The places your puppy can go to and the friends they can make, both canine and human, are influenced by the dog vaccinations they have.
If you’re a new dog parent, you may feel overwhelmed by all the care that young pups need. So, we’ve put together this overview of the vaccinations you’ll want to look into for your puppy, as well as why and when.
Once you understand the urgency of dog shots, you can discuss with your veterinarian to ensure that your fur baby is as safe as they can be from illnesses that can harm them or your family.
Why are Vaccines for Dogs a Big Deal?
The American Veterinary Medical Association claims there are five important reasons why every dog needs shots:
- Vaccinations prevent most pet illnesses.
- Vaccinations can help keep expensive treatments at bay for preventable diseases.
- Vaccinations combat diseases that can be passed between animals and animals to humans.
- Diseases common in the wild, such as rabies and distemper, can infect unvaccinated pups.
- County or state ordinances require certain vaccinations for household pets in several regions.
It’s important to note that many young animals are vulnerable to infectious diseases because their immune system hasn’t developed. Essentially, the quicker you vaccinate your pup, the faster they can get to living their best life. Stay tuned to find out which vaccinations your dog needs to stay as healthy as possible.
Vaccines at 6-8 Weeks of Age
Your pup may have already received some of these vaccines before you invite them into their new home. Ask the people or organization you’re picking up your puppy from if they’ve already vaccinated them and when. This information is crucial for your vet to best structure your pup’s first vaccination series. These shots must be given in a series of “initial” vaccines followed by “booster” shots.
Your puppy may receive the following dog vaccinations:
- DA2P, AKA the “Parvo” or “Distemper” shot: This vaccine protects against Distemper, Adenovirus (Canine Infectious Hepatitis), and “Parvo.” Alternatively, your vet may administer it as a DA2PP, which is similar but also includes protection against Parainfluenza.
- Bordetella, AKA “Kennel Cough” shot: An initial vaccine can be given to your pup at this age, depending on the vaccination type (oral, intranasal, or injectable).
- Canine Influenza Virus, AKA “Dog Flug” shot: This vaccine has two different types, protecting against an additional strain of dog flu. Your fur baby will have to receive a booster shot approximately three weeks after this one to maximize their protection.
After this vaccine visit, your pup will be able to do the following:
- Attend puppy classes: If their Bordetella and DA2P shots have been administered and they aren’t showing signs of sickness, they can start their puppy classes one week after their vaccine (if you choose to enroll them). Before choosing a school, ensure the dog school is regularly cleaned and meets safety requirements. Also, check to see if there is a requirement for every dog to be vaccinated and dewormed. Checking for this will help you determine that the school is looking out for the health and safety of your dog.
- Make (a few) new friends: Your pup can start to meet other vaccinated and healthy puppies and mature dogs. However, it isn’t safe for them to go into pet stores, dog parks, groomers, and other areas with unknown dogs and people.
Dog Vaccinations at 9-12 Weeks of Age
Depending on your fur baby’s age when you first got them, this might either be their first visit to the vet or second. Regardless, this is a visit you won’t want to miss. They’ll need to get the following dog vaccinations if they haven’t already:
- Canine Influenza Virus
If they have received the above shots and are nine to twelve weeks old, your dog will now gain the ability to have quick socialization visits.
For example, a fast socialization visit to the groomer is fine as long as the shop is spotless and there haven’t been any sick dogs visiting recently. Doing this is an excellent way of making sure your dog receives some much-needed social interaction without the risk of contagious dog illnesses.
At this age, your pup’s maternal immunity will lessen as their immune system becomes more developed. Booster shots of the last vaccines they got will be a must at their next vet visit to build their immunity and protect them from diseases. In addition to the boosters, your new furry friend will also need the following:
- Rabies shot: Your dog will be eligible to receive this vaccination once they’re over 13 weeks old. Local regulations determine the age by which all dogs must be vaccinated against rabies.
- Leptospirosis, AKA “Lepto” shot: This vaccine is part of a two-part series of shots that a dog must receive in its first year of life. Sadly, since Lepto is harmful to both your precious fur baby and you, your pup will need to get this vaccination as soon as possible.
Once your sweet puppy has received these shots in addition to their booster shots, they’ll be able to do the following:
Play with unknown dogs: Your dog can expand their circle of friends to include dogs they don’t know, including ones they would meet on a walk. Still, you’ll have to make sure that your friendly fur child doesn’t befriend too many dogs in one go because it still isn’t safe for them to hang out in big circles.
Visit fun places: Congrats, your dog can now walk on populated streets, visit pet stores, and head to the dog park! Additionally, they can now have extended socialization visits or have a full-on grooming session at their groomer, provided the shop is clean.
It’s important to note that dog socialization is a gradual process, and although they will have most of their vaccines at this age, it still isn’t safe to visit dedicated dog parks.
Once your dog has received all their vaccinations, they’ll be able to go wherever their four paws can take them! Ultimately, your furry friend’s health will matter well into adulthood, and they deserve the best care.
Deworming your pup is not the same as dog vaccinations. Still, it is a necessary preventative step that many vets will encourage you to help prevent roundworms, tapeworms, hookworms, and whipworms. All of which can lead to gastrointestinal problems. Here’s the schedule for puppy deworming:
- If younger than eight weeks, deworm once every two weeks.
- If pups are eight weeks to six months old, once every month.
- Deworm dogs older than six months four times a year or depending on your veterinarian’s recommendations.
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In addition to their dog vaccinations, ensure that your fur baby grows big and strong with dog-friendly multivitamins. Plush Paws Products has the perfect multivitamins for dogs of any size and breed, packed with vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that promote a healthy fur coat, joints, heart, as well as digestive and immune function. Check out the rest of our shop to spoil your dog with more high-quality, luxurious products!