So, you’ve chosen your puppy from a reputable breeder and you’re counting down the days until you can pick him up. Puppies shouldn’t be taken from their mothers until they are at least eight weeks old and by the time you collect them, most breeders will have given them their first vaccine.
Most dog owners spend around $200 for the cost to vaccinate a dog during the first year.
Some cannot afford to shell out such amount of money. If you’re one of them, you can bring this figure down by looking at these options.
Dog Vaccination Packages And Corresponding Costs
Most pet care stores and companies acknowledge the fact that most pet owners opt for a complete set of canine vaccines to ensure full protection of their dogs from the different diseases. If you would like to get yourself some discounts and do away with the hassle of availing different kinds of vaccines separately, then you can give these packages a try.
For example, VIP Pet Care offers canine care packages based on the age of your dog. Its package program consists of 5-in-1 vaccines for DHPP, roundworm/hookworm dewormer, fecal test, and rabies.
You may wonder how much are puppies’ first shots. The first package is priced at $60 and must be availed when the puppy reaches 8 weeks old. The second and third packages cost $69 each and administered at 12 and 16 weeks old, respectively.
Booster packages for adult dogs are around $75 and must be given every 2-3 years to ensure continuous immunity. To complete the full set of initial dosages, you must be ready to shell out around $190 – $200, then $75 every 2-3 years.
If you want to personalize and handpick the vaccines you will be getting for your dog, you can take a look at the such services like the one offered by Healthy Pets USA. Its vaccine for Rabies costs $12; the cheapest among all the vaccines it offers. DHPP and Bordetella vaccines both cost $18 each. To be extra cautious, you can opt for DHPPL (DHPP with Leptospira vaccine) for $25. The most expensive vaccine it offers is the one against Parainfluenza virus, priced at $46.
However, opting for its package that gives you all of these vaccines will give you a $5 discount for $96 all-in. The complete set of vaccine dosages from the first shots until the third ones will cost you roughly $290.
If you’ve bought your puppy from a shelter, he will most likely have been vaccinated up to the age he is when you re-home him.
Breaking Down the Different Dog Diseases
There are several dog diseases that can be prevented through the vaccines available today. These vaccines are administered differently depending on the suggested dosage. Some of these vaccines are highly recommended and some are optional. The American Kennel Club has listed 10 dog diseases that can be prevented through vaccination.
- Canine Distemper
Canine distemper is a viral disease that is transmitted from dog to dog through airborne exposure and through direct contact with fresh urine, blood or saliva. It is considered as a serious disease and having your dog vaccinated for this disease is highly recommended.
It is usually administered together with parainflueza, hepatitis, and parvovirus in one shot (Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza and Parvovirus (DHPP) vaccine) at around six to eight weeks and the second one after two months. Booster shots for this vaccine are scheduled every one to two years.
- Canine Hepatitis
As the term implies, canine hepatitis is the inflammation of the dog’s liver, just like hepatitis in humans. However, this disease also concerns other parts of the dog’s body including the kidneys, heart, spleen, eyes, and the lungs.
This disease may not impose serious threats to the lives of our dogs but if left untreated, it can cause some severe impairment, which can potentially be fatal. It is usually included in the DHPP vaccine.
- Canine Parainfluenza
This disease is our dogs’ version of flu in humans. It can cause Kennel Cough, which is mild and can go away without treatment. However, this makes our dogs very uncomfortable and you wouldn’t want that. This is also given as a part of the DHPP vaccine.
Parvovirus is one of the most deadly diseases our dogs can acquire. In the US, this virus kills hundreds of our pets each year. It can kill one in about 48-72 hours after exposure, especially if no treatment has been made.
Getting your dog vaccinated for parvovirus is highly recommended, as it is preventable. Luckily, if you’re having your pet vaccinated for DHPP, it already includes protection from this deadly virus.
The law legally requires Rabies vaccination. This is due to the fact that it is potentially fatal both for dogs and humans. Once a person develops its symptoms, there is no turning back.
The first dosage of its vaccine is given to dogs, ages 12-24 weeks. The second can be administered when the dog is around one year old. The subsequent booster shots are given every one to three years.
This vaccine can also be given to people who get bitten by dogs in order to prevent the development of the disease.
As discussed before, rabies vaccine for dogs cost around $15 for a one year validity shot. If it’s a 3 year validity shot, the price might rise to around $35. It’s mandatory to provide 1 year shot if your dog is receiving its first. From the next one onwards, you can choose 3 year shot.
- Bordetella Bronchiseptica
Bordetella Bronchiseptica is a type of bacteria that usually affects dogs and cats but rarely causes diseases to humans. That being said, it is still important to have your dogs vaccinated for this pathogen as this may cause serious respiratory problems and may even lead to death. It can be given through an injection or nasal spray
While this is considered optional, you might want to have your dog get a shot of it. Coronavirus can cause respiratory and gastrointestinal problems to our dogs and it isn’t the worst thing about this virus.
Currently, there is no medicine available today that can cure the disease it causes. It is more practical to spend for its prevention than to spend for your dog’s treatment and see the suffering. Its dosage is the same as that of the DHPP vaccine, although it is not incorporated on the same shot.
As the name implies, heartworms are parasites that target the heart. These pathogens grow inside our dogs’ bodies and infiltrate major organs such as the heart, liver, and the kidneys, and they suck out nutrition, weakening the bodies of our beloved pets.
Although there is no vaccine available for this disease, regular medication can help prevent it from happening.
A lot of us may have heard of leptospirosis, but it doesn’t usually involve dogs. Whenever leptospirosis is brought up, many assume it has something to do with rats. The truth is, it can be present in a lot of animals, and dogs are no exceptions.
Although leptospirosis doesn’t usually exhibit signs and symptoms to dogs, it can still cause trouble sometimes. The vaccine for leptospirosis can be administered together with the DHPP vaccine.
- Lyme Disease
Among all the diseases that are mentioned in this article, only Lyme disease is acquired through vector transmission. This disease is bacterial in nature and is tick-borne. Eliminating fleas and ticks from your dogs can prevent it.
However, if you cannot ensure that your dog won’t get infested with these pests, then a vaccination can be an option. Its dosage also coincides with that of the DHPP vaccine.
Not Yet Decided On What Vaccines To Avail? Here Are Some Tips
Having to take care of dogs is as much commitment as getting one. It is your duty as the owner to make sure your dog is well taken care of. Having your dog vaccinated is one of the ways of showing your dedication. It is important to take note of these things when making a decision about dog vaccination:
- Availability – Before you consider any option on the table, make sure you know what are available to you. This way, you can already make a list of what you can avail of and eliminate those that are not within your reach.
- Breed – Every breed of dog is unique. It means that every breed has its own strengths and weaknesses, and these include health problems. You can reflect on this fact when deciding on which type of vaccine should you avail of. For example, pugs are susceptible to breathing problems, and therefore you can opt for vaccines that protect your pug from respiratory disease-causing virus/bacteria.
- Budget – It is also important to take note of what you can and cannot afford. We may want the best for our dogs, but we should also consider our financial capabilities. Some may find it difficult and unreasonable to go for all the vaccines available due to money restrictions. By establishing a budget, we can already make a list of our priority vaccines and cross out those that are deemed less important.
- Priority – If ever we find ourselves in a tight situation and cannot afford to avail of all these vaccines, we must do research in order to come up with an accurate list of high-priority vaccines.
Aside from the ones mandated by law and are known to be of high severity, consider taking a look at what dog diseases are common in your area. If the disease doesn’t usually manifest in your community, then, you can probably opt out of getting it.
A lot of people take this issue very lightly and most of the time, at the expense of our beloved dogs. Yes, pet vaccinations prices can be costly. However, if we are going to make an effort and do research about the things involving this matter, then we can find a way to make the ends meet.
It is important to note that multiple parties are involved in making these decisions. The best way to ensure that we make the right choices for everyone involved (including our beloved dogs) is to inform ourselves, and having read this article is a good start.