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Discussion Starter #1
So.... I'm getting a new puppy and this will be my first attempt at raising a pup as naturally as possible. The breeder is 100% conventional, so puppy will be coming with first set of vaccines, dewormed and kibble fed.
Hoping to get her at around 10 weeks of age... then what do I do? lol
I'll switch her to a raw food diet right away and would really like to avoid vaccination.
Currently have two dogs in the house (10y/o and 8y/o) who were "conventionally raised" for their first few years, but haven't been vaccinated in 5+ years. There are no legal requirements for vaccinations where I live.
I haven't had a puppy for 8 years, and never tried raising one naturally so I'm suddenly feeling quite overwhelmed.
 

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Whether you vaccinate your dogs or not is your choice, but I think you probably need to speak with your vet about parvo risks in your specific area, as well as the prevalence of other deadly diseases, and then decide. Most likely they're not terribly prevalent because people vaccinate their dogs... For young puppies, diseases like parvo or distemper can be absolutely deadly. If you live in an area with wild animals, rabies and lepto are other risks that are deadly in adult dogs, let alone puppies (Rabies almost always, lepto occasionally, but more often in the babies or seniors). I think its probably luck that your seniors haven't picked anything up, and seeing as the usual round of vaccines (Distemper, rabies, etc.) last 3+ years, odds were in your favor.

Honestly, I'm not sure what raising a dog "naturally" means, but you can still raise a dog as green as you want while still having them protected against deadly diseases. Seriously, these diseases can be deadly to puppies and should not be messed around with. If you decide not to vaccinate, you have to keep that puppy away from areas where other unknown dogs have gone. So dog parks, pet stores, parks, pretty much anywhere public. Boarding the dog or taking him to classes would be out of the question since they typically require proof of vaccination.
 

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Yeah, I'm comfortable with really limited vaccinations but I can't conceive of not at least doing initial puppy shots. I don't do other boosters - just rabies, as required by law - and occasional titers but puppy shots are mandatory with me. I have SEEN puppies die from parvo.

That said, it's up to you. I would also, however, seriously consider how much you may be limiting socialization opportunities if you don't vaccinate even for puppy things.

As Lillith said boarding and most classes. Certainly any decent puppy ones, but there are also other owners and casual socialization. You have a moral obligation to alert other puppy owners you are not doing puppy vaccinations. That's going to make at least a good portion of people you could be doing playdates and socialization with nope right out of allowing any interaction. Or your dog on their property.

In addition my vet, and most in the area, won't even allow surgery or staying overnight to recover from without UTD vaccinations or titers. Grooming shops also won't allow a dog without either proof of titers or vaccination.

Again - up to you. But there are hazards both of disease and your puppy being a relative social pariah to other dog owners, especially when young.
 

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I can't do raw any time soon due to circumstances (though I include fresh foods and raw with kibble) but I do as little vaccinations/chemicals etc as I can with my dogs.

I would never skip on puppy vaccines. Ever. I've seen way too many cases lately of seriously true hardcore "holistic only" people try only to nearly lose puppies to parvo AND infect other puppies! It is NOT worth it for the dog or other dogs in contact with your dog. I'm all about natural stuff.. but there is a limit. It is not going to shorten your dog's lifespan or ruin them for life by getting a couple of vaccines. If you really have to, don't take them into public and have the last one done at 18 weeks (To follow the dodds protocol, this is the final vaccine week and when they are pretty much guaranteed to be in the system). I personally care far more about socialization though.

After initial vaccines. I do not care. There is plenty of proof that they last far longer than vets want them to be done. Titer as needed.
 

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I know a few good breeders who do only the puppy series and then never vaccinate again, and their dogs live long, healthy lives. But I don’t know anyone who would skip the puppy series, and I would not recommend it.
 

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Seeing as how I've personally seen puppies die from preventable diseases like distemper and parvo, I'm a firm believer in vaccinating puppies. As adults... well, my vet wants annual shots, but I tend to stretch them out a lot longer, unless I am going to be boarding or travelling with someone. While some boarding facilities and the like will accept titer results, most won't.

My city just went to a 3 year rabies vaccine this spring, which is in line with the state law, although the rest of the county still requires an annual vaccination. Legally, rabies vaccination is required. Very few localities will accept a titer for rabies, and even then, it's only for dogs who can't be vaccinated due to health concerns. Legally, getting rabies vaccination in accordance with the law in your area is the safest bet. If you can't provide proof of vaccination (or an exemption certificate) and you dog manages to bite someone, then you run the very real risk of your dog being seized, euthanized, and tested for rabies.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Rabies is not legally required in my area
 

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What is "natural rearing" and what are your reasons for pursuing it?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
What is "natural rearing" and what are your reasons for pursuing it?
In a nut shell... it's feeding a species appropriate diet (raw food) and not using chemicals such as vaccines and dewormer, but instead creating natural immunity and using holistic methods. Doesn't look like this is the place to get any support for it though lol.
 

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Probably because we feel that it doesn't make sense to go completely natural in an unnatural environment like a town or city where your dog will be exposed to more dogs and diseases than it would as a wild animal.

I don't find that most people here push vaccines hard. Most of us seem to go fairly minimal, some with titers or with just the puppy series and then nothing else ever. I honestly don't know anyone who would condone skipping the puppy series, though.
 

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Probably because we feel that it doesn't make sense to go completely natural in an unnatural environment like a town or city where your dog will be exposed to more dogs and diseases than it would as a wild animal.

I don't find that most people here push vaccines hard. Most of us seem to go fairly minimal, some with titers or with just the puppy series and then nothing else ever. I honestly don't know anyone who would condone skipping the puppy series, though.
Yep, pretty much.

Plus, I participate in dog sports. I attend dog events. I have seen the speed at which things like canine influenza and kennel cough spread. Can you imagine the speed like parvo would spread through that kind of community if 'natural rearing' were common.

Yes, yes, I'm sure you get natural immunity in adult dogs (because most have been exposed to the virus in the environment (if not vaccinated) and fought it off and it's not nearly as serious in adults), but there are also always puppies within that sports community. One person decides they're going to do natural rearing, comes to an event, everyone's got at best super sick puppies and expensive vet bills and, at worst, dead puppies. We rely on each other to be safe sources of socialization - both with other puppies, with adult dogs and with PROPERTY.

And I live in an area with parvo so 'puppy won't be vaccinated even for initial series' and I no longer see a puppy. I see a walking biohazard. It just... offends my sense of responsibility to the larger community.

Do what YOU want with YOUR puppy, but be up front with other people your puppy interacts with and be responsible enough not to ask others to assume that risk.
 

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And for the record, I do initial puppy vaccinations, rabies as required by law (so every 3 years), and occasional titers. Kylie's 5.5, Thud's almost 5, Molly is 3. None of them have needed a booster yet, and I truthfully don't expect they will. Miiiiight do one set for all of them in a year or two and that will likely be it for their lives. So it's not like I'm all ALL THE VACCINES EVERY YEAR, here.
 

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I personally feel if you start the puppy shots (start altering the natural path of the body) you should finish them.. there is a reason they give the 3 because they truly don't know which each one does to an individual body at each stage.

I did the full litter no shots, The dam was full puppy vaccinate and started on Raw ... I got my puppy support products from natural rearing. com worked out a detail schedule of what and when with the owner NR. Also worked with my vet. They got taken out at a 4 wks old they went or the a vet first check... 8wks was the first time I took them to the training center during the day no classes just the owners dogs. ( 10 to 14 or 16 week) we stay'd home as that was the time period their Damns natural immunity in them would be wearing off) After that I kept them on the immune support schedule added to their food daily, and took them to training classes and cleaner places.. not heavy strange dog traffic areas. at 6 moths old they titered for parvo and distemper even though they hadn't had the actual vaccine. My vet feels they most likely exposed at the training center to other pups shedding residual of the vaccine in the area...

I always kept the NR Compound and would start them on it 3 days before we went to a working seminar or show and 3 days after.. That is it...

They never got parvo or distemper vaccine but their titers always showed they had low antibodies.. for me that just meant they hadn't not recently been exposed to either of those virius's .. And that is it.. Lived long lives
 

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I do puppy vaccines only. Rabies by law. No kennel cough vaccines. No flea stuff, ever. Very minimal HW stuff. I avoid things like antibiotics like the plague. I have a dog with allergies (genetic btw, not induced by vaccines). I treat them naturally and refuse steroids. I follow a lot of "natural" things and try to do things as naturally as possible.

I will still never even sort of find it acceptable to not do initial puppy vaccines. Extremes are bad on both sides.

Your dog.. your choice.. but I would be livid if you were in my puppy class.
 

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Discussion Starter #15

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Discussion Starter #16
I personally feel if you start the puppy shots (start altering the natural path of the body) you should finish them.. there is a reason they give the 3 because they truly don't know which each one does to an individual body at each stage.

I did the full litter no shots, The dam was full puppy vaccinate and started on Raw ... I got my puppy support products from natural rearing. com worked out a detail schedule of what and when with the owner NR. Also worked with my vet. They got taken out at a 4 wks old they went or the a vet first check... 8wks was the first time I took them to the training center during the day no classes just the owners dogs. ( 10 to 14 or 16 week) we stay'd home as that was the time period their Damns natural immunity in them would be wearing off) After that I kept them on the immune support schedule added to their food daily, and took them to training classes and cleaner places.. not heavy strange dog traffic areas. at 6 moths old they titered for parvo and distemper even though they hadn't had the actual vaccine. My vet feels they most likely exposed at the training center to other pups shedding residual of the vaccine in the area...

I always kept the NR Compound and would start them on it 3 days before we went to a working seminar or show and 3 days after.. That is it...

They never got parvo or distemper vaccine but their titers always showed they had low antibodies.. for me that just meant they hadn't not recently been exposed to either of those virius's .. And that is it.. Lived long lives
I'm wondering about maybe doing titers at 12 or 16 weeks instead of just going straight for more vax.
 

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Nobody is trying to be cruel to you or put you down, we're being honest. DEADLY diseases is the key phrase here. And you have to consider your own personal lifestyle and what your dogs are going to come into contact with. I mean, if you rarely leave your property with the pup, it will probably be fine. But if you ever want to go to places where other dogs have been, you are risking your dog's life. It really would be awesome if there were holistic remedies for these diseases, but there aren't.

Also, although Rabies is not legally required, you do know that if your dog gets it, they will die, right? And they can pass it to you? Puppy or adult, doesn't matter. There is no treatment for rabies, holistic or otherwise. I don't know where you live, but if your dogs will ever come into contact with wild animals, say hiking or wandering onto your property, they could possibly get it. It comes and goes in the wildlife populations, but god, I remember some pretty horrible years for that crap where we had rabid animals wander onto our property, and the freakin things have no fear. They chase after you and your dogs. I live in town now, but I'm so afraid of it I would vaccinate for it even if it wasn't required by law.

Also for the record, our farm dogs only got the rabies vaccine and their puppy shots. They also got regular dewormings because, you know, farm dogs and dead things and if we didn't they would all have roundworms. Also, tick and flea preventatives, because tall grass, horrible horrible tick infestations, like the humans find 10 on their person on a regular basis. The all lived long (aside from one who had an accident completely unrelated to vaccines), happy lives, fed on kibble, rarely visited the vet for diseases, just for injuries (also unrelated to vaccines), so I"m not VACCINATE ALL THE THINGS over here, either, just realistic. I could say with certainty that at least three of our dogs would be dead from rabies if we refused the vaccination

If you decide to not vaccinate, just be very aware of outbreaks in your region. Some other things to be aware of that are not puppy vaccine related, parasite borne diseases such as heart worm and lyme disease. Both can be deadly if not treated, and I believe lyme has lifetime complications if contracted. Heart worm is transmitted by mosquitoes, lyme by ticks. I don't know about your area, but both heart worm and lyme has been on the rise in our area where before it was rare.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I worked in vet clinics for four years, I'm extremely well-versed in canine diseases. I do not take this lightly.
 

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I would talk to a vet more about titering at 12 and 16 weeks. I am not a vet so I don't have the understanding. But I asked my breeder (who is a vet), and my regular vet if I could titer Brae at a younger age, before 16 weeks, to see if I could skip boosters or start exposing him to more high traffic areas if he already has the immunity. Both their answers were 'not recommended' because titers for super young puppies aren't accurate. Again, I don't have the understanding to explain why...

Anyways, I don't think anyone is attacking you here and I am generally all on board for minimal and natural routes. I think it strongly depends on the prevalence of diseases in your area and your willingness to take risks. If you were attempting this on the East coast of the US, for example, you could almost guarantee the puppy could get parvo or distemper. If I attempted this where I am (way more rural, very rare to have distemper or parvo), I think my puppy would have a chance at being totally fine.
 
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