For many pet owners, annual pet vaccinations are just part of owning a pet. It’s what we do. We get our pets vaccinated every year for the big pet illnesses that could make our pets sick -rabies, distemper, parvo, lymes, etc.
But in vet and animal health circles, there has been an ongoing debate about whether we really need to have these vaccinations on an annual basis. In fact, many have argued that we may even be over-vaccinating our pets.
Now, it appears that the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) may agree. Their Vaccination Guidelines, issued in 2011, indicate that some vaccinations, while necessary, may be able to be re-upped every three years versus every year.
Under the AAHA Guidelines, revaccination (or vaccine boosters for distemper, parvo and adeno) is suggested no more frequently than every three years. (May 2, 2012, Chicago Tribune, Steve Dale)
Before you go out and speak with your vet, please note that the AAHA also says:
These Guidelines and recommendations should not be construed as dictating an exclusive protocol , course of treatment, or procedure. Variations in practice may be warranted based on the needs of the individual patient, resources, and limitations unique to each individual practice setting. The Guidelines are not intended to be an AAHA standard of care.
I encourage you to read more about the vaccine recommendations in Steve Dale’s report and in the Guidelines I have linked above.