Immunology & Vaccinations


Your dog is depending on you to carefully read and evaluate the risk and benefits of each vaccine and how you can do immunology testing thru titer testing.

Read and Research before going to your veterinarian’s office. Veterinarians can order titer test prior to vaccinating, or you can order them directly yourself.

There are many conditions where a dog might be too fragile to endure a vaccination shot, pets that are going thru challenging health conditions like cancer or auto-immune diseases, elderly fragile dogs, dogs that have had adverse reactions previously, seizures and tremors, as well as other unique individual conditions or simply if you are concerned about over-vaccinating your pet. Giving a dog that is dealing with these types of challenges could be hurtful to your dog’s health by giving them unnecessary vaccines.  

Many pet care business’s (doggie daycares, dog parks, kennels) are starting to better understand and update their policies on companion animal vaccine requirements as they better understand the increased risk of hurting dogs by asking for too many vaccinations & requirements. 


  • It is Safer to just do one vaccine at a time and do not combine vaccines.
  • Give your pet time to adjust to one vaccine at a time, (three weeks minimum) space out any vaccines so your dog can adjust to one vaccine at a time.
  • Make sure your veterinarian is using the most-current, highest quality, up to date vaccine as some vaccines that are filtered can be safer.
  • When your puppy is vaccinated as a puppy many of those vaccines provide immunity for longer periods and your dog may not need that vaccine again.
  • See some reading materials below to help learn more about this specifically. 

Low-Cost Clinics and some other vet clinics may try to get you to do all of the vaccines at once – this is not fair to your dog as it increases their risk of having an adverse reaction.

It can be stressful to your dogs’ body getting multiple vaccines all at once, please discuss with your veterinarian, so you do not overwhelm your dogs’ body with multiple vaccines. You can greatly increase the risk of harming your pet by giving them multiple drugs at once.

Read and understand about vaccines, some of them you may not need. Understand IMMUNOLOGY and Titer Testing.

IMMUNOLOGY is the key to your dog living the safest, most vibrant, healthiest life they can have. Serum Antibody Titer testing will allow you to see your pet’s immunology levels to various viruses and diseases and is a safe way to monitor their health levels without increasing undue risk of injuring your pet.

Understand the difference between ‘live-virus’ and ‘dead-virus’ vaccines and intranasal versus injection and oral.

When you read and research about vaccines read and review reliable sources that are un-bias as well as discussing with your veterinarian and you can call the manufacturer if you have any questions.

BE KIND TO YOUR PET – if you wouldn’t do it to yourself, don’t do it to them. It is your job to be their guardian and make sure you are doing what is right for them without putting them at risk of suffering from being too aggressive with vaccines.

There are different quality levels of vaccine’s and make sure your veterinarian to are using the safest form of a vaccine. Some vaccines may be filtered which are gentler on a dog’s body. You can also call the manufacturer of the vaccine and ask them any questions that you may have prior to using a certain vaccine.

When your dog gets a vaccination shot, pay close attention to them and monitor any unusual behavior that may be considered them having an ‘allergic’ or adverse reaction. Keep a record of this and keep your veterinary informed, if the pet is under distress take your pet to your veterinarian right away. 

You should discuss your dog’s health and previous reaction to vaccines when consulting with your veterinarian on the timing of vaccines.

If your dog’s health is immune compromised or your pet has fragile health, your pet is older or you want to be conservative on the vaccinations, ask your veterinarian about titer testing, titer certificates, immunology certificates and also writing a waiver letter or conditional health certificate so you can comply on any vaccines that may be required by an entity or doggie daycares, parks and other type places that require you to have these.

If a doggie daycare won’t work with you based on what you want to do with your dog’s health, it may be best to find another daycare or find someone to watch your dog at home and walk or exercise your dog as needed.

If a dog park requires vaccinations that you do not want to give to your pet or won’t work with you on what you want to do with your dog’s health, it may be best to find another dog park.

You have to communicate with your veterinarian that you want to be safe with your pet and they can help you map out the best and safest plan for your pet and that you want to test for IMMUNOLOGY levels prior to any vaccinations and that you want to learn more about any live vaccines which may be best to avoid based on your research.

It is best to map out a plan (research) for your pet of the vaccines you are going to do, the IMMUNOLOGY titer testing and the vaccines you are not going to do and the drugs you do not want to use and a road map for your veterinarian and yourself to follow.

This (below) is an example of a Wellness Plan or Wellness Map for a pet and review this with your veterinarian, so they clearly understand your position: Separate all vaccination shots so only one vaccine is given at once and do not bundle vaccine shots all in one visit, give space and time between vaccinations, if you choose to do vaccines.

Rabies – Initial puppy shots are required, and you can ask for immunology or titer test after that if your state will accept titer or immunology certificates or waiver letters, you can also move to a state that will accept titer, conditional health certificate or waiver letters from your vet if you are worried about over vaccinating your pet. Read and research and discuss with your veterinarian.

Distemper/Parvo – Initial puppy shots are generally recommended (not at the same time as other vaccinations). If you do puppy shots make sure to use highest quality vaccine – ‘filtered’. Titer or Immunology test after that and you may not need another shot. Read and research and discuss with your veterinarian.

Bordetella – Oral, discuss with your veterinarian.

Practice a lifestyle that keeps your dog away from natural risk.

** keep dogs away from un-clean water and wildlife areas that may be unclean, don’t let them eat off the ground or drink the water in these areas also.

** keep dogs away from wet areas, grassy or wooded areas where insects thrive. Spray yourself and your pet with pet-safe insect repellent and inspect yourself and your dog after going outside in grassy and or wooded areas or other conditions where insects may be viable.

Make a Wellness Map for your dog so your veterinarian understands your position and you can work with your veterinarian on a clear understanding for your pet. IMMUNOLOGY is what matters more than anything, understand your dog’s immune position to viruses and vaccines before deciding what to do with your pet.


Be kind and gentle to your pet and take the time to research data and be educated on any and all treatments you are considering giving to your pet.

Understand Immunology testing and your pet’s level of Immunology before vaccinating (always measure antibody titer levels).

Verify the highest quality, safest form and most current vaccine is being used – check to see if it is filtered and the safest most up-to-date version.

Be very careful to not administer multiple vaccines at the same time and be fair to your pet and spread them out.

Some of the top companies in the pet care industry are developing Titer testing kits to make it easy for veterinarians to run anti-body rapid testing on your pet. This is an emerging growth area and Titer testing, and anti-body antigen rapid testing is becoming more readily available to help ensure the safe status of your pet and helping to become more efficient and more accurate for each pet’s health status. 

“Vaccination is an act of veterinary science that should be considered as individualized medicine, tailored for the needs of the individual pet.

Source – World Small Animal Veterinary Association 2015-2017

After you educate yourself on your options you may have to make lifestyle and pet care changes to accommodate your safety position with your pet, these decisions might even include moving to a state that recognizes titer certificates, waiver letters or letters of health from veterinarians. Many pet care business’s, states, cities and counties are starting to update their laws on companion animal rabies vaccine requirements and these municipalities are starting to better understand that vaccination should be tailored to each dog (see above) to help prevent adverse reactions and maximize a dogs health potential.  If you have questions you can discuss with your local city or county health department and see what is acceptable. 


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