Dedicated to promoting pet well-being

Do Indoor Dogs Need Vaccinations?

If your dog primarily stays inside, you may wonder if he or she should be vaccinated. Many dog owners assume that indoor dogs aren’t as susceptible to disease, but this simply isn’t true.

Whether dogs live inside or spend time outdoors, they need to be vaccinated. Infectious diseases can affect all dogs, so it’s best to stay protected.

Core Vaccines for Indoor Dogs

The American Animal Hospital Association Canine Vaccination Guidelines are a set of vaccine recommendations that are updated regularly to reflect the most current science available.  The AAHA designates core vaccines that should be administered to every dog and noncore vaccines which should be considered depending on exposure to certain risk factors.

The AAHA recommends for all dogs to get these core vaccines:

  • Canine Distemper Virus
  • Parvovirus
  • Infectious Hepatitis
  • Parainfluenza Virus
  • Rabies

Canine distemper virus affects the nervous and respiratory systems and is often fatal. Parvovirus causes vomiting, dehydration, and diarrhea, and can lead to life-threatening sepsis. Infectious hepatitis comes from adenovirus type-1, which can lead to acute or chronic liver inflammation. Parainfluenza virus leads to respiratory infection in dogs. Rabies virus causes progressive neurologic disease and is fatal to all mammals. Dogs infected with rabies can transmit it to humans.

Several of these hardy viruses can inadvertently be brought inside your home and transmitted to dogs through inanimate objects like clothes and shoes. Additionally, dogs that travel to groomers, periodically escape from the house, or have other dogs come over to visit can be exposed to viruses.

Non-Core Vaccines

Vaccines are available to protect dogs from other infectious disease risks as well.  An individualized recommendation can be made by taking risk factors into account, including age, lifestyle, and geography.  The AAHA non-core vaccines for dogs include:

  • Canine Influenza
  • Bordetella
  • Leptospirosis
  • Lyme Disease
  • Western Diamond Rattlesnake

SOCIAL EXPOSURES: Canine Influenza and Bordetella are respiratory pathogens that contribute to a syndrome called “kennel cough.” Vaccination is recommended for dogs who share space with other dogs in boarding facilities, grooming facilities, dog parks, or even through casual exposure to family or friends’ dogs.

OUTDOOR EXPOSURES: Leptospirosis is a bacteria transmitted through the urine of wildlife.  Dogs exposed to contaminated outdoor water sources like groundwater, ponds, and puddles can become severely sick with kidney or liver disease and can transmit the disease to people.  Blacklegged ticks transmit Lyme disease, which can cause kidney and joint disease. The Western diamond rattlesnake vaccine is recommended for dogs who live in areas with rattlesnakes.

At Good Life Veterinary Care, we discuss risk factors and potential pathogen exposure with you and recommend a customized vaccine plan that provides the best protection for your dog.

How Often Should You Vaccinate Your Indoor Dog?

Every vaccine available for dogs has been tested and proven to provide protection for a particular length of time. After the initial series, most vaccines provide immunity for either 1 year or 3 years.  As a part of each wellness visit at Good Life Veterinary Care, our staff will review your dog’s exposure risks and confirm an easy-to-follow, customized vaccine plan for your pet.

Don’t worry if you’re unsure which vaccines your inside dog should have. We’re here to help, and we offer a complete range of services to achieve your dog’s overall health and happiness. Please contact us today to schedule an appointment.

Good Life Veterinary Care is based in Dublin, Ohio, part of the Greater Columbus area.  We aim to promote health and wellbeing for your pet and enrich your bond with your furry companions.  

 6051 Perimeter Drive, Dublin, OH 43017
(614) 791-9191

My Pet Ate Something He Shouldn’t Have! What Do I Do?!

Unfortunately for those of us who own pets, this question is likely to occur at some point over the course of their lives.  Dogs and cats frequently get exposed to pet toxins.  Common household items like houseplants, medications, and even some human foods like grapes, sugar-free gum, and chocolate can all be toxic to pets!

So, what do we do when the unexpected happens? The truth is, every situation is going to be different depending on the size of your pet, the kind of item they ingested or chewed on, and the amount of it they had access to. The only absolute answer is that TIME is critical. When we respond quickly, we give our pets the best chance of a full recovery.


Contact your veterinarian immediately, even if you are unsure about whether the item is a serious problem.  If your veterinarian is not open at the time of ingestion, do not wait to take action!  Contact the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (888-426-4435).

 Your veterinarian may consult with Poison Control on the item your pet ingested. The team of veterinary toxicologists will create a treatment plan, discuss potential side-affects, and set up future check points for your pet based on the history and doctor’s assessment. The recommendations will be documented and updated as your pet receives care.  Your pet will be assigned a unique case number so the entire treatment team will receive plans and updates.  As a bonus, if your pet has a registered HOMEAGAIN Microchip, consultations at the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center are included at no charge!

If you see your pet ingest a potential toxin, it is tempting to turn to the internet for quick answers.  While the internet can be a wonderful resource, it is very difficult to assess quickly whether a source is credible or not.  In addition, it is always important to consider your pet’s unique medical history, vitals, and individual health when assessing toxic risk.  When dealing with a potential toxicity, please skip the internet and call your veterinarian or ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center immediately!

Below is a link to important contact information for Good Life Veterinary Care and the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. We encourage you to explore the website ahead of any incidents to familiarize yourself with some of the most common household items that can be toxic to pets.

Good Life Veterinary Care: (614) 791-9191

ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center: (888) 426-4435

The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center handles about 200,000 cases of animal toxicity each year.  Here is their most recent list of the TOP 10 PET TOXINS: