You are here:



How often should you give a dog the 8-in-1 vaccination?


Hi Carl,

The current vaccine protocols is every three years. But many people (including veterinarians) believe the dog retains the disease protecting antibodies for longer than three years, and that over-vaccination can cause serious health concerns. For this reason, many dog owners prefer to do a "Titer Test", which is a simple blood test that can be done in your vet's office. Titer testing will tell you if your dog has the antibodies that will fight off disease, or if vaccination are in order.

The American Animal Hospital Association has grouped vaccines for dogs into three categories:
Core: All dogs should receive the vaccine
Non-core: Recommendation is based on risk for exposure to the disease
Not recommended.

Canine parvovirus, Distemper, Hepatitis (Canine adenovirus-2),  and Rabies (the only vaccine mandated by law) are considered "core vaccines". Everything else is either needed if your particular dog could be at risk, or not recommended at all.

The following vaccines are considered "non-core", which is to say they are optional vaccines that dogs can benefit from based on risk for exposure to the diseases:

Bordetella (kennel cough vaccine)
Lyme disease (Borrelia burgdorferi vaccine)
Canine Coronavirus (Widespread general use of the vaccine is not currently recommended for dogs, unless your dog is at risk.)

You should read up on each non-core vaccine to see if your dog is in a risk group.

You didn't say the age of your dog. After a puppy has had all of it's "puppy shots", you can titer test to see if he even needs to be vaccinated, and only vaccinate for the shots that are needed. Over a the course of a dog's life, the fewer unneeded vaccines a dog receives, the better, which is why these bundled vaccines are usually not the best thing. They are bound to contain a vaccine your dog doesn't need.  Here is some more info on dog vaccines:

I hope I've been a help.
Best of luck,



All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts




To date, I've owned 7 dogs, all of which have lived into old age. Having cared for them in all stages of life, I feel I can offer sound advice to other pet owners, and people considering getting a dog. I am knowledgeable about the AKC (American Kennel Club) dog breeds, training and exercise, caring for sick and elderly pets, feeding, as well as many holistic treatments pets can benefit from. My only request is that you write me using standard English and punctuation.


My life experience in this field is more like "on the job training" rather than an actual degree in animal welfare. You may benefit from my experiences over the past 30 years. Aside from the dogs I've owned, I'm also involved in "breed rescue" and have fostered several dogs, all of which have been adopted to wonderful "forever homes". I find helping people who want a dog very rewarding.

Real life experience, based on over 30 years of dog ownership.

©2016 All rights reserved.