Vaccinations for Your Dog

Vaccines are designed to produce a protective immune response and allow your dog’s immune system to fight against future disease. They are essential for your dog to live a long, healthy life and protect your pup from highly contagious diseases. There are many different vaccinations for different diseases. The best way to stay on schedule with vaccines for your dog is to follow one of our veterinarians’ recommendations.

There are two categories of vaccinations: core vaccinations and non-core vaccinations. CORE Vaccines are a series of vaccines that include DAPP and RABIES. The Rabies vaccination is required by state and city law for all pets. Regardless of the number of interactions your dog may have with other pets or people, these vaccines are crucial to your pup’s fundamental health.

CORE Vaccinations are those our doctors feel your dog must receive. These vaccines help prevent diseases that are considerably widespread, very serious, and can easily be transmitted from one pet to another. These types of diseases are typically categorized as fatal and/or difficult to treat and include:

  • Rabies
  • Canine Distemper
  • Parvovirus
  • Canine Hepatitis


Rabies is the most familiar of the Core Vaccinations. This zoonotic virus is almost 100% fatal in anyone who contracts it—dog, cat, fox, rodent, or human, and usually spread through the bite or scratch of an infected mammal. Once contracted, the viral disease invades the central nervous system, causing hallucinations, loss of coordination, paralysis, and, ultimately, death.

Canine Distemper

Canine distemper is another serious and extremely contagious disease that infects the respiratory system, intestinal tract, and nervous system. Common signs that a dog has become infected are nasal and eye discharge, vomiting, coughing, and, in some cases, seizures. Although this disease does not guarantee 100% fatality like rabies, it does have a death rate as high as 75%. Dogs that survive often have lasting side effects, such as blindness or deafness.

Canine Parvovirus

This disease is currently the most common viral disease in dogs in the United States. Canine Parvovirus is a highly contagious disease that infects the GI system. Once the virus is contracted, it causes a loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, and bloody feces. This disease has the potential to spread rapidly, and death can occur in only a few days.

Canine Hepatitis

Canine Hepatitis is a virus spread through bodily fluids such as urine and nasal discharge. The most common symptoms of this disease are sore throat, coughing, and, in some cases, pneumonia. When a dog has contracted the disease, the cornea of the dog’s eye may appear to have a bluish hue or be cloudy in appearance. An unvaccinated dog can be at risk of death in as little as two hours after noticeable signs.

Non-Core Vaccinations are optional vaccines. They are typically recommended by one of our vets based on the amount of exposure your pup is at risk for, based on their interactions, and the area in which they live. These types of vaccinations are generally less effective than the Core Vaccines and include:

  • Lyme Disease
  • Leptospirosis
  • Canine Influenza
  • Bordetella

Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is a little trickier to detect on dogs than it is on humans because there is no visual aid, such as the “bulls-eye rash,” which occurs on human skin, that can be spotted on the dog. Any dog that goes outside, especially in the PA area, is at risk.


Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease that is caused by the presence of bacteria. The bacteria are usually present in infected water or soil. The most common clinical signs of this disease that your dog may exhibit are vomiting, Diarrhea, lethargy, and, in severe cases, liver failure. This disease can be spread from dogs to humans.

Canine Influenza

Canine Influenza, also known as Dog Flu, is a highly contagious viral infection. The disease can be contracted and transmitted just like we get human flu, through coughing, sneezing, and even humans who unknowingly have an ill dog.

Bordetella, commonly known as Kennel Cough, is a highly contagious respiratory disease that causes inflammation in the trachea and bronchi. A dog can catch the disease merely by sniffing an infected dog. A dry hacking cough, sneezing, and nasal discharge are the most common clinical signs of Bordetella.

Dog Vaccinations Veterinary Hospital

World of Animals (like most boarding kennels in the United States) requires your pup to be vaccinated from Bordetella and Canine Influenza before being admitted into our Boarding Facility At World of Animals Bethayres. This is for your dog’s protection as well as that of the other dogs staying in our facility.



Jeffrey Stupine V.M.D.

Medical Director

World of Animals Veterinary Hospital