How to Get Dog Vaccination Records

Dr. Joe Alcorn, M.S., D.V.M.

Dr. Joe Alcorn is founder of Care Animal Hospital in Temecula, California. He has a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Colorado State University. He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and his advice has been featured in large publications like Bustle and Martha Steward.

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Losing vaccination records can be a hassle for pet owners, especially if you need to present documents for traveling, boarding, or legal disputes. Besides, not knowing your dog’s vaccination record can make it confusing what you should do next in terms of immunization, exposing your pet to health risks.

Dr. Alcorn has been leading a team of efficient veterinary staff since the early 1990s. Since then, the clinic has saved and organized several patient records that pet owners can request. We can share ways on how to get dog vaccination records, identify the necessary details, and explain their importance.

How to Get Dog Vaccination Records

To get your dog’s vaccination record, call us and we can email, fax, print or mail them to you.

White and gray husky sitting on the grass

Veterinary clinics and shelters maintain documentation about the animals they’ve treated. In today’s digital age, accessing a dog’s immunization records is fairly easy using different ways.

Visit Your Veterinary Clinic

When you need to obtain your dog’s vaccine records, the first thing you should do is visit your veterinarian’s clinic. You may consider calling to check for policies regarding records.

Most clinics will have no problem providing documentation for your pet. However, it’s best to call the clinic for protocols if you have particular requests, like needing your vet’s signature for legal matters.

Some clinics may require a small fee. Others may make you wait for a few days to receive the document. Thus, it’s best to have a backup once you have the records and store them properly so you won’t have to pay or wait again in the future.

Request for an Online Copy

Another way to secure a dog’s vaccination record is to request an online copy. Suppose your old clinic is from another state, or you don’t have the time yet to visit the clinic. Ask if the clinic can send a digital copy through your email.

Consider Getting the Records Through Mail or Fax

Is your new vet requesting your dog’s vaccination documentation? Another option is to send the records by mail or fax. 

Some clinics prefer this method to relay information directly, especially for crucial medical documents necessary for life-saving pet surgeries. This is also a good option for senior pet owners who may not have email addresses.

Stacks of paper with paper clips

Check With the Local Animal Shelter or Pet Shop

Have you adopted your dog from a pet shop or local animal shelter? Most shelters and shops keep records of vaccinations and treatments done to animals.

Depending on the state, there are local legal mandates about rabies vaccination for shelters and pet shops. Contact the shop or shelter where your dog came from and provide details about your pet to get the records.

What Should Be Included in a Dog’s Vaccination Records

Have you lost your dog’s immunization card or record? You can request a copy of it by visiting your vet clinic, pet shop, or the animal shelter where your dog came from. You may also get the files sent by post, email, or fax.

However, to maximize this request, make sure to have these details included in the vaccination records:

Why Do You Need to Get a Dog’s Immunization Record

Some people may think saving a pet’s immunization record is unnecessary. However, this can only lead to confusion in certain situations. These are the reasons why you’ll need to request a dog’s vaccination record through the clinic, pet shop, or animal shelter.

Doctor looking at the test results of a dog sitting on an examination table during a checkup
  • Monitor a dog’s health: The easiest way to track a dog’s health is to keep a record of its medical history, especially the vaccinations, which are crucial for emergency services and treatments. This way, vets can check which diseases a dog has been vaccinated against, helping rule out potential health risks.
  • Sell, adopt, or rehome dogs: Suppose you’re a breeder or kennel owner. You’ll need to provide proof of vaccinations if you’re going to rehome, adopt, or sell a dog.
  • Access to pet care services: After getting the record through your vet, you can use this to book other pet-related services. Every dog training facility, daycare, boarding kennel, and grooming salon will require proof of up-to-date vaccinations
  • Change veterinarian: My clinic will need your dog’s immunization documentation from its previous vet to continue its care plan. In this way, I can check the progress of your pet’s immunization and know the right thing to do from there.
  • Follow legal matters: An updated record proves that your dog has been vaccinated against rabies, which is vital evidence in dog bite incidents. Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have strict vaccination requirements for dogs coming from other countries, and you need a record to prove it.

Related Questions

What if There’s no Way to Recover the Vaccination Record?

If there’s no other way to recover a dog’s vaccination details, it’s best to consult a veterinarian right away. I will conduct a complete assessment of the dog’s health status to determine the best course of action and create a new immunization record for the pet.

How to Keep a Dog’s Vaccination Record Safe?

After requesting a printed or digital copy of the vaccine record from your animal shelter or vet clinic, keep the document safe by scanning a backup copy and keeping extra printed copies. Save copies on your phone or use plastic envelopes to store them when you need to bring them outside.

What to Do if I Don’t Know if a Dog Has Been Vaccinated?

The best way to know if a dog has been vaccinated is to obtain medical records, especially the vaccination record. I can also do tests to check for antibodies as proof if a dog has been previously vaccinated. Secure a vaccine record so your dog can avoid getting vaccinated twice.


You can retrieve printed vaccination records by visiting your pet shop, vet clinic, or animal shelter, as well as asking for a digital copy. Once I start with your dog’s immunization schedule, my clinic will keep a copy of your pet’s vaccination plan and medical history.