Getting Your Puppy Vaccinated

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Vaccinations play a critical role in ensuring your pet grows up in the best of health. Much in the same way that children have to receive vaccinations at certain ages, so do puppies!

Dogs are susceptible to certain types of illnesses which vaccinations help them to ward off. A mother dog protects her puppy until around six to twelve weeks after birth. When the puppies are first born, she passes on her immunity mechanism by providing disease-fighting antibodies in her first milk. This is called the Maternally Derived Antibody (MDA), also known as “passive immunity.”

When the puppy begins to wean off of his mother’s milk and starts eating solid foods, he won’t get nearly as much antibody protection. He will have none at all after he makes the complete transition to regular dog food. Most vets recommend vaccinating puppies six weeks or older. You won’t have very good luck getting your dog vaccinated before this age as their immune systems are usually too weak to handle the vaccine. The first set of vaccines given around this age are referred to as the core vaccines, which cover distemper, adenovirus, parvovirus, and rabies.

There has to be a certain number of weeks between each set of core vaccinations, and there are generally three in total. If your pup is given the first set at 6 weeks of age, you can expect to bring him back for the next two at 9 and 12 weeks of age. Some veterinarians will ask you to book an appointment at 15 weeks for a general checkup to make sure that your dog is faring well after the injections.

You may have heard of dogs receiving other vaccinations, commonly referred to as “non-core vaccines.” They are called this because they are usually for illnesses that aren’t as severe to all breeds of dog. Some breeds of dog are particularly susceptible to a certain illness, in which case the vet may recommend that they be given a vaccine as a preventative measure.

Some dog owners fear the side effects of vaccination for their pets. This is a valid concern, but the benefits of vaccination far exceed the risks. Effectiveness may not be guaranteed 100% but with the combination of proper nutrition and eating habits, a good and sanitized environment, vaccination is a great way to protect your dog and other of your pets as well.

In addition to getting your pet vaccinated, it’s important that you provide a healthy diet. Not all dry dog foods live up to their promise of providing the highest quality of ingredients. If you want more information about what’s really in store-bought dog food, visit Dog Food for Life to read the Confidential Dog Food Report.

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