There are a lot of responsibilities people need to consider when getting a puppy, including their ongoing health. Pet vaccinations are essential to dogs of all ages to protect them from various canine illnesses. Veterinarians recommend beginning these rounds of shots once a pup reaches 6 weeks old and sticking to a vaccine schedule as they grow up. Below is a helpful guide that outlines these inoculations and when they should be administered to ensure your furry friend stays healthy and lives a long life.
What Vaccines Do Dogs Need?
Core pet vaccinations are legally required in many states. Inoculations expose your puppy to small amounts of each virus or bacteria so that their body can build up immunity against them. These shots are given in three rounds to help activate a puppy’s immune system since the antibody levels transferred by the mother begin falling as they age.
Once your puppy is vaccinated, you can begin socializing them with other dogs, which is important for exercise and mental development. If you’ve adopted an older pet that doesn’t have health records, schedule an exam to get them vaccinated. When they don’t receive the necessary shots, they can contract and spread canine diseases, no matter how old they are.
The standard vaccination schedule is:
6 to 8 Weeks Old: At this age, a puppy is given its first round of the DHLPP vaccine. This includes a combination of shots that fight against distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza, parvovirus, and leptospira. These life-threatening illnesses can cause significant organ damage that can lead to death in as little as 48 hours after contraction.
10 to 12 Weeks Old: The second DHLPP shot is administered. It’s accompanied by a rabies vaccine to protect against a virus that attacks the central nervous system, causing fatal brain inflammation.
14 to 16 Weeks Old: The last round DHLPP shot is given.
Additional Shots: Booster pet vaccinations, including leptospira and rabies, are administered annually. DHPP should be given every three years to keep your pup safe from contraction.
Noncore vaccines aren’t always required, but they will help your pup’s health. When a pup reaches 6 to 8 weeks old, a bordetella shot is given to protect against an infectious bacterium that primarily causes kennel cough. Canine influenza and Lyme disease vaccines can also be administered. The second round of Lyme and influenza shots are needed between 10 and 12 weeks.
Since all of these inoculations require annual boosters to stay updated, schedule yearly exams. This can also help a veterinarian catch health issues early before they become serious.
If you’re looking for a veterinarian in Loveland, OH, turn to Wards Corner Animal Hospital. Our practice is led by Dr. Timothy Henehan. He provides a wide scope of care, including pet vaccinations, as well as emergency, pet dentistry, and preventive care. Give us a call at (513) 683-2883 to schedule an exam with a compassionate veterinarian.