Vaccinations For Puppies

New puppy owners should make an appointment with a veterinarian as soon as possible to get their puppy vaccinated. This is one of the most important ways to protect your new puppy. Vaccines can increase the overall health and wellness of puppies and adult dogs for years to come.

When a puppy is born, it has antibodies, or disease protection materials, from its mother. These antibodies continue to be given to the new puppy through its mother’s milk. However, this only lasts a few days and only occurs if the mother dog has been vaccinated against disease and has the antibodies in her own system. If the mother dog is not protected against disease, it’s even more important to protect the new puppy against disease with vaccinations.

When to Vaccinate

Puppies can be vaccinated when they are only a few weeks old. Sometimes vaccines are not as effective in very young puppies, which is why many researchers and veterinarians recommend vaccinating puppies again when they reach one year old.

Even if your puppy is too young to vaccinate when you first bring him home, having a veterinarian examine him for any problems is recommended. At this appointment, you can also set up a puppy vaccination schedule and discuss which diseases to vaccinate your puppy against.

Diseases to Vaccinate Against

Puppies and adult dogs can come into contact with numerous diseases through contact with other animals, plants and environmental elements. While it’s almost impossible to predict which diseases a puppy will come into contact with, a veterinarian can make recommendations for vaccinations of the more common and more dangerous diseases.

Core vaccines are vaccines that are recommended for nearly all dogs. These vaccines include:

  • canine adenovirus-2 (hepatitis and respiratory disease)
  • canine parvovirus-2
  • distemper
  • rabies.

In addition to these vaccines, other non-core vaccines may also be recommended. Veterinarians will recommend extra vaccines based on the dog’s breed, environment in which he will live and other health factors.

Some vaccines can be combined and given in a single injection, instead of multiple injections. These are called multivalent vaccines. One of the most common multivalent vaccines for dogs is DHLPPCv. This includes:

  • distemper
  • hepatitis
  • leptospriosis
  • parainfluenza
  • parvovirus
  • coronavirus.

After you and your vet come up with an initial vaccination schedule for your puppy, it is important to keep up with “boosters.” Boosters are repeat vaccinations for a disease that has already been vaccinated against. Not all vaccines protect for a lifetime. These boosters provide added protection and keep the initial disease protection in place.

Most dogs need to be vaccinated every one to three years. Rabies vaccines are required by law in many areas and must be given once a year.

Protecting Against Other Diseases

Puppies cannot be protected against all diseases and afflictions with vaccines. Some diseases must be protected against with medication. Parasites are among the most common of these types of afflictions.

Heartworm, fleas and ticks should be protected against from an early age. Puppies can be given monthly medication to ensure that these parasites do not attack their systems.