There are so many important things to remember when bringing home a puppy. You have to set up food and water bowls and a place to sleep. She needs lots of toys and grooming supplies. You need to go through and puppy-proof by hiding cords and keeping important items out of her reach. And you need to schedule an appointment with the veterinarian to start her dog vaccinations in Granger, IN. This can feel totally overwhelming. Just remember, it’s all worth it to have a lifelong companion by your side.
You should schedule your first vet appointment within a few days of bringing home your new dog. At the first appointment, the veterinarian will go over everything you need to know about puppy care. This will include discussing the dog vaccination schedule. Each situation is unique and depends on a few factors like your puppy’s age, breed, where he came from (breeder, shelter, etc.), litter size, and where in the country your puppy came from. From there, your veterinarian will give a personalized recommendation for your dog’s vaccination schedule.
Shots are important because they prevent diseases. Some of these diseases are treatable if they are contracted and some are not. Vaccines are split into two categories, core and non-core. Core vaccines are necessary for all dogs to get due to the risk of exposure, severity of the disease, or the transmissibility to humans. Non-core vaccines are optional because of the risk of exposure is not as severe. Your veterinarian may recommend a non-core vaccine as a necessary one due to your geographic region. Some parts of the country need additional protection.
Let’s go over an average, best practice dog vaccination schedule.
Dog Vaccinations For 6-8 Weeks
The age at which you get your puppy and where they came from really determines where you’ll start. For instance, if you get your puppy from a breeder at 8 weeks, they may have already given him a couple of shots. It’s important to get paperwork from anywhere you adopt your puppy from so that you have a sense of his medical history.
The vaccines your puppy will likely get in this time frame are DA2P, Bordetella, and canine influenza.
DA2P is a core vaccine and is used to protect against Distemper, Adenovirus, and Parvovirus. Distemper is a virus spread through airborne exposure or sharing food and water. It causes a lot of issues for your dog and can lead to death. There is no cure for distemper, so the vaccine is necessary. Adenovirus is also known as canine hepatitis. It’s a viral infection and is highly contagious. Again, there is no cure and in severe cases, it can lead to death. Parvovirus, or parvo, is a virus that creates loss of appetite, fever, and vomiting. There isn’t a cure for this either, but most dog’s immune systems can fight it off as long as they get immediate veterinary care.
Bordetella is a non-core dog vaccine. This disease is often called kennel cough and is highly infectious. While it is non-core, it is highly recommended if you plan on taking your puppy to the dog park, training classes, or boarding him at any point.
The vaccine for canine influenza is also considered non-core. It protects against the canine flu, which is not deadly but can affect your puppy. This requires a booster two to four weeks later depending on the vaccine your vet suggests.
Another non-core vaccine is for canine coronavirus. This disease usually affects the dog’s gastrointestinal system and does not have a cure. It may be worth the peace of mind to add this one in.
Dog Vaccinations For 9-12 Weeks
The dog vaccine schedule at this point kind of depends on what you did from 6-8 weeks. There is a chance you didn’t get your puppy until he was 9-10 weeks old so you would be doing the DA2P, Bordetella, and canine flu. If you got these vaccines in the 6-8 week range, it’s probably time for a booster. Both DA2P and Bordetella require a booster 4 weeks after the original vaccination. Canine influenza could be anywhere from 2-4 weeks, but your veterinarian will likely lump them all together to make it easier on you.
Dog Vaccinations For 12-16 Weeks
If your puppy was given all of afore mentioned vaccines at 6-8 weeks, then they will have probably already received their boosters. If not, you’ll be needing those. The DA2P shot also requires a parvo only booster at 16 weeks.
At 13 weeks, it’s time to get the rabies shot. This is a core dog vaccine and is often required by the state and most rental properties. Rabies is a zoonotic virus and can be passed from your dog to you via a bite. The disease affects the central nervous system. You probably know rabies after it was portrayed in the movie Old Yeller.
Leptospirosis is a non-core vaccine that will need a booster. Leptospirosis is caused by bacteria found in water and soil. It is zoonotic, so most vets treat this as a core vaccine and highly suggest it.
Lyme disease is a non-core vaccination because the disease can be treated by antibiotics, but there often aren’t many symptoms until it’s too late. Lyme disease is carried and transmitted by ticks, so if you’re dog is going to be outside a lot or in the woods regularly, this might be one you need to consider.
It should also be mentioned that your veterinarian will probably talk to you about heartworm medication around this time. Heartworms are often fatal for dogs but can be prevented by regular medication.
Dog Vaccinations For 15-17 Weeks
At this point, you’ll have just the parvo booster for your core dog vaccine. If you elected to get the Leptospirosis or Lyme vaccine, you will need a booster around this time.
That was a lot, right? Don’t worry, it goes by faster than you could ever imagine! It’s also important to note that dog vaccines don’t last forever. You’ll need to go back for booster shots throughout your dog’s life. Again, because each dog and region is different, you’ll need to discuss when to bring your precious puppy back in for his next round.
Welcome to Kryder & Harr Veterinary Clinic! Our animal hospital has been a fixture in the Granger community since 1981, practicing full-service veterinary medicine for all our pet parents and their furry family members. At KHVC, we pride ourselves on our history, of providing excellent customer service for our clients, along with dedicated, compassionate, and exceptional medical care for all of our patients.