September Tips & Tricks

pet vaccine guidelines

September is a time to go back to organizing, schedules and prepare for the upcoming holidays! Brushing up on your pet’s health is also a great way to start the school year! Use AGA’s tips and tricks to help you get going this September!

Having your pet’s Titer Tested

Titer testing is a means of determining whether your pet has enough antibodies to defend against viruses that they have already received vaccinations for in the past. Some dog owners believe that having enough antibodies makes another vaccination, especially an annual vaccination or booster, unnecessary.

A titer test is a blood test that measures the level of immune system proteins called antibodies.

When your pet gets a vaccination, their immune system responds by producing antibodies that the body can use to fight off future infections. The titer test determines how many antibodies are still in your pet’s blood after one or more years from the time of vaccination.

Vaccines are important because they inject a replicated part of a virus or bacteria that is dead or weakened, which allows your pet to build up immunity without getting sick. Still, vaccines have risks, though they are uncommon and don’t necessarily outweigh the benefits.

Some dogs have allergic reactions to vaccines, which can rarely be extreme and result in all kinds of problems, that’s why a Titer Test can be helpful to make sure you are only giving the vaccines your pet requires! Ask your vet about Titer Tests for your pets before you vaccinate!

What are your vaccine guidelines?

Did you know there are two types of vaccines? Some are considered CORE vaccines and essential for all domesticated pets. Others, called NON CORE are based on lifestyle and environment! Look over the following vaccines to see if your pet fits!

CORE vaccines are considered essential for all pets and some of these are required by law!

Check your state for more information on CORE vaccines!

  • Canine Distemper Virus (Canine distemper (sometimes termed hard pad disease) is a viral disease )
  • Adenovirus-2 (Canine adenovirus type 2 causes respiratory disease in dogs)
  • Parvovirus (Canine parvovirus is a contagious virus mainly affecting dogs. CPV is highly contagious and is spread from dog to dog by direct or indirect contact with their feces)
  • Parainfluenza Virus  (Canine parainfluenza virus is one of the causes of kennel cough, a contagious, non-life-threatening cold-like condition that causes coughing and other symptoms in dogs.)
  • Rabies Virus (Rabies lyssavirus, formerly Rabies virus, is a neurotropic virus that causes rabies in humans and animals)

NON CORE vaccines are based on where you live and what your pet does!

  • Bordetella Bronchipseptica (Bordetella bronchiseptica is a bacterium that is commonly associated with respiratory disease in dogs.)
  • Canine Parainfluenza (Canine parainfluenza virus is one of the causes of kennel cough, a contagious, non-life-threatening cold-like condition that causes coughing and other symptoms in dogs.)
  • Leptospirosis ( a bacterial disease that affects humans and animals)
  • Borrelia Bergdorferi– (Borrelia burgdorferi is a bacterial species of the spirochete class of the genus Borrelia. B. burgdorferiexists in North America and Europe and until 2016 was the only known cause of Lyme disease in North America) 
  • Crotalus Atrox (The western diamondback rattlesnake Vaccine or Texas diamond-back is a venomous rattlesnake species found in the southwestern United States and Mexico.

September is Apple month! Enjoy this lovely fruit with your fur friend with the AGA approved recipe!

Apple Carrot Pet Treats!

Be sure to core your apple before grating.  Apple seeds aren’t good for dogs! Use a small cookie cutter for 20-24 biscuits. OPTION: Use half almond flour and half all-purpose flour, adding 1 1/2 teaspoon of flax seeds.


  • 2 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 TBSP brown sugar optional if your dog doesn’t like sugar
  • 1 apple cored and grated (leave the peel on)
  • 1/2 cup carrots peeled and grated
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4-1/2 cup water note: the apples add moisture, so only add extra water if necessary


Preheat the oven to 350 and grease a cookie sheet.

Core and grate apples; peel and grate carrots (I used a food processor).

In one bowl, mix the flour, oats, and brown sugar. In a separate bowl, beat the egg and mix in the oil, water, and grated apples and carrots. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients bowl and mix completely.

Carefully roll ‘dough’ out and cut out the desired shape with a small cookie cutter.

Bake for 40 – 45 minutes, or until apple juices are soaked and biscuits are firm.

After biscuits cool, feel free to share with the pups in your life! Store in an air-tight container.

Serving size: makes 20-24  small dog biscuits

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