2021 Dog Vaccination Schedule 101 for Canada. Easy step-by-step puppy vaccination schedule.
Dog Vaccination / Puppy or Dog Vaccines 101: Explaining Core Dog Vaccines
For new dog owners, we understand that having a new dog or puppy is overwhelming. As such, we will try to simplify things about dog vaccination schedules or puppy vaccines in this blog. Here are a few things to keep in mind for vaccines for puppies or dogs based on the research of Dr Schultz. Dr Ronald Schultz has spent decades researching the minimum duration of immunity after a dog has been vaccinated. Based on his work, the American Vet Medical Association changed dog vaccination schedules in 2011 although he proposed this in 1978.
- Core Vaccines are for Canine Distemper (CDV), Canine Parvovirus (CPV- 2), Canine Adenovirus (CAV-2) and Rabies. These are highly contagious viral diseases with some being fatal.
- Canine Distemper (CDV), Canine Parvovirus (CPV- 2), Canine Adenovirus (CAV-2) are spread directly through contaminated feces, urine or indirectly through the air.
- Rabies is primarily spread to dogs through a bite.
- Non-Core Vaccines are for things like Bordetella (kennel cough), Parainfluenza, Leptospirosis, Lyme disease etc. These are typically bacterial based diseases.
- Even with your dog vaccinated for Bordetella, it may still get kennel cough from a wide variety of bacteria and virus. We’ve got a blog on how to resolve kennel cough.
- Leptospirosis for dogs can be transferred to humans (zoonotic) and can be picked up from bacteria in water, contaminated soil affected by urine.
- Lyme disease is transmitted by ticks and a vaccine would be about $30.
- Non-core vaccines are provide only short-term immunity and are sometimes ineffective against an evolved strain of bacteria. You should think really long and hard about whether to get these vaccines.
Why do you need a dog vaccination schedule?
For a new puppy, it is essential to vaccinate your dog. Vaccination after your puppy’s maternal antibodies wear out is critical to preventing the spread of disease to dog and humans.
However, the frequency of vaccinations is important. There is always the likelihood that there are adverse effects when your puppy or dog gets vaccinated.
In actuality, according to Dr. Ron Schutlz annual vaccination “provides no demonstrable benefit and may increase the risk of adverse reactions.” Dr Ronald Schultz has spent decades researching the minimum duration of immunity after a dog has been vaccinated.
What are the potential adverse effects of dog vaccination or over vaccination?
Vaccines can cause adverse reactions in dogs from hair loss, lethargy, allergies, to seizures and chronic issues in some cases.
Here is the direct quote on adverse reactions from Dr. Schultz’s website
“While there may be immediate hypersensitivity reactions, other acute events tend to occur 24-72 hours afterwards, or up to 45 days later in the case of delayed reactions.“
Documented reactions include:
- “Behavior changes such as aggression and separation anxiety
- Obsessive behavior,self-mutilation, tail chewing
- Pica – eating wood, stones, earth, stool
- Destructive behavior, shredding bedding
- Seizures, epilepsy
- Fibrosarcomas at injection site
- Autoimmune diseases such as those affecting bone marrow and blood cells, joints, eyes, skin, kidney, liver, bowel and central nervous system
- Muscular weakness and or atrophy
- Chronic digestive problems”
What does a natural / holistic approach to dog vaccinations look like?
- Do not start a puppy on core vaccination before 6 to 8 weeks of age.
- The reason is that puppies still have maternal antibodies, which are compromised by pet vaccinations at that early age.
- During the 1st year of vaccinations, consider the next set of vaccination no more frequently than every 4 weeks.
- After the 2nd round of core vaccines, you could titer test (measures antibodies) to see if you need a third round of core vaccines.
- It may not be necessary to have a third round if the titer shows ‘strong’ titer .
- According to holistic vets, consider giving the Rabies vaccine to dogs after 6 months of age and then depending on the law every 3 years.
- Do not bundle non-core vaccines with the core vaccines as this may be taxing on your furry kid’s system.
A puppy vaccination schedule & cost of dog vaccines in Canada could look like:
- 9-10 weeks old – 1st round of Canine Distemper (CDV), Canine Parvovirus (CPV- 2), Canine Adenovirus (CAV-2)
- At least 4 weeks after – 2nd round of Canine Distemper (CDV), Canine Parvo (CPV- 2), Canine Adenovirus (CAV-2)
- 2 weeks after 2nd round of vaccinations – the recommendation from a few vets we’ve asked is to titer test for Parvovirus in dogs, Distemper and Adenovirus, which ensures the dog is immunized.
- The titer cost would be about $70 for all of them. However, you probably could get a package of shots including Bordetella, Leptospirosis and vet exams for about $125.
- Typically, we’ve seen vet exams and DAPPV shot costs, which is a combination vaccine for distempver virus, adenovirus type 1 and 2 , canine parainfluenza virus and canine parvovirus for between $40 and $55.
- Bordetella shot or the nasal vaccine can range from $25 to $35. Add on tech exam fees and the Lepto Vaccine and you are looking at around $125 per visit.
- Note that for puppies, traditionally vets would recommend 3 visits. We recommend the same 3 visits although we’d recommend titer testing for the 3rd visit.
- So what if you did the titer testing just to find out that you need the shot anyway. That is a question that pet owners would have to wrestle with. We prefer the safety of titering before administering any vaccine.
- On a side note, fecal tests and blood tests are a good idea during vet checkups.
- > 6 months old – Talk to your vet about having the rabies shot done after you pup is older than 6 months. And then every 3 years depending on which Canadian province you live in. Alternatively you can have titer tests done. Ontario requires the rabies vaccine.
How long are these dog vaccines good for? Minimum duration of immunity for dog vaccines?
Here is a snapshot of Dr. Schultz’s research results
What to do when your vet says it is time to update your dog’s vaccinations.
We used to receive letters from our traditional vet about Shinji getting annual vaccinations. Thankfully, the letter stated that you could either get the shots for Parvovirus in dogs, Distemper, Adenovirus or have him checked by alternative means.
A few Canadian provinces require rabies by law. Since 2019, the US no longer requires rabies certification for dogs coming from low- or no-known risk countries such as Canada. “Dogs coming from a low-risk or no-known rabies risk (free of dog rabies) are NOT required to have a rabies vaccination certificate to enter the United States. However, when you enter the United States, you must provide written or oral statements that the dogs lived in a country with low or no risk for at least 6 months or since birth.”
- We suggest talking to your vet to get the rabies shots done every 3 years or alternatively having titer tests.
- Rabies titers are expensive with a vet quoting $250. Compared to the rabies vaccination cost, the titer cost is twice the amount. Note that both prices include vet consultation fees.
- Below are the number of cases of rabies in Canada and the cause of rabies in each province.
The trend in 2018 for BC still seems to be holding the same with not many more animals infected with Rabies in BC.
In BC, rabies is transmitted through bats so please make sure you report any bat bites or scratches to your animal or yourself if you go camping or hiking. Unfortunately, a man was bitten on Vancouver Island and passed away. This is a serious disease so please don’t take any chances after you come into contact with a bat in BC.
What next after your dog has its immunization shots?
- Monitor your dog for immediate noticeable vaccine reactions.
- Talk to your vet immediately if you notice anything.
- We’d suggest Thuja occidentalis recommended for anti-vaccinosis. Ask your holistic vet about thuja. Adored Beast Anti-Vaccinosis is another product you can try for this issue.
Share this with a new dog owner or an old dog owner wanting to learn new tricks on how dog vaccination schedules can be implemented in 2021.
For more information on Dr. Schultz, you can read about his organization here.