Are we over-vaccinating our pets? Canine corona virus is an example. People panic and get their dogs vaccinated, yet the canine corona virus does very little by way of help.  

Vaccinations – for people AND pets – have wiped out some serious diseases around the world — diphtheria, polio, whooping cough and measles to name a few, along with rabies.

In fact, since the 1900s, the number of human deaths from rabies in North America has fallen from 100 or more each year to just one or two cases annually. Not one of the cases in the last 50 years has been related to a dog bite.


But what about the non-core vaccinations for our pets?  

I find that almost every time I visit our Veterinarian, I’m bombarded with recommendations for new vaccinations for my dogs – usually combined with others in one shot, and always called by a series of confusing letters.

Which ones are truly vital and which ones could even be harmful to my little dog in particular?

The Core Vaccinations: necessary for your dog’s health


core vaccination graphics

Non-core vaccinations: think twice about these


non core vaccinations


Canine Corona Virus Vaccine: non-core and non-helpful

This is one of the often-recommended vaccinations that I just don’t understand. Here’s why:

  • Canine Coronavirus or Corona attacks the dog’s intestines and its symptoms are similar although much milder, to Parvovirus — fever, vomiting, and loss of appetite. It has been compared to a very bad flu in people.
  • Corona is spread from dog to dog through contact with dog poop.
  • Nearly all independent experts feel it is not necessary, and not worth the risk.  The virus itself is not that bad. When the vaccine is combined with others, it is MUCH more likely to cause an adverse reaction, especially in small dogs.

Not only is this vaccine not very effective; it can cause serious reactions in small dogs.  AND THE MORE VACCINES that are bundled together, the higher the chances of a bad reaction.

As one of the most trusted websites advises, (, this vaccination is called “a cure in search of a disease.”  WebMD for pets also says, don’t get this shot for your small dog. The prestigious AAHA (The American Animal Hospital Association) echoes that sentiment: don’t do it!

How to identify the Canine Corona Vaccine

Many Veterinarians still include this one in their vaccination programs, giving it in tandem with the DHLPP vaccine (sometimes you’ll see it referred to as “DHLPP+C”).  “C” of course represents the Corona Virus Vaccine.
If your Vet really pushes the Corona vaccination, please be sure to ask him or her:
  • what are the chances of my Morkie getting the Corona Virus?
  • how serious is that virus?  And how easily cured?
  • what are the downsides with this vaccine?
  • can you give it to my Morkie separately from other vaccines?
Talk to your Vet, and weigh the pros and cons of this vaccine. In my personal view, this is one vaccination you can safely skip. But ultimately that’s up to you, the owner, with guidance from your professional health care provider.