Bringing home a new puppy comes with a lot of responsibilities. Not only will you need to provide your puppy with food, water, love, toys, and other household needs, but he'll need a series of vaccinations to see him through his first year of life. That's right; when it comes to puppies, vaccinations are not a one time deal. A puppy's need for vaccinations can span well past his first year, and knowing the proper order in which your puppy needs to receive his vaccinations is essential.
Age: Weeks 8-20
Just like with humans, the earliest rounds of puppy vaccinations are referred to as boosters. They are so called because most of the vaccines work to boost your puppy's immune system. Your puppy will begin his first round of booster when he his six to eight weeks old. The first two vaccinations he will receive in the time are his first distemper and measles vaccine. He will be due for his second round of vaccinations when he is between 12-20 weeks old. At this time he'll receive his first rabies shot. It's important to note that rabies shots are temporary, and do not stay active in your puppy's body forever. That's why most states require you to have your dog receive a rabies shot once a year. We recommend checking with your local vet to make sure that your rabies vaccination plan fits with your state's legislation.
Age: Weeks 20 and on
Between weeks 16 and 20, your puppy will receive his DHPP vaccine. This vaccination is a cocktail of sorts that actually contains four vaccines in one; distemper, adenovirus, parvovirus, and parainfluenza. Depending on your geographical location and needs, your vet may recommend inoculating your puppy with common vaccinations to fight against common diseases such as Lyme, leptospirosis, and coronavirus. After week 20 your puppy will be fully caught up on his puppy booster vaccinations. At this point, many owners talk with their vet to decide on which reoccurring vaccinations their pets will need throughout the rest of their lives (outside of rabies vaccinations that are required every year).
So what are these diseases that your puppy's vaccinations are fighting against? Below we've outlined some of the diseases and conditions that the above-listed vaccinations help to protect your puppy against.
Puppy Diseases Explained
Bordetella: You've probably heard of this bacteria through the disease it causes; kennel cough. Due to puppies weak immune system,s they are left high susceptible to this common canine illness. What's so frustrating about kennel cough is the multiple locations where your puppy could contract this illness; at the park, at the groomers, the vet's office, just about anywhere. If left untreated, kennel cough can develop into a serious upper respiratory disease that can lead to lung collapse or worse.
Distemper: This viral disease attacks a dog's respiratory and nervous systems. This serious and contagious disease is extremely difficult to treat and is fatal in most cases.
Hepatitis: Not transmittable to humans, canine Hepatitis is a viral disease that attacks a dog's liver and eyes, leading to reproductive issues.
Leptospirosis: This bacterial disease aggressively attacks a dog's liver and kidneys. What makes this disease so scary is its ability to be passed to humans.
Parvovirus: This serious and highly contagious disease is especially dangerous for puppies. More commonly known as Parvo, this disease suppresses a dog's immune system and makes it experience severe vomiting and diarrhea and is often fatal.
Rabies: Rabies is one of the few canine diseases that can be transmitted to a human. True rabies is fatal in dogs. It can be contracted if a dog is left unvaccinated and bit by a mammal carrying the disease, or if your dog transfer saliva with a contaminated animal.
Keep Your Puppy Healthy With site
Whether you're bringing home your first puppy or your sixth, it never hurts to brush up on your puppy skills and knowledge. But there's one topic we've yet to discuss; costs. When it comes to the cost of vaccinations, each provider will be different. We recommend that you call a few of your local vets to ask for an itemized list that details the cost of each vaccination you are preparing to give your puppy. This way you'll be able to compare and contrast the fees that each provider charges. An easy way to offset some of these costs is to invest in pet insurance. Most pet insurance plans will partially or completely cover the cost your puppy's vaccinations as well as many other vital health needs that your puppy will have in the future.