Dog vaccinations are crucial in safeguarding your furry friend against life-threatening diseases. While rabies vaccination is mandatory by law, there are numerous other vaccinations that can protect your dog from easily preventable illnesses.
At Katten TrimSalon, we have dedicated years to educating pet owners about the importance of dog vaccinations. We understand that you may have questions, so we have compiled some frequently asked ones for you. However, remember that this article serves as a general introduction, and we recommend discussing specific vaccination recommendations with our experts during your next visit.
Understanding the Importance of Dog Vaccines
Vaccines work by stimulating a dog’s immune system to recognize and defend against disease-causing organisms. These vaccines contain harmless antigens that mimic the real pathogens. By introducing these antigens, the immune system learns to identify them. Consequently, if the dog encounters the actual disease, its immune system will be prepared to fend it off effectively.
Core Vaccinations for Dogs
Certain vaccinations are considered essential for all dogs due to their universal risk of exposure and severity of disease. The following vaccinations are classified as core:
- Canine Parvovirus
- Canine Distemper
Although not classified as core, non-core vaccines like Bordetella, Canine Influenza (dog flu), Lyme vaccine, and Leptospirosis are significant for most dogs that may be exposed to these diseases. During your next appointment, our experts can review your dog’s specific needs and recommend the most suitable vaccinations.
Optional Dog Vaccines
The necessity for some vaccinations depends on several factors, including age, medical history, environment, travel habits, and lifestyle. Therefore, it is vital to consult with our veterinary team to determine the appropriate vaccination protocol for your dog.
When to Start Puppy Vaccinations
Puppies should begin their vaccination schedule as soon as they are around 6 to 8 weeks old. Vaccinations should be administered every two weeks until approximately four months of age, completing the final round. Puppies usually receive antibodies from their mother’s milk, providing initial immunity. Once weaned, vaccinations should commence.
Recommended Puppy Vaccination Schedule
We generally recommend the following vaccination schedule for puppies:
- 6-10 weeks: DA2PP, Bordetella (Kennel Cough)
- 11-14 weeks: DA2PP, Leptospirosis, Canine Influenza, Lyme Disease
- 16 weeks: DA2PP, Leptospirosis, Canine Influenza, Lyme Disease, Rabies
Please note that puppies should not receive more than two vaccines per visit, and smaller puppies may receive one vaccine at a time.
Vaccination Schedule for Adult Dogs
Once your puppy has received all the core vaccines, an adult dog vaccination schedule can be established. Adult boosters are administered periodically and are similar to the DA2PP vaccine given to puppies, along with additional vaccinations based on the dog’s lifestyle.
Duration of Vaccine Effectiveness
The effectiveness of each vaccine varies. Here is the duration of effectiveness for common vaccines:
- DA2PP – 3 years
- Rabies – 3 years
- Leptospirosis – 1 year
- Canine Influenza – 1 year
- Lyme Disease – 1 year
- Bordetella (Kennel Cough) – 1 year
Side Effects and Risks
While adverse reactions to vaccinations are rare, it is essential to monitor your dog after vaccination. Some possible side effects include fever, lethargy, loss of appetite, swelling, vomiting, diarrhea, and pain at the injection site. Severe reactions such as facial swelling, vomiting, or lethargy should be reported to your veterinarian immediately.
Scheduling a Vaccination Appointment
Establish a puppy vaccination schedule during your first visit, ideally within a week of bringing your new puppy home. Once the puppy vaccination schedule is complete, you can schedule periodic booster immunizations. Following the recommended dog vaccination schedule ensures the lifelong health and happiness of your furry companion. Schedule an appointment today to protect your dog with necessary vaccinations.