Vaccinating your pets is an important part of giving them the healthy life that they deserve. Of course, as veterinary science continues to grow and evolve, it can be hard to keep up with what’s required for puppy and dog vaccinations. Plus, depending on where you live, different cities and areas may have different requirements. In this guide, we’ll provide a general outline of what is expected or required for puppies and dogs to keep them healthy and keep you compliant as a pet owner when it comes to dog and puppy vaccinations.
Generally, all puppies get the same vaccines as they grow. However, the timing of those vaccines will vary depending on what it is and what the vet recommends or what is required by law. Puppies get their first shots when they are six to eight weeks old. They will need to visit the vet a few times in their first year of life to get their boosters.
According to professionals from portkennedyvet.com.au , puppies cannot be vaccinated until they are weaned, and your vet will let you know which immunizations are important for your dog. This could depend on where you live, how many pets are in your home, and other factors. Most places require that dogs be vaccinated against rabies. You’ll also want to keep records of the shots that you get. All puppies should also be immunized against distemper, hepatitis, and parvovirus.
Those three vaccines are usually administered in a combination dose, given every two to four weeks until the puppies are 14 weeks old. Puppies cannot get their rabies shot until they are 14-16 weeks old. They also cannot be vaccinated against Bordetella, giardia, or Lyme disease until they are 14 weeks old.
It’s a good idea to call your vet or find a new one if you don’t have one, as soon as you get a new puppy. Even if they just got shots, you may have to wait a while to get an appointment as a new patient. When you call, you can talk to them about what your pet needs or ask to set up a consultation with the vet before actually doing anything.
As dogs age, they are still going to need a few more inoculations. Booster shots are done at 12 months for the DHLPPC and rabies, along with Lyme disease and giardia. Bordetella is given as a booster at six months, so it is taken care of a little sooner. Dogs will also need to get their rabies booster every three years after their first year, for the duration of their life, to comply with most laws.
As dogs get older, some owners and vets discuss skipping vaccines or not doing boosters because the dogs may not need them anymore. This, again, is something that you will have to discuss with your doctor to figure out what is best. In some cases, even something like a rabies shot is required to take dogs to a grooming salon so you can’t really afford to skip it.
Another preventive treatment that dogs get, although it isn’t actually a vaccine, is heartworm prevention treatment. This treatment is administered monthly, or on a semi-monthly schedule, depending on the medication used. It ensures that dogs will not get heartworm and is much easier and more affordable than trying to treat a dog for heartworm after the fact. Most dogs don’t recover if they do become infected.
What If I Don’t Vaccinate My Dog?
Some people wonder if they need to vaccinate their puppies and dogs at all. The short answer is absolutely, yes. Dogs have certain needs to be healthy and, like humans, there are many diseases they will come into contact with that they don’t necessarily need to contract. A vaccine is available, so why not take advantage of it? At the very worst, your dog may become very ill and not live as long as he or she should if they’re not properly vaccinated.
If nothing else, you may violate the law and unable to take your dog to public places. Even many dog parks today require dogs to be licenced and have up-to-date vaccines to come in and play. This is for the safety of all of the dogs. If you are truly concerned about vaccines or other issues, you should sit down and have a conversation with your vet about what’s best for your furry companion.
If you have a dog that is over 16 weeks of age and they’re not up to date on their shots, you might need to get them all done starting as soon as possible. Even if you aren’t sure, your vet might recommend doing them just to be safe, because it doesn’t hurt for them to get it twice. Fortunately, there are also handy charts and calendars that your vet can give you to help you stick to the shot schedules and get your dog up to date as soon as possible so that they can have a long, healthy life.
What If I Can’t Afford Vaccines?
Some people feel that they aren’t going to be able to afford the vet bills associated with check-ups and vaccines, but the fact of the matter is that they are a lot more affordable than people realize. As long as you choose a vet with a reasonable office fee, you can find low prices on most shots and treatments that dogs and puppies need. Some breeders even purchase and do their own puppy shots, but you’ll want to study up on that or at least visit a vet once for a lesson before you just start playing nurse with your own dog.
Ultimately, you can’t afford not to get your puppy vaccinations and keep him or her vaccinated and current on all necessary shots. From their health to the potential legal ramifications, it’s just not worth the risk. If you really are concerned about money, talk to your vet about discount plans, low-cost shot clinics, or payment plans that can help offset the cost.