F.A.Q. About Minimal Vaccinations

When do you vaccinate your dogs?

The answer to that question is one we wish was NEVER, but the law requires us to keep up to date rabies vaccinations. The rabies vaccine is a three year vaccine and our dogs will not receive rabies more often than every three years. 

What vaccines do your puppies get?

Any puppy that is staying at our house is not subjected to vaccines. We believe strongly in natural rearing and allowing the antibodies from the mother's milk to perfect the immune system the way nature intended. 
There is evidence that early vaccines are only thwarted by those natural antibodies and are only putting added early stress on the immune system and not actually accomplish any added immunity. 
"Vets regularly recommend vaccinating for Parvo at 6 to 8 weeks, an age when maternal antibodies are more likely to block the vaccine effectiveness than not. Ironically, the more susceptible the puppy, the earlier and more often it is vaccinated." Read the whole article on Dogs Naturally Magazine. 

Don't you worry about Parvo/Distemper or other terrible deadly diseases like Kennel Cough?

First of all, most dogs don't die from Kennel Cough in a strong immune system the kennel cough virus acts more like the common cold. If any of my dogs get the virus, it usually lasts a maximum of a few days and involved a slightly running nose. We treat with immune boosting supplements and they are fine - in fact they are better than fine - their bodies now have natural antibodies to that strain of the disease. One of our very first dogs was vaccinated for kennel cough on the instruction of our doggie daycare, not a few weeks later he caught kennel cough. When we asked our then vet, he said, "Oh yeah, the vaccine only covers for six strains, there are over one hundred strains." Some good that does.
Now onto the truly life threatening Parvo. Yes, we worry, however we would worry even if the puppies had the vaccines as there are many cases when a fully vaccinated puppy gets Parvo (probably because their system is so busy fighting the multiple vaccines in their system that they had nothing left to fight the actual virus).  Our philosophy is early careful exposure to the world and allowing the puppy to build their own immunity - backed by the safety net of the mother's antibodies.
We socialize puppies in an intelligent way that is not based on fear, but rather knowledge. We take them places where they are not likely to come across other dogs' feces or contaminated ground. They go for walks downtown, meet lots of people and other dogs that we feel comfortable with them meeting. Yes, we judge other dogs by their cover - we look for overall good coat condition as the first sign that a dog is healthy. It's not fool proof, but a bad coat condition is a clear sign that a dog is not in good health. We take puppies into fairs, festivals, busy shopping areas and other similar scenarios. The idea is to socialize them without sticking them in a dog park (which in our experience is an unruly environment and not good socialization for a young puppy anyway). 
So the answer to your question is, yes, we worry. But we're not blindly afraid of this killer Godzilla virus. We are knowledgeable and informed and use caution with our young dogs. 

Anecdote: Our first no vaccine puppy was Dizzy - she came to me to a dog store where I used to work every day. She met plenty of puppies and older dogs. One morning upon my arrival, I was told that a girl had been in the store with her beagle puppy and was asking people to use hand sanitizer after petting the puppy, because she had Parvo. My mouth dropped to the floor as I looked at Dizzy carelessly romping around the store. Apparently my co-workers did not know the severity of Parvo and had allowed this to go on. Parvo is not killed by hand sanitizer and they had not disinfected the floors at all. I immediately picked up Dizzy and instructed them on what do. 
Here's the thing, once you know there has been an exposure, the worst thing you can do is rush out and get the vaccine. That would mean that while their body is fighting the actual virus, they are also fighting the vaccine. So there was nothing I could do. I immediately put Dizzy on immune supplements and waited. Every stool she had was carefully examined and thrown in the garbage. All we could really do was wait and see. I had to at that point have faith that this decision to minimally vaccinate had been the right one. There clear exposure to the virus as the infected puppy would have been shedding the virus all over the store. 
She was fine. Never so much as a loose stool. 
If you would like to stock your house with the supplement I am referring to it is Vibactra Plus and Parvaid by Ambertech Technologies. It is fabulous stuff that I would not do minimal vaccines without! 

4 weeks old. Jackpot x Fergie Litter. Soaking in the world.

What if I am buying a Puppy From you and I want to vaccinate?

We have a couple "rules" regarding vaccines. First if we are to vaccinate, the first vaccine would be done after the puppy evaluations are done at 8 weeks and we have decided which puppy would be yours. This means that the puppy would then not be allowed to leave our care for another week afterwards. 
Following that initial vaccination, our contract stipulates that you must only follow a Dodds Protocol for vaccination and no more - and we prefer less. This protocol spreads out the vaccines and does not allow for multi-vaccine injections. 
We also encourage our puppy buyers to titre test and not booster. There is no need to booster every year for Parvo/distemper. The virus don't change and the immunity lasts far longer than the standard year. 
If you think this sound like hocus-pocus and we must be crazy, here's an exert from an article about a study done by a pharmaceutical company:

"Pfizer performed an interesting field study in 1996. C. Hoare, P. DeBouck and A. Wiseman assessed vaccinated puppies and split them into two groups.  Group A received a single vaccination at 12 weeks and Group B received a first vaccine between 8 to 10 weeks and a second at 12 weeks.  When titers were measured, 100% of the puppies vaccinated once at 12 weeks seroconverted whereas only 94% of the puppies in Group B seroconverted – despite receiving two vaccines as opposed to one.  It would appear that if the first vaccine is given too early it could, in some cases, block the the second vaccine.  So vaccinating your puppy twice not only increases his risk for adverse reactions to the vaccine, it appears to make vaccination less effective overall."

Now aren't you asking yourself why vets insist on doing multiple vaccinations on puppies? To read the whole article on Dog Naturally Magazine, click here. 

© Ayella Grossman 2016