Can Dogs Live Without Vaccines?

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Introduction

There are many people these days that are not keen on their children having various childhood vaccines because of the side effects and other conditions that they are linked to. This is, of course, every parents’ choice, but it is not just children that people worry about. 

There are also many dog owners that feel the same way and prefer not to have their pooch vaccinated because of some of the effects and conditions linked with some shots. This can be a cause of worry for some dog owners but fortunately, dogs can live without having vaccines. It does, however, mean they are at an increased risk.

Signs of Sickness to Watch For

Some dog owners are worried that if their dog does not get its vaccines, it will suffer. Well, it is important to remember that the vaccines your dog receives are to prevent disease - not to cure an existing one. Therefore, you are not denying your dog necessary treatment by not getting it vaccinated. 

You do, however, need to bear in mind that if you do not get your dog vaccinated, it will not have that extra layer of protection against a variety of health problems. It is these issues that could result in your dog falling ill in the future.

Some dogs get quite sick after having shots and this is one of the many things that owners are concerned about. However, if the dog does not receive its vaccines, it could also become sick, but this time from a disease that could have been prevented. 

If your dog is not protected and shows signs of illness such as being under the weather, having any inflammation and cold-like symptoms, coughing, or any other undesirable symptoms that are out of the ordinary, you should get it to the vet to be checked. Some dogs also lose their appetite or any interest in activities when they feel unwell.

It is also worth looking at the body language of your dog to get an idea of whether it may be feeling unwell. With an unvaccinated dog, you do need to be more careful and mindful of various signs of illness because of the lack of protection. 

Your dog may steer clear of people and go into isolation or it may show other, more obvious signs of illness. The signs and symptoms will vary based on the illness, as there are so many different ones that your pooch could be left open to if it is not vaccinated. If your dog shies away when you touch it, turns away from food, and spends a lot of time lying down with no energy, these could also be signs of illness.

Body Language

Some indications that your pooch may be ill include:
  • Whining
  • Raspy panting
  • Lack of focus
  • Sweaty paws
  • Snapping
  • Tail tucking
  • Pupils dilated

Other Signs

More signs that your dog has an illness include:

  • Depressed
  • Loss of interest
  • Loss of appetite
  • Hiding away

History of Canine Vaccines

Canine vaccines were developed in a bid to try and control the variety of infectious diseases that affected dogs. In the same way as human vaccines, the idea behind the development of canine vaccines was to prevent healthy dogs from contracting a variety of different health issues that could be passed from dog to dog or even from insects and rodents to animals. 

Dogs are at risk of a variety of health problems, with some being more prone to issues than others. Of course, vaccines cannot prevent all health issues from arising, but they do offer a valuable layer of protection against a variety of nasty diseases including some potentially deadly ones.

Some owners do not want their pets to have these vaccines, or at least not all of the vaccines that are available for dogs. This could be for a variety of reasons. For some, it is the side-effects and health conditions associated with some canine vaccines that put them off. For others, it is the period of sickness that many dogs go through after having their shots, although this is generally short-lived. 

Some may fear that their dogs may have a serious adverse reaction to the vaccines, which is not unheard of. In some cases, it may simply come down to a matter of cost, as vaccine courses and inoculations can prove expensive.  

The Science of Canine Vaccines

In a nutshell, when your dog receives its vaccines, provided they are kept up to date with annual boosters, they benefit from protection from a range of infectious diseases. Some of these include distemper, rabies, leptospirosis, canine influenza, Lyme disease, and kennel cough. 

Without the vaccines, there is no guarantee that your dog will contract one of these diseases. However, it does mean that your pooch has an increased risk of getting one of these diseases compared to dogs that have been vaccinated. Dogs can pick up diseases in all sorts of environments and conditions, which is something worth bearing in mind. 

Dealing with Unvaccinated Dogs

When you are on the fence with regards to whether your dog should have vaccines or not, there are a number of key points that you need to keep in mind. First off, your dog can live without vaccines, as these are designed to prevent certain diseases not cure them. 

However, you also have to keep in mind that if your dog does not have vaccines, it leaves them at risk of contracting a condition that could have been prevented by having vaccines. Not all of the diseases and conditions that your dog may contract are deadly, but there are some that have the potential to be, so this is another thing that you have to remember.

If you are in doubt about whether or not to get your pooch vaccinated, it is often best to speak to the vet. They are experts when it comes to these vaccines and will be able to tell you which ones come with more serious side-effects and problems. You may want to consider having your dog vaccinated against certain issues based on the vaccines that will cause the least distress and problems. Again, this is something that the vet can advise you on and you can then provide your dog with some protection against certain health issues.

If you decide not to have your dog vaccinated, you need to get into the habit of keeping a close eye on any changes that may indicate there is a health problem. With your dog being at greater risk of infectious disease, it is very important to be mindful of this. If there are any concerns or if your dog develops symptoms that you are unsure of, you should speak to the vet or arrange an appointment to take your pooch in so that it can be assessed. 

How to React if Your Dog isn't Vaccinated:

  • Keep a close eye on an unvaccinated dog.
  • Take your pooch in to be checked.
  • Discuss the issue of vaccinations with the vet.
  • Report any symptoms of illness to the vet.

Tell Us if Your Dog is Living Without Vaccines!