Dog vaccination is effective in making sure your dog is safe from future diseases. They help in triggering an immune response that prepares the dog’s immune system to fight diseases. Many states require dog owners to vaccinate them against diseases like rabies. Before you obtain a pet license, you will be required to provide a dog vaccination card for your pet. There are different types of pet vaccines required for dogs. Some are required within a few days, while others are required after several weeks. It is necessary to obtain a dog shot record template to help keep a current record of your dog vaccinations.

Dog Vaccination Records

What are vaccination records for dogs? 

A vaccination record for dogs is a document that shows data about dog immunization. From the time a puppy is born, it is required to be immunized within a few weeks. The immunization continues mostly throughout the puppy’s first year. Some are required after a few years, while others are required after every 1 to 2 years. The puppy shot recorded details like:

  • Pet name
  • Vaccine name
  • Date vaccinated
  • Next vaccination
  • Veterinary name

Puppy Shot Records

Advantages of dog vaccinations

Dog vaccinations are important for protecting your dog from many types of diseases. Some dog diseases like canine distemper and dog respiratory tract infections are highly contagious. Vaccines have several advantages.

  • They prepare your dog to fight against diseases

Vaccines are given to help your dog’s immune system prepare to fight against diseases. They contain agents with similar characteristics to disease-causing agents.

Usually, the vaccine agent is weakened. It can contain killed microbes, their toxins, or surface proteins. When they are introduced into a dog’s immune system, the system detects them as disease-causing agents and prepares itself to fight against them. When the real infection comes, it becomes easy to overcome it.

  • It protects humans

Dogs easily transmit diseases to human beings. They are called zoonotic diseases, which spread to people through animals. An infected dog can infect humans through its saliva, feces, urine, or aerosols. Dog vaccines not only protect dogs from infections but also people.

  • Vaccines save treatment money

If your dog falls sick, you will be required to visit a veterinarian. Some dog diseases are expensive to treat. If a human gets infected by dog rabies, the cost of treatment is about $260 per dose. Humans require several doses during treatment. You can save a lot of money on treating the dog and humans too.

  • It is a requirement by law

Most states mandate dog owners to ensure they are vaccinated against major dog diseases. You cannot obtain a dog license without a vaccination record. If you love visiting places in the company of your dog, most hotels will not allow your dog to stay with you if it’s not vaccinated. You will be obeying the law when visiting the veterinarian for dog vaccination.

Which dog vaccines are most important?

Dog vaccines are many, which is one of the reasons why you need to have a dog shot record template to help you keep a record of every vaccination. The most important vaccines required by law are as follows:

Rabies: Rabies is an infectious disease caused by a virus known as lyssavirus. The disease affects the central nervous system. It causes:

  • Headache
  • Paralysis
  • Fear especially of water
  • Anxiety
  • Excessive drooling
  • Hallucinations
  • Death

Rabies is transmitted from dogs to humans through bites, scratching, saliva, urine, and feces. If not treated within a few hours from infection, the dog is likely to die. Rabie vaccines are given regularly in most states.

Canine hepatitis: Canine hepatitis is caused by the canine adenovirus type 1 virus. It is a highly contagious disease that affects several internal organs.

  • Lungs
  • Liver
  • Spleen
  • Kidneys
  • Eyes

Dog hepatitis is different from human hepatitis. An infected dog mostly has an enlarged stomach, fever, and mucous. It vomits often and looks to be in pain. The disease has no cure so far. Doctors treat the symptoms, although it can kill easily.

Canine distemper: Canine distemper is caused by a paramyxovirus virus. Infection is spread through blood, urine, breathing, and saliva. If the affected dog sneezes or coughs, the disease can spread fast. This severe and contagious disease affects the nervous system, respiratory system, and gastrointestinal system. It has had no treatment so far.

Canine parainfluenza: Canine parainfluenza is caused by a very contagious virus. It affects the respiratory system, which causes serious coughs. Its signs resemble those of canine influenza, but the two diseases are caused by different viruses. Both require different vaccines to prevent infection.

Bordetella bronchiseptica: Bordetella bronchiseptica is a bacterium that causes dogs to cough. It is a highly contagious disease that affects the dog’s respiratory system. The dog coughs severely and may whoop, vomit, get seizures and sometimes die.

How can you tell if a dog has been vaccinated?

If you acquired a dog recently and you don’t have any pet vaccination record, you cannot prove if it is vaccinated. You may visit your pet doctor to help you confirm if it has been vaccinated but it will cost you money. The doctor can test the dog’s blood to check if it has antibodies for specific diseases.

Even if the doctors provide you with positive results, you still cannot prove if it has been vaccinated without any pet vaccination record. In such as case, your best option will be to take your dog for vaccination. Download a dog shot record template and use it to keep an up-to-date vaccination record of your dog. It would not be harmful to your dog even if it were vaccinated before.

You need the dog vaccination card to show it whenever you are asked to prove if your dog has been vaccinated against certain diseases. Most public facilities will require you to have a dog vaccination card for your dog to be allowed entry.

Dog Shot Record Templates

How do I get my dog’s shot records? 

You can email your veterinarian and request them to send you the records. You need to send them your dog’s details, such as the dog’s breed, color, name, and your details. The doctor will have to go through records to get a copy and email it to you.

It is much easier for you to download a dog shot record template and keep a record of your dog vaccinations yourself. When you have the records yourself, it is easy to follow your dog’s medical and vaccination history from the time it was a puppy until now.

  • Main dog vaccines

Dog vaccines are grouped as core and non-core vaccines. Most core vaccines are required by law. They prevent the most common dog diseases. Examples of core vaccines are Rabies and DHP vaccines. Non-core vaccines are for non-common dog diseases. Most of these diseases are not highly infectious.

  • Rabies vaccine

Rabies is regarded as a highly infectious dog disease. It is riskier because it can be transmitted to humans through dog saliva, bites, feces, urine, or scratches. Every dog owner is required by law to ensure their dog receives a rabies vaccination. The first rabies vaccine is administered when the puppy is 16 weeks old

Ensure you get a puppy shot record immediately. If you have a dog with unknown vaccine records, you are required to take it for rabies vaccination immediately. Some states mandate dog owners to give their dogs rabies vaccine once a year. Others have a requirement of once every three years.

  • Other vaccines

The other core vaccines are not a mandatory requirement by law. However, they are highly contagious diseases. A vaccine will help you save your dog from death due to sickness. The sick dog can also affect many other healthy dogs in your home or your neighbor’s dogs. Some of the core vaccines can be given as a combination of vaccines.

When the puppies are young, their mother’s milk is enough to provide immunity for them. However, they are no longer safe from their 12th week. Since they become vulnerable to diseases, they require vaccines from this age. They receive a series of shots every 3 to 4 weeks.

Usually, non-core vaccines are optional. The pet doctor may recommend them depending on the dog’s lifestyle. If the dog goes into the wild often or the owner lives near places frequented by wildlife, the vet doctor may recommend a leptospirosis shot.

List of vaccines

8-week-old puppies

  • Parvovirus
  • Distemper
  • Adenovirus

12-week-old puppies

  • Rabies
  • DAP booster vaccine

16-week-old young puppies

  • Rabies (it the dog didn’t receive a shot at 12 weeks)
  • DAP booster vaccine

20-week-old puppies

  • DAP booster if the dogs are at risk

One-year-old dogs

  • Rabies vaccine (2nd shot)
  • DAP booster (may also receive shots for non-core vaccines)

Annual shots

After your dog is about 7 years old, you need to visit a pet doctor twice a year. If you have the large breed types, begin visiting the doctor when then the dog is five years old. The doctor will screen the dog for diseases and age-related complications during every visit.

They assess the need for a DAP booster which should be given once every three years. Rabies can be given annually or once every three years. It depends on what the state requires. The doctor also assesses the dog to check if there is a need for non-core shots.

The senior dogs

When your dog is about 11 years for the smaller breeds or 9 years old for, the larger breeds, you may increase your visits to the veterinary. Rabies requirements must continue according to state requirements.

Make sure you keep your puppy shot record for your puppies. You can use the same dog shot record template for your dog from the time they are six weeks old to the time they become senior dogs.

Dog’s vaccine side effects and risks

There are several side effects and risks associated with dog vaccines. However, the benefits outweigh them all. It is rare to observe serious side effects but every vaccination will have some side effects. The most common effects are:

  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Seizures
  • Lack of appetite
  • Collapsing
  • Sluggishness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swelling of the face
  • Swelling of the injected area
  • Swelling of the paws

If the side effects are mild, just ignore them, but if they look severe, you need to visit the veterinarian fast. This mostly happens about one week after the shot. Strictly follow your dog vaccination schedule and make sure you record your pet vaccination record after every visit.

If you give your dog as a gift to someone or sell it, make sure to give them a copy of the dog vaccination card. It will help them to know which vaccines the dog has received and which ones are still required. It will help them plan for the next pet doctor visit.

Pet Vaccination Records

Should a dog receive every type of vaccination?

Some types of vaccinations like rabies are mandatory. However, most of the other dog vaccines are optional but they are necessary. Your veterinarian will tell you which vaccines are most needed. Several factors determine how often or which vaccines should be administered to dogs.

  • Age. Older dogs are prone to infections and may require other non-core shots. Every time you visit the doctor, they will let you know if the dog might require a booster shot.
  • Health history of the dog. If your dog has a bad health history record, it might be necessary to give them most of the vaccines. It means the dog has a weak immune system and requires vaccines to help it live longer.
  • Travel habits. Dogs that mostly stay at home do not require all the vaccinations. They are safer at home and may rarely get a disease. The type of dogs that accompany their owners whenever they travel will require more vaccinations.
  • The environment where the dog is living. Dogs that live near national parks and often interact with animals require to be vaccinated often. They can easily get diseases from other animals and infect humans.
  • Dog’s lifestyle. There are dogs used for recreational hunting to those used for rescue efforts. Other dogs participate in dogs show competitions often. Other dogs are used as messenger dogs for small grocery shopping.

Such dogs may require to receive all the vaccinations. The amount you will pay for your dog’s shot cannot be compared to what you would pay if your child gets infected with rubies. The cost of treating both dogs and humans is high.