We all want the very best for our dogs, whether we’re pampering them with doggy massage or surprising our buddies with new toys and treats, the best way we can provide for our pets is with appropriate health and wellness practices, preventative care, and a safe, loving environment. But, there are differing opinions of what health and wellness practices are appropriate. When it comes to vaccinations, will you take a conventional or a holistic approach? Organic Pet Digest provided this great article comparing each approach so you and your veterinarian can decide what’s best for your pup.
Vaccinations: Conventional or Holistic Approach?
While the prevalence of many diseases has decreased over the last 100 years, the conventional vet consensus is to have your dog vaccinated as several serious diseases are still common.
According to them, young puppies are at especially high risk since the disease fighting properties of their mothers’ milk starts to wane as puppies age.
Holistic veterinarians, however, question the effectiveness of vaccines. They argue that vaccines can actually have a negative effect in several situations, such as:
- Vaccinating when your dog is too young, sick, weak or malnourished
- Using the wrong dog vaccination schedule
- Giving a vaccine to a dog whose immune system is weak due to genetics, drugs or a previous disease
Holistic vets also argue that there is no guarantee that vaccines will work and that their effectiveness relies on several factors such as health, diet and overall lifestyle.
They suggest establishing a solid foundation of health through proper diet, exercise and overall lifestyle and addressing problems as they arise by adjusting these foundations and implementing one of many natural dog treatment options as appropriate.
If you do decide to vaccinate your dog, holistic veterinarians generally recommend the following:
- Use single vaccines instead of complex vaccines. To avoid the hassle, discomfort and cost of several injections, it is common practice to combine vaccinations into a single shot such as DHLP-P (Distemper, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Parainfluenza and Parvovirus). Holistic vets recommend administering each vaccine one at a time. Single vaccines may or may not be available in your area, so reach out to a holistic veterinarian if necessary.
- Only use “inactivated” or “killed” vaccines instead of “modified live.” They are usually safer since they are certain not to grow inside your dog’s body.
- If you own a puppy, use a reduced vaccination schedule (see schedules further down the page). Immunized puppies may be good to go for several years or even their entire lives.
- Do not vaccinate before 16 weeks of age.
- Avoid annual boosters. While this is a common practice, there is no scientific evidence that it is necessary. And don’t be surprised if your conventional vet disagrees – reach out to a holistic vet for verification as this is the latest official veterinarian opinion from the experts in the field of veterinary immunology.
Read more about conventional or holistic approaches to vaccinations here. What are your thoughts on vaccinating your dog? Do you follow a conventional or a hollistic vaccination schedule? Tell us about it in your comment below!