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AAHA Releases Updated Canine Vaccination Guidelines

Read the updated guidelines from the American Animal Hospital Association.




(PRESS RELEASE) LAKEWOOD, CO – Vaccinations play a critical role in the health and wellbeing of dogs and the people who love them. Confusion over which vaccines are essential for an individual dog is common, as recommendations vary depending on the dog’s environment, age, and lifestyle. To help veterinarians and their teams create personalized and comprehensive vaccination plans for their patients, the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) has published the 2022 AAHA Canine Vaccination Guidelines.

While vaccines are traditionally divided into “core” and “noncore” categories, the updated guidelines encourage veterinary teams to look beyond these designations because “noncore” vaccinations are also essential for many dogs. Understanding a dog’s risk factors is vital in determining which vaccines are needed, and the updated guidelines provide practitioners with the tools to do so.

“The 2022 AAHA Canine Vaccination Guidelines are an important update to one of our most frequently referenced manuscripts,” says Jessica Vogelsang, DVM, chief medical officer, American Animal Hospital Association. “The guidelines contain updates on recommended vaccination protocols based on age, lifestyle, and the increasing prevalence of certain diseases such as leptospirosis. We’re proud to offer this framework to help veterinary teams create personalized recommendations of what is ‘Core for You’ and essential for your pet’s health.”

Through tools, guides, and charts, the guidelines offer a practical approach for veterinarians to create personalized vaccination protocols and communicate the rationale for specific vaccine choices, ensuring consistent messaging and increased client compliance.

The key elements of the guidelines include:

  • Creating a personalized plan, which includes required (core) and “noncore” vaccines, for each patient based on age, lifestyle, geography, and more.
  • Bringing the entire veterinary team on board with vaccine protocols and providing clients with consistent messaging and a better understanding of the overall plan.
  • Providing veterinarians with the knowledge they need to design the best vaccine plan for their patients, including prevalence of diseases in their area.
    The guidelines also provide useful resources for client education and tips for talking with clients about the vaccination plan for their dog, including those clients who are “vaccine hesitant.”

“Vaccines are an essential part of preventive canine healthcare for both individuals and populations. They also provide an important barrier to some infectious agents that can pass from dogs to humans,” explains John Ellis, DVM, PhD, DACVP, DACVM, chair of the 2022 AAHA Canine Vaccination Guidelines Task Force. “In the 2022 guidelines, we’ve provided veterinarians with a blueprint for developing vaccine protocols for their patients that address individualized risk and ensure that all dogs, no matter their lifestyle, are protected from disease, and that herd immunity is maintained.”


To access the guidelines and download free resources, visit here.

These guidelines are generously supported by Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health, Merck Animal Health, Zoetis Petcare, and Elanco Animal Health.

About the American Animal Hospital Association

Since 1933, the American Animal Hospital Association has been the only organization to accredit veterinary hospitals throughout the United States and Canada based on standards directly correlated to high-quality medicine and compassionate care. Accreditation in veterinary medicine is voluntary. The AAHA-accredited logo is the best way to know a practice has been evaluated by a third party. Look for the AAHA logo or visit



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