Stop Killing Your Pet: The Top 5 Ways

Seriously, just kill me!

Seriously, just kill me!



You want your animal to be vital and healthy and around for as long as possible, right? Sick animals and early deaths are a drag. I signed on to help those guys when I entered vet school, but if I can keep you from ever having to deal with either, would you like that?

I’m guessing you would. Let’s dig in.

Common Sense: Not so Common

These things are commonly done by ordinary folks who own pets every day, week, month, or year. They are killing their pets. Shortening their lives. Giving them chronic diseases.

Yet, there are other pet owners who know better, don’t do these things, and their animals show the benefits of that natural path. These are vital animals.

My aim is to help you know better. Prevention is really important, but the way conventional veterinary medicine does it is all wrong.

The Top Five Ways to Healthy Pets

Here are the five things that will have the greatest impact in keeping your animal vital, healthy, and living a long, joyful life with you.

(doing the opposite has been the biggest predictor of illness and dying too soon that I’ve seen in my 30+ years of practice)

  1. Stop Vaccinating Them.
  2. Feed Them What Their Ancestors Ate.
  3. Stop Using Pesticides to Kill Fleas.
  4. Stop Using Poisons for Heartworm Prevention.
  5. Give Them Raw Bones (for the whitest teeth and freshest breath ever).

Those five things are in order of importance.

So, the most important thing to stop, bar none, is the best place to start.

Part 1: Vaccination — STOP, Already!

You may be in a hurry, and my six pages on vaccinations may be more than you’ve got time for, so I’ll give you the short version here.

Think with me please:

Do you have an animal who’s already received vaccinations at some point in her life over the age of 4 months old?

  • If no, excellent! See my Vital Puppy page (cat owners, Vital Kitten is on my todo list, but you’ll get the gist by reading this page).
  • If yes, know that veterinary immunologists consider the odds are high that your dog or cat, right now, is immune for (…wait for it…) Life.

And, these same immunologists know that she’ll gain no further immunity by repeating these vaccines, even if your vet says, “They are due.”

Vaccination: Does it Work?

We’re talking here of efficacy. Have the previous vaccines conferred immunity? Very likely. Those early ones were efficacious. They did what you hoped they would. They protected against the diseases they were intended for.

But, the likelihood of more repeat vaccinations giving more immunity? Likely zero. No efficacy to that.

Says who? Those same immunologists. The folks who measure things like “duration of immunity,” “protective titers,” and blocked immune responses.

Think with me again, for a moment:

Does your physician send you a reminder to come in for another round of small pox vaccine? Polio?

No, right?

(I’ll ignore the flu vaccine right now, which is an acute disease that changes every year. I don’t think that’s a good idea, either, but this is not the place for that discussion).

Why doesn’t your physician tell you you’re due for more polio or smallpox vaccinations?

Because she knows you’re immune. And giving repeat vaccinations won’t add to your immunity.

Think your dog or cat is different in that respect? They are not.

Is It Harmful to Repeat Vaccinations? [Safety]

Indeed it is.

More often than not, we can track the point where your animal became chronically ill with any number of bothersome diseases to a time roughly a month after vaccination.

Here’s an example from an email I got just two weeks ago, dated January 10, 2013:

“I have a dog trainer friend who is working with a 9 month service dog (Standard Poodle) and he has been acting very lethargic the last few days. She has him at the vet right now and they said that he does not have any platelets and they gave him a blood transfusion. I asked her when the last time was that he had been vaccinated and she said that it was in December.”

His disease? Autoimmune thrombocytopenia. He won’t be able to clot his blood without platelets and he’s losing them because his immune system is attacking them like they were foreign invaders. Instead of recognizing them as normal cells.

Scary, right? A similar disease, often coming after vaccination, is autoimmune hemolytic anemia, where the red blood cells get wiped out by the dog’s own immune system. It can often be fatal. That one’s been in the vet literature as coming after vaccination.

Much more common and less life threatening, but still a drag in an animal’s life is allergies. The timing is similar: within a month after a vaccination quite often, these guys are suddenly terribly itchy. Chewing holes in their skin, licking fur off, making weepy sores all over.

Think with me again, please.

Q: What are we aiming to do when we vaccinate?

A: Stimulate the immune system.

Q: Might that go too far when we repeat vaccinations throughout life?

A: Yes. I see it all the time in practice. I know it happens. The timing is often tell tale: BOOM, 3-4 weeks post vaccine, the animal is ill. Ear infections or itchy eruptions are the commonest outcomes, and, if you’ve ever dealt with either, you know how miserable they make your pet.

So, let’s make this really simple:

If you have an adult dog or cat or horse, who’s received vaccinations in the first year of life, STOP giving more.

It’s neither working to add to your animal’s immunity nor is it safe for his long term vitality and health.

If you’d like a deeper understanding of this, read those pages I’ve written on vaccinations. They are quite eye opening.

And, a here’s a bonus if you’ve got a pet who’s had repeat vaccinations and you know his immune system could use your help: feed the best immune support supplement measured yet.

If you take just this one step and stop vaccinating going forward, you’ll be preventing both needless suffering and great expense. And Spot and Puff will thank you and reward you with vital, healthy, long lives.

Part 2, up next: Feed Them What Their Ancestors Ate


[Haven’t signed up for my Vital Animal Pack yet? Maybe you got here from a friend’s recommendation? I’ll send my best stuff on vital, healthy animals right to your inbox when you sign up. And you’ll have access to free goodies, like my Bach Flower Remedies for Animals Course. And, you’ll get alerted when a new course is released, so you can get in quickly before it closes.

This series is the first of many I have planned.

The box to sign up is just to your right, at the top of that column. You’ll see a box to drop your email address into, and I’ll take care of the rest.]


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Leave a Comment


  1. Dawn on September 26, 2023 at 6:41 am

    What about rabies shot should they have at least 1 ??

    • Will Falconer, DVM on September 29, 2023 at 12:04 am

      That’s a highly individual decision. We discuss that at length in Rabies: Knowledge is Power, currently closed to new enrollees, but you can get a good start with my Rabies Short Course.

  2. Jessica Stone on April 7, 2014 at 9:56 pm

    I just want to say thank you. <3

  3. Alicia saar on March 11, 2014 at 11:05 pm

    Can you tell me how to get around not vaccinating when you want to compete at recognized events with horses? Sme require negative cog gins and strangles proof?? Thanks Alicia

  4. Michael Nicolazzo on January 28, 2013 at 11:17 pm

    You’re a very gifted writer, as well as, one of the most scientifically advanced veterinarians in the United States. I know my Yorkie-poo Sweet-E would have remained vital for many more years had I been aware of the knowledge you have so generously shared with the public in your emails and web site. Many Thanks!

  5. Helen on January 28, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    Dr. Will,
    The best blog (or any kind) article ever! Thank you for sacrificing income to not recommend vaccines (which I think are only income makers for most vets). Many thanks for your education, research, care for us and our companions, and your wisdom here.