Vaccinating your dog is a vital part of their overall health and a simple way to help prolong their life. Vaccinations can prevent common illnesses that your pet can contract from other dogs and wildlife, sometimes just by contact with their feces. The biggest concern for puppies is a potentially fatal infection caused by parvovirus, which is effectively prevented by proper vaccination. Your veterinarian can advise you on how to protect your puppy from parvovirus until they are fully vaccinated.
What vaccinations do you provide to new puppies?
Vaccination against parvovirus is accomplished with a combination vaccine that also protects against distemper and adenovirus. It is a core vaccine that is recommended for all puppies.
Bordetella (kennel cough) vaccination may be recommended depending on your puppy’s intended lifestyle. If there are plans for your puppy to attend puppy classes or daycare or to stay at a kennel, then Bordetella vaccination may be advised.
Why is it important to vaccinate your puppy?
While puppies do receive antibodies (immunity) from their mother through nursing, this immunity begins to fade by 4-8 weeks of age and is typically gone by about 4 months of age. This immunity needs to be boosted through vaccination, without allowing any window to develop where the puppy is unprotected. This is accomplished by a series of three vaccinations administered 3-4 weeks apart, starting at 8 weeks old.
Without this series of puppy vaccines, your puppy is susceptible to the Distemper virus, Adenovirus, and Parvovirus. Until your puppy is fully vaccinated, it is important to prevent your puppy from being exposed to other unvaccinated dogs or any environments where other unvaccinated dogs may have been. Your veterinarian can discuss this in more detail with you.
At what age should I bring my puppy for their vaccinations?
We recommend vaccinating your puppy with a combination DAP vaccine at 8, 12, and 16 weeks of age with a booster given one year after the last vaccine. If your breeder or rescue organization has started your puppy on a different vaccine schedule, our veterinary staff will happily discuss how to best alter your puppy’s schedule to ensure proper immunity is established.
Rabies vaccination is typically part of your puppy’s 16-week appointment, with a booster administered one year later. Bordetella (kennel cough) vaccination is based on lifestyle requirements and can be discussed with your veterinarian during your appointment. Where it is required, it is usually administered at your second (12 weeks) puppy appointment, then annually thereafter based on lifestyle.
How should I prepare my puppy for their first vaccination visit?
We work hard to create a positive experience for you and your pet with every visit to the clinic, but most especially for their puppy appointments. You can aid in this positive experience by bringing their favourite treats for positive reinforcement during your visit. Also, there are things you can do at home to help your veterinary visits become positive ones.
Frequent handling of your puppy’s mouth, ears, belly, feet, and tail while using positive reinforcement can help create a positive association with the handling they may experience during their physical examinations.
Socialization and handling with new people on a daily basis can help to lessen any stress with being brought to a new and different place, such as our clinic, and being handled by strangers while there.
Please bring any previous medical history for your puppy, so we can make the appropriate recommendations during your appointment. We need to know your puppy’s accurate age, any prior vaccination history, and any parasite treatments that have been administered.