Just like a baby, a young puppy’s immune system is exposed to disease and illnesses. Getting your puppy vaccinated against these illnesses helps to guarantee him a longer and healthier life. It is also part of responsible pet ownership. Find out more about puppy vaccinations schedules, types, and safety below.
Puppy Vaccinations Schedule
Puppies should be vaccinated every 2-3 weeks until they are 16 weeks old. Your puppy might then need booster vaccinations at 6-12 months old.
The best way to know when to begin vaccinating your puppy is by visiting a veterinary. A trained vet will give you a schedule that works best for your pup. He/she might also deem it fit to vaccinate your puppy over the course of several days if he is very small.
Which Vaccines Does My Puppy Need?
Since we’ve already established that vaccines help to protect your pup against diseases, you might be wondering which vaccines are appropriate for him at different ages. The vaccines that your pup should not miss are:
- Rabies virus
- Distemper virus
Other non-core vaccines that will help your pup to live a happy and healthy life include:
- Kennel cough (bordetella)
- Lyme disease vaccine
Are Puppy Vaccinations Safe?
Most dog owners worry about the safety of vaccines because they want the best for their pets. If you fall under this category, you need to know that:
- Generally, vaccines are created for the well-being of your puppy. They help to keep him and the dogs that he interacts with safe.
- In some cases, dogs react negatively to vaccines, a condition known as vaccinosis. While some reactions are mild, some tend to be life-threatening. Make sure that you take your dog back to the vet if he has a reaction to a vaccine.
- It is important to monitor your pup’s health after a vaccine to ensure prompt intervention in case of a reaction.
Socializing Your Puppy Before Vaccination
It is important to take your puppy to public places where there are many dogs after he gets vaccinated. However, this does not mean that you should isolate him from the rest of the world. Doing this might make you miss his important milestones, such as ‘fear periods,’ where you ought to give him positive experiences. Before he gets vaccinated:
- Drive your puppy around in a car so he can get to see his surroundings.
- Invite some friends over to socialize him.
- Make him playdates with other immunized dogs who cannot expose him to any diseases.
- Take your puppy to puppy classes with a professional trainer to equip him with basic cues.
Make sure that you train your puppy even as you wait for him to get all his vaccines. This way, you will equip him with skills that will help him with socialization, as well as make his visits to the vet easier. Make sure that you talk to your vet to get the best schedule and regimens for your dog.