So you go to your veterinarian for your dog or cat's annual visit and the vet says, "It's been a year since the last shots, so we need to give them again." Oh well yes, I want to protect my baby dog or cat from getting any disease! I hear this all the time because the calls I get are because their animal has some disease like cancer, skin problem, or a behavior issue. There is solid research proving that annual vaccinations are not necessary. In 2011 the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) stated that canine vaccinations should be given once every 3 years or MORE! There is research showing that the core vaccinations, distemper, parvovirus, and adenovirus are actually good for the life of the dog. There is also a study going now called the Rabies challenge to see how long a dog is immune to rabies. The data is still be gathered, but I have had clients that have had a blood test called a titre done to show immunity and after 14 years, there was still immunity after 2 rabies shots. Rabies is required by law, but there is no difference between the one year vaccine and the three year vaccine as vets would like you to believe. Most states only require rabies vaccination once every three years. However, there are vets that will continue to give it every year!
The other thing that happens frequently when you take Fluffy in for her annual vet visit and she has been itchy, but the vet says it won't matter to bombard her immune system with vaccinations! If the vet would have taken a moment to read the package insert that comes with all vaccinations, they would have seen that the animal must be 100% healthy to give the vaccination. Instead poor Fluffy gets all the vaccinations to protect her from rabies, distemper, parvo, and who knows what else, while she is suffering from a compromised immune system! If your dog or cat is not healthy, challenge the vet that wants to give vaccinations.
Positive versus Dominance Training
You have a new puppy! Now what? Time to find a trainer, but who? There are so many dog trainers, how does one choose where to go? The number one criteria is the method in which the trainer uses. I have been faced with people calling themselves dog trainers and they are using outdated methods of training. Those trainers that think you have to be the boss over your dog are heading down a path that could make your new puppy fearful and possibly aggressive down the road. The trainer that is using treats, toys, and/or praise to help your pup learn, is the trainer you want to work with. They will help you build a bond between you and your new member of the family that is based on respect.
There is a lot of science behind positive training. Patricia McConnell, PhD, a behaviorist that frequently does webinars with the ASPCA says "Yet, the idea that we must “dominate” our dogs lives on, zombie-like, in spite of years of research and experience that demonstrates “being dominant” over our dogs does not improve obedience. In fact, we know that using positive reinforcement results in the best behavior, the fewest behavioral problems and the richest relationships." This also is true for any trainer that uses prong or shock collars, or choke chains. The positive trainer may use things like a halter or a no pull harness for those dogs that really like to pull.
For anyone who has a dog that has behavior issues that have come from the trainer that uses outdated, dominance methods, call me. I use flower essences that could help with some issues. Check back for the next blog posting regarding those vaccinations you are giving your puppy!