Getting Your Dog Vaccinated
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Vaccines are as important for puppies as they are for humans. The purpose of vaccines is to help keep the body protected against severe and fatal illnesses. So vet recommended immunizations are suggestions you want to seriously consider.

If you’re getting a new puppy or adopting from a shelter, make sure to ask for the puppy’s medical record, which should include any vaccines they have received.

This will help you make sure you don’t neglect giving your puppy and important immunization or inadvertently give them an immunization twice.

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At about six to eight weeks of age, puppies are able to get their shots. It is important to wait until the puppy has fully weaned from the mother, and has reached a minimum weight to be able to tolerate the vaccines well.

Your vet should inform you of what vaccines your puppy will need. The vaccines will depend on varying factors including where you live and what other pets you have in your home. Your vet should also maintain a vaccination schedule for you.

The rabies shot is one of the most common vaccines for dogs. And in some states, dog owners don’t have a choice—they are required to get their dogs vaccinated against rabies.

If you ever plan to travel with your dog, you may need to bring proof that he is up to date on his rabies shots.

You should also get your puppy shots for parvo virus, distemper, and hepatitis. These illnesses can be fatal for dogs, so it’s important to make sure they receive them, especially if they’ll be interacting with other dogs or going outside for unsupervised periods of time.

Vaccines and boosters are normally given in two to four week intervals until they reach 14 weeks old. As mentioned above, your vet should keep track of this schedule for you.

Some vaccines are formulated to be given as an all-in-one shot. An example of this is DHLPPC (which stands for Distemper, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Parainfluenza, Parvo, and Corona).

Here’s an outline of the immunization schedule for your puppy. It’s always good be educated on these things. Vets are human and, unfortunately, they sometimes make mistakes. So backing them up to protect your pet never hurts.

DHLPPC (Distemper, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Parainfluenza, Parvo, Corona)

  • First shot should be given at 6-8 weeks
  • Second shot should be given at 9-11 weeks
  • Third shot should be given at 12-14 weeks
  • Fourth shot should be given at 16-17 weeks
  • Booster shots should be given every 12 months

Bordetella

  • First shot should be administered at 14 weeks
  • Booster shot should be given every 6 months

Rabies (differs by state)

  • First shot should be given at 16 weeks
  • Booster shots should be given every 12-36 months

Giardia

  • First shot should be administered at 14 weeks
  • Second shot should be given at 17 weeks
  • Booster shots should be given every 12 months

Lyme

  • First shot should be given at 14 weeks
  • Second shot should be given at 17 weeks
  • Booster shots should be given every 12 months

If you’re adopting a dog and you weren’t given an immunization record, or the dog didn’t have a medical or vaccination record, work with your vet to determine the best way forward.

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