WHY ARE VACCINES IMPORTANT FOR MY PUPPY?
Adopting or acquiring a new puppy can be one of the most enjoyable experiences a person can have as a pet owner, but it also brings a fair share of responsibility as well. We feel that there should be enough knowledge available for every pet owner to be successful in establishing a healthy bond with their new dog, while maintaining a clean bill of health through each stage of puppyhood.
As with most health-related topics, it is much easier to prevent diseases or illnesses rather than treat them after they have been contracted. We recommend four separate rounds of vaccines, or “boosters” for all puppies to ensure each patient is protected from diseases such as Parvovirus, Distemper, Rabies, and Kennel Cough. These diseases can be very expensive to treat and have limited treatment options.
HOW DO VACCINES WORK?
Vaccines stimulate the immune system’s ability to produce antibodies that are meant to protect and destroy organisms that are targeted in the vaccine. Essentially, we are building up your puppies’ ability to fight off viruses and diseases that they may be exposed to.
Vaccinations at an early age significantly help prevent and reduce the risk of pet-to-pet diseases, as well as pet-to-human diseases, however, there is no way to 100% guarantee that a vaccinated pet can not contract some viruses. The first round of vaccines acts as a priming dose to prepare your puppies immune system to be able to fight off bacteria and viruses, while the later “boosters” continue to stimulate the immune system so that it can produce more antibodies.
WHEN SHOULD I VACCINATE MY PUPPY?
We recommend starting vaccinations on an otherwise healthy puppy around 6 weeks of age, while “boosting” them every 3-4 weeks and ensuring that they receive the last round after 16 weeks of age ensuring that at least 4 vaccines are administered for optimal protection. Unless determined otherwise, each puppy is eligible for a Rabies vaccination as early as 12 weeks of age. For each round of boosters, we recommend deworming each puppy to help control intestinal parasites they may have been exposed to and are potentially shedding back into your home and yard.
Every puppy is going to have a different risk of exposure to different bacteria and viruses, that’s why we recommend starting with the “core” vaccine schedule such as DAPP (Distemper/Adenovirus/Parainfluenza/Parvovirus), Rabies, and Bordetella (Kennel Cough) which can later be tailored to fit your pet’s lifestyle once they have reached adulthood.
Maintaining a healthy puppy with the proper immunization schedule while establishing good social skills with them can be quite a bit to handle, but we can help make the road through puppyhood as painless as possible.
-Joseph Stoecker CVA