Your puppy is your cherished companion, and you want to do everything you can to protect them. Within the initial year of a puppy’s life, they will see the veterinarian for countless vaccinations to safeguard their health.
Puppies require core vaccines, including rabies, canine parvovirus, canine distemper, and canine hepatitis. There are many other essential vaccines, but they are given based on your pup’s individual needs. Ensure your puppy receives their vaccines and is up to date on their shots.
It would be prudent to plan with your veterinarian concerning your pup’s vaccination schedule and discuss what is appropriate for your puppy. If you want to know which shots your puppy should get, peruse our Webster, TX, animal hospital’s article.
What Shots Should My Puppy Get?
There are two different types of vaccinations: core and non-core. Core vaccinations protect the animal and the public from a specific disease, and they are required by law because they pose a severe health threat. Non-core vaccines are essential, but they are given based on the veterinarian’s assessment of lifestyle and risk to the individual animal.
Some core vaccines that puppies require include rabies, parvovirus, and distemper. A non-core vaccine that puppies are not required to get but would benefit from is kennel cough. The need for the non-core vaccine should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
Your puppy may or may not be allowed to go to certain places based on their received vaccines. You should talk to your veterinarian about when your pup should get their core vaccines. The following explains the different vaccines and why they are necessary:
It should be stated that whether vaccines are core or non-core, the most important thing is to do what is best to protect your dog from illness. The American Animal Hospital Association recommends the core vaccines below. They are vaccinations that all puppies require:
Rabies is a preventable but highly contagious and deadly disease of mammals that is contracted through the bite of the infected animal, and it attacks the central nervous system. Once symptoms appear, death is imminent.
Domestic animal vaccination was developed in the 1920s. This innovation helped to decrease the incidence of rabies in animals. Due to widespread vaccination programs, dogs in America rarely have rabies these days.
The rabies vaccination schedule varies, as each state has different laws regarding when your dog should receive their rabies vaccination and shots. There is a strict protocol that mandates the rabies vaccination for dogs, cats, ferrets, and horses receive the rabies vaccine.
Most puppies receive their first rabies vaccine at 12 to 16 weeks old. They typically receive their first booster when they are one year old and are given a booster shot every year or every three years. Talk to your veterinarian about what your state law requires.
Canine parvovirus is an extremely contagious illness that affects dogs. It triggers acute gastrointestinal illness in puppies. It most commonly affects puppies between 6 to 20 weeks old. The virus that causes the disease first garnered worldwide recognition in 1978 when an epidemic of parvovirus spread. Canine parvovirus is comparable to feline panleukopenia virus (FPV).
Dogs can get parvovirus from contact with:
- An infected dog’s stool
- Contaminated food and water bowls
- Contaminated collars and leashes
- Tainted Bedding
- Affected toys
- Contaminated grooming tools
Parvo can also be passed from mother to puppy through the placenta of an infected mother. Canine parvovirus is evident in two different forms: cardiac and intestinal. The intestinal form is more common in pups. With the parvovirus vaccine, parvo is very preventable. Without it, the puppy is at risk of contracting the illness. Dogs need to be vaccinated between the ages of 6 to 8 weeks.
Distemper is a very contagious viral disease. It is also highly lethal, so your dog should be vaccinated against it. The distemper vaccine for dogs has been available since the 1950s. Distemper is closely related to the measles and rinderpest viruses. It attacks a wide range of vital body systems, which results in a widespread infection that is difficult to treat.
Distemper can be spread through the infected animal’s cough, sneeze, or bark. It is a disease spread through direct contact or airborne exposure. All dogs are at risk of developing distemper. However, unvaccinated dogs and puppies under four months of age are most susceptible to the illness. Generally, dogs should be vaccinated against distemper when they are 6 to 8 weeks old.
Canine hepatitis is characterized by liver inflammation in dogs. It is linked with a build-up of inflammatory cells within the liver and the scarring of excessive fibrous tissue in the liver, which leads to liver dysfunction. Hepatitis in dogs can be triggered by:
- Canine bacterial infections
- Ingestion of toxic substances
- Liver cancer
The canine endocrine disease may also cause canine hepatitis, such as diabetes or Cushing’s disease. Another cause of hepatitis in pups is inherited copper storage in the liver, which is only present in some dog breeds. Hepatitis is serious, as it can make the liver work less effectively. Puppies should be vaccinated between ages 6 to 8 weeks old.
Parvovirus, Distemper, and Hepatitis are all grouped into one vaccine called DHPP. The rabies vaccine is separate, and all core vaccines are routine. For the DHPP vaccine, puppies are first vaccinated at 6 to 8 weeks old. Then again, at 10 to 12 years old and then 16 to 18 weeks old. They should get another booster again at 12 to 16 months old. Finally, the DHPP vaccine is administered every 3 years. Rabies is a zoonotic disease, and state law determines when the rabies vaccine is given. These core vaccines are crucial to your dog’s health and well-being.
Non-core vaccines are also important for your dog’s health, but they are not mandatory. They are determined on a case-by-case basis of what is appropriate for the individual dog. You should talk to your vet about your puppy’s risks and what non-core vaccines may be necessary for them. Non-core vaccines include the following:
Kennel cough is an extremely contagious respiratory infection. It commonly occurs at:
- Boarding facilities
- Doggie daycare
- Dog parks
- Training groups
- Dog shows
Kennel cough can exist in environments where many dogs gather. It can be caused by bacterial, viral, or other types of infection. The most evident symptom of kennel cough is an intense cough with a “honking” sound.
Canine Leptospirosis is a serious zoonotic disease. The most common way it is propagated is through water contaminated with urine. It can be found in:
- Contaminated soil
- Tainted bedding
- Contaminated food
Leptospirosis enters the body through ingestion, broken skin, or mucous membranes, such as the eyes, nose, or mouth.
Canine influenza differs from the type of flu that infects people because it can affect dogs all year round. Vaccines are available for both types of dog flu: H3N8 and H3N2. Dogs can contract the virus from other infected dogs.
Canine parainfluenza is a contagious respiratory illness with symptoms closely resembling canine influenza. However, it is a different virus and requires a different vaccination. It is one of the triggers of kennel cough.
Bordetella Brocnchiseptica is a highly contagious respiratory illness in dogs. It is the most common bacteria that triggers kennel cough in dogs. The vaccine for this illness is commonly given to pups that will be exposed to other dogs in boarding or social settings, and is given every 6 months.
The canine coronavirus is not the equivalent of COVID-19, which affects people, and does not pose the same health risk. For dogs, it can cause gastrointestinal illness and respiratory illness. It primarily causes abdominal discomfort in infected dogs.
Our Webster, TX Vet is Here for Your Puppy’s Shots
Your puppy’s vaccines are essential because they help build immunity to illnesses, and they help protect your pup from becoming seriously ill.