To vaccinate your pet or not?

Sometimes in life, we have to learn lessons the hard way. And life with our pets is no different.


Here's my story and why I don't vaccinate my pets beyond the initial core puppy and kitten vaccines:


We adopted Sam in November of 2012 from a local animal shelter. We didn't NEED another dog already having three at home, but he was just so darn cute that we couldn't resist his sweet face. We were living in Nevada at the time so he made the journey home with us in the comfort of the cabin of the plane as my carry-on (he was so small!). During our layover in Denver, we had plenty of time to take him out to the pet area to potty and to eat. Apparently, we didn't give him enough time to relieve himself before we headed to our gate. As we walked through the main terminal on the way to the security checkpoint, he pooped in the middle of the Denver airport, right on the big mural on the floor! As Sam was in the middle of his business, another traveler walked by and deadpanned, "I feel like doing that every time I walk into this airport". We should've known by the trip home that he was going to be trouble!





It wasn't two weeks later after bringing Sam home that he became sick with puppy strangles. It's a condition where the immune system attacks it's own skin. Learn more here. The poor guy spent two nights at the vet until they finally realized what was going on.


We were certainly scared that we would lose this guy. It's crazy how easily and quickly we got attached to him.


It took Sam 6 months on prednisone to completely rid himself of the strangles. Six months is an awfully long time to be on that type of medication, and it definitely affected his overall health.


Fast forward 9 years later and he has had a host of health issues since then:

  • Colitis began in the fall of 2014 and has been a roller coaster every year to keep it in check.

  • Chronic lung allergy/coughing began in the summer of 2015 when we moved back to Indiana.

  • Behavior issues began in fall of 2015; Sam began acting out and attacking other household dogs resulting in many dog fights.

  • In the summer of 2017 he tore his left ACL and the following summer in 2018, his right.

  • He had another major colitis flare up in 2018 that resulted in many vet visits to a holistic vet.

  • And finally, a cancerous lump was found in January of 2021 and removed in November.



Why am I sharing all of this with you?


It's my opinion (and our holistic vet would agree), but I think all of Sam's health issues started because he was OVER-vaccinated as a puppy.

  • Sam was picked up as a stray in town and brought to the shelter, where he was vaccinated.

  • After we brought Sam home, we took him to our vet, and he was given another round of vaccines.

  • And he was likely vaccinated at some point before he ended up at the shelter.

That was a lot for his immune system to handle. No wonder he ended up with puppy strangles.


All of Sam's health issues led me to researching more natural and holistic approaches to pet health and nutrition, which includes the over-vaccination of most pets today.



I'm sharing this with you because I don't want you to make the same mistake we did with Sam.


I'm not against vaccines. They serve their purpose and save so many lives.


I'm against over-vaccination.


"But Amy, my vet tells me my pet is overdue for their vaccines!" I get it, you trust your vet and what they recommend. I did that for years.


But it's up to YOU to advocate and do what's best for your pet.


It's perfectly okay to ask the hard questions, do your OWN research and come up with your own conclusions. I'm here to tell you that it's okay to go against the norm.


And since I just happen to own a pet care business, I have to point out that pet sitting allows your pet to stay in their own home where vaccines are not required.


No need to get the bordetella, lepto, canine flu vaccine, etc. No need to give your pet unnecessary vaccines.


That's right, no vaccines required from The Dog's Pajamas. (Legally, the rabies vaccine is required in the state of Indiana, but I won't tell if you won't!)


Just another reason to keep your pet healthy and happy at home! Learn more about our awesome pet sitting services here.



I really, truly hope this sparks your interest. Here are a few links to explore about pet vaccines:

Stay Healthy and Happy!

Amy