What will happen if I chose not to vaccinate?If you do not vaccinate your puppy he may catch one or more serious diseases such as
- Canine distemper
- Canine hepatitis
You will also be unable to leave him in any reputable boarding kennels and may be excluded from many training classes if you cannot provide evidence of vaccination
Are vaccinations harmful?No vaccination is entirely ‘risk-free’. There will always be rare instances when a puppy reacts badly to vaccination. The point to consider is whether the risk of vaccination (which is very small indeed) is worth taking in order to avoid the risk of catching (and dying from) some very horrible diseases. Only you can make that choice, but at the time of writing, the risks involved in ‘not vaccinating’ would appear greater than the risks of vaccinating
Is there an alternative?Once your dog has completed an initial course of vaccinations, it is possible to measure his level of immunity to certain diseases to avoid having to revaccinate every year. This is done using an annual blood test or titer. Using titers can prevent over-vaccinating, though it is unlikely to save you any money. Ask your vet for further information if you are interested in this option.
Some people are tempted to use homeopathic nosodes as an alternative to vaccines. Unfortunately in a controlled clinical study by Larson and colleagues, homeopathic nosodes completely failed to protect any of the puppies in the study from parvovirus. You might, therefore, want to avoid this option
To date, there is no valid evidence that homeopathic nosodes will provide your pet with any protection whatsoever against any disease.