The best defense is a good offense. Keeping your dog healthy from the start can ward off a lot of trouble down the road. Vaccinations are recommended for pups and dogs throughout their life.
Just like children, vaccinations are important for pets. They help them to avoid common diseases and illnesses that could afflict their species. Each breed of dog is different and some may need additional vaccinations as they age, but there are certain ones that all dogs are recommended to receive. Check with your veterinarian for specific details.
When should your dog be vaccinated? As soon as recommended by your vet. If you adopt an older dog, a schedule can still be designed to help them stay protected.
There are two types of vaccinations that your pup or dog can receive: core vaccinations and non-core vaccinations. The core are the ones that are usually required by law to be given. Again, this depends on your dog breed and their specific health issues.
Let’s begin with parvovirus. It is a highly contagious dog disease that can lead to bloody diarrhea. It can even kill your pet. The first vaccination for dogs is recommended around five weeks of age for pups. The shot is efficacious for less than a year so they will need to be re-vaccinated around 10 to 12 weeks of age and again around 16 weeks.
Another core vaccine is canine distemper. Distemper is akin to measles in human children. It mostly affects pups which is why it is important to be vaccinated. The schedule is much the same as for the parvovirus. The first vaccination for dogs is around 5 weeks of age, with a second and third round at 10 to 12 weeks and 16 weeks, respectively.
Rabies shots are recommended for obvious reasons. It can make a dog really sick and aggressive. Also, they can bite and infect humans with the disease. This is one shot required for all pets by law. When a puppy is around 12 weeks of age, they are often given the vaccine.
Hepatitis is an infectious disease in dogs that causes liver damage. It is either the CAV-1 or CAV-2 strain. This vaccination for dogs can be given at around 5 weeks along with distemper and parvovirus.
Non-core vaccinations are important for many dog breeds but not all and the risk of the condition is lower than the others. You can consider these vaccines and discuss them with your veterinarian: Leptospirosis, coronavirus, Lyme disease, Parainfluenza and Bordetella.
Some vets also offer combination vaccines. There are five way and seven way combination vaccines. These combine core and some non-core vaccines in one shot. Boosters for the core vaccines are given to adult dogs to further their protection.
You want to give your pup every advantage in life. Talk to your vet about a vaccination schedule for your dog.