, if you take your dog to different places in the world and allow it to swim in lakes, your dog should probably get vaccinated against leptospirosis. A dog that never leaves its own yard may not need this vaccine.
One of the most common optional vaccines vets give is called a Bordetella vaccination, and this is a vaccination that is required by most dog kennels and daycares. The Bordetella vaccination protects dogs from kennel cough, which is a common health problem that circulates through kennels and other places where dogs frequently go.
Kennel cough is like a cold, and it is not a life-threatening condition, but it is still something you will not want your dog to get. The vaccine for this is recommend annually for any dog that will be around other dogs, and it is usually given through the dog's nose or mouth. While this vaccine is not a required vaccination by vets, it is something your dog kennel will typically require.
Keeping your dog healthy and safe will require making sure it receives the right vaccinations. If you are not sure if your dog is due for any vaccines or if you should have it get any of these optional ones, talk to a vet at an animal hospital today.