We are always told how important vaccinations are for our pets and how they help to protect them, but is the vet's office really the only place that they can be vaccinated? Our vets at Marcello Veterinary Hospital in Houma and Raceland talk about where you can get vaccines for your dog and whether it's safe to administer the shots yourself.
Can I do dog vaccinations at home?
If your dog is in need of routine vaccinations then you may wonder if you can give these shots to your dog yourself, in the comfort of your home. While it is possible, there are a few questions to ask yourself if you are considering this:
- Should I give my dog shots?
- What shots does my dog really need?
- What shots should we avoid?
- Can I properly administer them myself?
Are at-home dog vaccinations safe?
Over-the-counter pet vaccinations such as those for dogs have the potential to induce an infection or urticarial reaction in pets within hours of administering them.
Anaphylactic shock is the most serious form of reaction and can be fatal for dogs if they don't receive immediate treatment. Signs of anaphylactic shock in dogs include:
- Low blood pressure
- Reduced breathing rate
This is why it is recommended to only have your dog vaccinated at a veterinary or vaccination clinic where there are fluids and medications on hand to help reverse the reaction.
What about visiting a dog vaccination clinic?
Every dog or puppy should have a complete physical exam performed prior to receiving any vaccinations. If you are visiting a vaccination clinic rather than a veterinary office then you should check that they perform exams. If they do not then you should wait and have the vaccinations completed at a vet clinic.
Are there any vaccines that must be given at a clinic?
The dog rabies vaccination legally needs to be administered by or under the supervision of a veterinarian as per the local laws in most jurisdictions. It is also worth noting that it is not legal to administer vaccines to pets that belong to someone else or to be paid to administer vaccinations.
Where can I get vaccines for my dog?
There are a number of places where you can find vaccines for purchase although our vets don't recommend trusting products purchased for use at home. Some of the vaccines that can be purchased to administer at home include:
- Adenovirus (Type 1 and 2)
There are a number of other optional vaccinations that can be given to your dog such as giving your dog the Bordetella vaccine at home. But vaccines such as this one will vary depending on the specific needs of your pup.
Pros and Cons of Giving Your Dog Vaccines At Home
Pros of Home Vaccines
- Can be administered without leaving the house.
- The dog may feel a reduced amount of stress.
- Can be cost-effective.
- Shots can be given when you'd like.
Cons of Home Vaccines
- You may waste money on vaccines that expire before they are used.
- You may hit a vein and cause embolisms, tissue sloughing, or nerve damage.
- There is an increased risk of injury.
- Certain shots legally need to be administered by a vet.
- Dogs may have a severe reaction and require immediate emergency medical attention.
- You don't know the origin of the vaccines.
- Additives may be present in these cheaper vaccine options which may cause cancer or immunological diseases.
- Vaccines may end up in your dog's eyes, nose or mouth causing adverse reactions.
- Your dog may experience an increase in allergies with home vaccinations.
- You may be unable to properly restrain your dog to administer the vaccine.
- You will be skipping wellness exams that are crucial for your pet's health.
- You do not receive a certified proof of vaccination certificate.
- You may need a prescription for needles and syringes for dog vaccines.
In order to best protect your dog and ensure their safety, all vaccinations should be administered by your primary vet or at a pet vet vaccination clinic. The risk to the health of your dog is not worth the amount of money you may save. Administering vaccines at home has the potential to cause adverse reactions and accidents that could lead to serious injury or even death.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding people or pets. Always follow your doctor's advice regarding asthma or other allergy symptoms.