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Did you know that nearly half the UK’s population of dogs (that’s over 3 million!) may not be adequately protected from infectious disease? Is your pet one of them?

What the vet says


Vaccination is the only proven method of protecting dogs against the major infectious diseases.


Parvovirus, distemper, hepatitis and leptospirosis are still present in the UK. At AlphaPet we have seen dogs die of each from each of these diseases in the last 2 years.


Some canine diseases, like leptospirosis, are zoonotic which means they can easily be transmitted from dogs to humans.

Your pet is at risk of exposure to disease just by going outside or coming into contact with other dogs!

Animals, like humans, suffer from a range of infectious diseases. As veterinary medicine has advanced, control of disease has become a priority and one of the best means of prevention is by creating natural immunity in the dog. This is usually achieved by vaccination, exactly the same way that immunity is created in humans.

The MMR debate is still fresh in everyone’s mind and raises the question of how we should be vaccinating our children. The same argument can be said for adults in later life—have you considered your own boosters lately? If you were to tread on a rusty nail in the garden, would you ring the doctor to make sure your tetanus vaccination is up to date? Similarly, if you go on holiday where some diseases are rife, like polio and typhoid, would you make sure your vaccinations are up to date prior to leaving? The same principle applies to your dog—it needs protection from disease, just as we do.

A dog is always at risk of potential exposure to one of these diseases if it goes out or comes into contact with other dogs.

In addition, with animals travelling freely between Britain and other countries under the PETS Scheme which requires only a Rabies vaccination, there is an even greater risk that we will start seeing more and more cases of the fatal diseases we need to protect our dogs against. In Finland, over 5000 cases of Distemper have been seen. Yet over half the dogs in Britain are at least four years behind with their vaccines.

Modern vaccines allow vets to provide maximum protection with the minimum of vaccines. Certain vaccines have been proven to provide at least 3 year’s protection against parvovirus, hepatitis and distemper so your dog only needs to be vaccinated against these diseases every third year. Leptospirosis, being a bacterial disease, still needs annual vaccination to provide adequate protection.

Annual vaccination also ensures that your pet receives a full annual health check, lifestyle analysis and advice about your pet’s needs.

Don’t risk losing your pet unnecessarily—check that your pet is up to date with its vaccinations.

All information on this page has been supplied courtesy of Richard Edwards MSc MA VetMB MRCVS of Alphapet.