Do you get vaccinated annually for various diseases that plague humanity? I didn’t think so. In fact, chances are that you haven’t even had a tetanus shot as regularly as doctors recommend. So, why does your pet need to be vaccinated every year?

The majority of pet parents will say “Because, my Vet said so!”  Sadly, ,many vets are misinformed in regards to vaccination and nutrition.  Many of us speculate this is due to Merck and Merial being the primary manufacturers of trusted veterinary literature. Merck and Merial are the largest veterinary pharmaceutical companies in the United States and they manufacture well known brands like Frontline and Heartgard. They also manufacture vaccinations for veterinary use. Chances are, your vet is using vaccinations by one of them if not both.  Merck even owns Nobivac, one of the largest sources for 3 year canine rabies vaccines ( Now that you are aware that these companies manufacture vaccines for profit, I would hope it will cause you to think twice about following their instructions for conventional veterinary medicine.

In recent years, veterinary associations have fostered new ideas in regards to vaccinations. “Following the initial puppy and kitten immunization series, cats and dogs will be boostered one year later and then every three years thereafter…”( While it’s not ideal, its better than annual inoculations, which were suggested until recent revision.

Why you should think twice about over vaccinating your pet:

Different vaccinations can produce different adverse reactions and long term affects. Here is a simplified, but informative list of common vaccinations and their adverse reactions:


Immediate/Short term:

  • Vomitting
  • Swelling at site of innoculation
  • Swollen muzzle
  • Lethargy
  • Itching and pain at site of inoculation

Long Term:

  • Food & environmental allergies.
  • Autoimmune Diseases
  • Fibrosarcoma at sit of vaccination (more common in cats)
  • Epilepsy
  • Skin sensitivities
  • Behavioral changes that may cause the dog to become fearful, aggressive, nervous or withdrawn.
  • Death

There are many other issues regarding rabies vaccinations, this article only scratches the surface. If you see any of the above reactions in your dog or cat please call your veterinarian. You may also consider a rabies waiver if your state permits.

The Combination Vaccine

Usually includes Distemper, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus, Hepatitis and  Adenovirus Cough. However, combination vaccines may also include Leptospirosis and Coronavirus serums.

Immediate/Short term:

  • Lethargy
  • Fever
  • Swelling at site of vaccination
  • Swelling of muzzle
  • Loss of appetite
  • fever
  • Encephalitis
  • Shock

Long term:

  • Epilepsy
  • Allergies – both food and environmental
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Thyroid disorder
  • Death

As stated about the rabies vaccination, we have just scratched the surface here. Be very, very careful when giving a combination vaccines. If you must, please do not give any other vaccination at the same time, or within two weeks after the combo vaccine is given, as it may increase the chance for an adverse reaction.’


Lyme disease is not a large threat to the majority of dogs in the United States.  Being aware of tick population in your area and using proper repellents, will keep your dog protected without having to give the vaccine.

Immediate/Short Term:

  • Dizziness or Disorientation
  • Lethargy
  • Pain and swelling at site of innoculation
  • Joint Stiffness
  • Fever

Long Term:

  • Arthritis
  • Kidney Failure
  • Epilepsy
  • Mood Changes – Aggression, fear, shyness.
  • Eczema
  • Mange
  • Death

A final note:

You have options. Many people, vets and pet owners alike, that you must vaccinate your dog as told by your veterinarian. This is just not true.  Many times, antibodies are present in a dog or cats system for 7+ years.  Rather than revaccinating when it is not necessary, we recommend titer testing to check the status of antibodies in your dog or cats system. Personally, I advocate doing titer testing every three years, at the time you get your rabies vaccine. You can not avoid rabies, as it is mandated by the law, but you can titer test for serums.  I suggest finding a qualified holistic veterinarian to  help you decide what is best for your pet.

Ultimately, only you can make the choice to vaccinate your pet. Please, never feel pressured by a veterinarian to put unnecessary chemicals into your pet. A respectful and knowledgeable veterinarian will only suggest vaccinating for diseases that pose risk in your area. Approach vaccinations with caution and exercise your right as a pet parent. Only you can decide what is best for your dog or cat.

Disclaimer: The suggestions in this blog are based on experience and research. They are not meant to replace proper veterinary care.  Carnivore Carry Out suggests researching veterinarians in your area who may be of the holistic variety or who encompasses natural health and its relation to pets before beginning raw diets.  Just as in humans, no diet is one size fits all and a raw-friendly veterinarian may be best at deciding what is right for your pet.  Carnivore Carry Out assumes no responsibility or liability for the use of the information in this blog, as it is provided as a general resource and we are unable to monitor its use with all readers. If you have any concerns about your pet’s health, please contact your holistic veterinarian or other competent professional. Please note: If you have an issue with the website, NOT the blog, please contact the owner of the website – you can do so at Thank you.