Does My Dog Need a Flu Shot?

There is a question whether flu vaccines for dogs are effective or necessary.

In recent years more and more kennels are requiring a flu shot for dogs, in addition to other vaccinations for boarding.  In addition, more and more vets are also including the flu vaccination as part of the core vaccinations in their practice.  In my opinion the flu vaccination is not only ineffective (as it is in people), but its long term safety is also a concern, given the metal content such as mercury present in most of these vaccinations.

The flu vaccination was developed many years ago after a group of greyhounds developed flu-like symptoms after being housed near racehorses with similar symptoms.  In the coming years, sporadic cases of flu outbreaks were also seen in kennels across the country.  In most cases, symptoms included mild upper respiratory symptoms with eye and nasal discharge, in addition to mild coughing.  Some cases had no symptoms at all, while rarely other cases had more serious respiratory symptoms.  Stress and poor hygiene appear to play the biggest roles in whether pets develop more serious symptoms, and vaccination has had little effect on the severity or incidence of this disease in my opinion.

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