Vaccination Schedule for Dogs
When bringing a puppy home from a rescue center or adoption we usually want a healthy and vaccinated new member to the family. Furthermore, vaccination is important to dogs as it prevents the families from getting diseases like rabies which can be transmitted to humans. Also, we prevent our pets from making us incur expensive medical bills in case we lack pet insurance due to preventable animal diseases.
Firstly, check your dogs’ or puppy’s medical history and immunization reports to see they have received all the necessary vaccinations and booster shots where needed before leaving the adoption center.
When Should a Puppy Be Vaccinated?
Alongside this, a puppy should be vaccinated as soon as possible after weaning. Vaccination prevents animal death from preventable diseases. We want our pets to be healthy hence will get all the vital vaccinations.
Allowing your dog or puppy to get vaccination helps in keeping them safe from future attacks as he builds his immune. Vaccines are given to the dog to make his defense stronger and be able to fight future infections.
We are not saying he will not be ill at one time but chances are even if he falls ill he can recover as he is able to fight the infection. In comparison to dogs that have not been vaccinated any disease can become fatal.
Prevention is better than cure hence make vaccination important to your dog and other pets in the household.
Which Diseases Should Your Dog be Vaccinated Against?
A dog needs attention, care, and love. Importantly, when we take them home they depend on us entirely for their food, toys, training, socialization, veterinary care, and essentials as they try to fit in the new home.
If a dog is not vaccinated as a puppy and one gets to adopt him while much older discuss with your vet which vaccinations are necessary to suit his/her needs.
Most diseases that attack our pets can be prevented by vaccination. Pet care may seem like a hard job leading to the numerous pet/dog rescue shelters sometimes. Unquestionably, taking your dog for a vaccination shot when needed and a booster all throughout his life may keep him healthy and safe for all his lifespan.
Core and Non-core Vaccines
Vaccination from many diseases is available but all the dog needs are the necessary ones. Apart from this, some vaccinations are optional, and one can discuss with their vet to know if they are necessary.
If you travel a lot with your dog, he may need some vaccination that may not be necessary for a homebound dog.
Dogs are social animals and can be found mingling with other dogs. Notably, the dog can play or interact with other dogs at the park, at the groomers, in boarding kennels, when lost or when you are away, or at socialization classes.
Common Vaccination needed by Your Dog
- Bordetella Bronchiseptica (kennel cough)
- Canine Parvovirus
- Canine distemper
- Infectious hepatitis
Bordetella Bronchiseptica (kennel Cough)
One common problem associated with this is that the dog can catch kennel cough which is caused by Bordetella Bronchiseptica. It is highly infectious and signs exhibited by the dog are dizziness, coughing, vomiting, seizure and even death. It is caused by bacteria. Not only does it cause inflammation in the trachea but also in the bronchitis area.
It is a common infection in dogs. The vaccine can be administered by an injected or given as a nasal spray vaccine.
Regardless, it is highly transmitted between cats and dogs through the air or direct contact.
It is treated with antibiotics as vaccination cannot assist a dog already with kennel cough. It is a respiratory disease, and when puppies are affected severely it can cause pneumonia.
Ensure to give the first shot of vaccine at 14 weeks and booster shots 6-12 months.
This infection can be transmitted from dog to dog through contaminated stool, people, and the environment.
It is caused by a virus “parvo” which affects the dog’s gastrointestinal tract. Additional the dog may exhibit tiredness, lack of appetite, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, dehydration, and fever.
The virus can be moved from one surface to another through people’s clothes, shoes when handling an infected dog. Moreover, the virus can survive in humid, cold, drying temperatures and can survive on a surface for long.
Vaccination of puppies is necessary after weaning as the natural milk immunity is no longer there and they can get the infection.
The first shot of the vaccine should be administered after 6-8 weeks.
At the age of 14-16 weeks, the puppy should be vaccinated for canine parvovirus to develop strong protection later.
Booster shots should be given at intervals of 3 weeks until the puppy is 16 weeks. After this one can give annually.
Ensure that this vaccination is up to date in your dog’s lifespan. To reduce transmission to other dogs isolate infected dogs, clean up and properly dispose of all feces to prevent other dogs from stepping on the contaminated stool. Subsequently, keep your dog from overcrowded boarding kennels, parks, groomers where they can come into contact with an infected dog.
In addition, if not treated can cause death.
Leptospirosis can be passed from the mother dog to her puppies through the placenta. Dogs can be infected by eating contaminated carcasses, drinking from contaminated rivers, eating contaminated rodents, contact with infected urine, soil, and food.
Signs that the dog can exhibit include lethargy, thirst, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, jaundice, fever, painful muscles.
Your dog history and consulting your vet can save your dog from this infection. Dog with higher risk can be protected at least for 12 months with this vaccine.
The first dose should be administered as early as 8 weeks. Followed with a second dose after 2-4 weeks later.
Even though it causes a low risk of infection to humans we recommend you protect yourself and your family by avoiding touching the contaminated urine.
Also, train your dog to urinate away from the water source as well as wash your hand after attending to your dog.
Canine hepatitis is caused by a virus that targets the dog liver, spleen, lungs, lining of the blood vessels, and kidneys.
Apart from this, the virus can attack internal organs and the dog may experience fever, thirst, abdominal pain, vomiting, low white blood cell count, and if severe can lead to kidney damage or death. Canine hepatitis is highly contagious and your dog needs to get the mandatory vaccine to prevent any infection.
When your dog consumes contaminated saliva, urine, feces, nasal discharge from an infected dog he can get hepatitis.
Puppies as young as 6-8weeks should start getting this vaccine. Discuss with your vet when the right time is to give the hepatitis vaccine to your dog. A booster shot can follow between 11-13 weeks of age.
Particularly, this vaccine is helpful and your dog will need it throughout its lifetime. Another booster shot should follow at 15 months then yearly after that to prevent infection.
Dogs that have not been vaccinated or puppies below 4 months are likely to get this infection. Signs they exhibit mostly are watery or pus discharge eyes, coughing, fever, vomiting, and reduced appetite, etc.
This virus can give the dog uncoordinated movements, seizures, paralysis, tilting of the head, and muscle twitches as it attacks the nervous system.
If the infection is severe it can cause convulsion, irreversible damage to the nervous system, or even death of your dog. It requires aggressive treatment.
The virus can be passed to your dog from other infected dogs /wild animals and dogs that have not been vaccinated or vaccination is out of date especially in the shelters.
Although, vaccination is crucial against canine distemper ensure to separate and isolate the infectious dogs from healthy ones. When taking your dog to the park or socialization classes ensure the area is not overcrowded and keep him/her from unvaccinated dogs.
Puppies can receive the vaccination from 6weeks and after every 3 weeks thereafter until they are 16weeks.
Depending on your location your vet may recommend specific vaccinations to prevent any infection.
Importantly, the immunity from the vaccine can last to 3 years or more if your area isn’t highly affected.
Canister distemper can be confused with rabies as the symptoms are similar, and it also affects the brain as well as the nervous system.
Canine parainfluenza is a highly contagious respiratory virus also known as canine cough. The virus can be transmitted through the air.
Obviously, it is widely spread in boarding kennels and shelters due to the high number of dogs homed there.
Also, it can be acquired by your dog while visiting the groomer, the park, the daycare, socialization classes that’s why he needs the vaccination.
Signs that your dog will exhibit are coughing nasal discharge, and loss of appetite, lethargy, and mild fever.
This is not a mandatory vaccine and can be recommended by your vet if the dog is at risk. Puppies from 6-8 weeks can get vaccinated with this vaccine.
The vaccine should be administered again after 2-4 weeks until the puppy is 16 weeks.
If your dog has never received this vaccine the vet can advise for 1-2 doses given apart in 2-4 weeks.
This vaccine can be given as an injection or through intranasal products.
More dogs in the UK are receiving a rabies jab although it is not a ‘routine’ vaccination in the UK, as rabies is considered to be eradicated in this country. However for travel outside the country, a pet passport is required to avoid long periods of quarantine, and one prerequisite for this is a rabies vaccination.
Rabies virus is incurable and can cause your dog irreversible damage to the brain and spinal cord. The dog may exhibit the following signs:
- Aggressive when overstimulated
- Excessive drooling
- Difficulties in swallowing
- Change in behavior, for instance, laid back from happy self
Consult your vet before the symptoms progress for quick treatment.
Give your dog the first vaccination shot after 14 weeks and booster shots after 12-36 months. Furthermore, revaccination should be done after every 1- 3 years.
Just like humans puppies or litter is safe with the mother’s milk as it contains natural immunity. Despite this, it is recommended to start immediate vaccination after weaning to avoid infections.
That duration they are highly susceptible to infections and if not immunized can suffer an attack. Undoubtedly from 3-4 weeks depending on which vaccination the puppy should get his/her vaccination shots as advised by a vet.
Most of these vaccinations can be given in 1 dose, 2 doses, 3 doses, or even 4 depending on the infection.
Other vaccinations are options as it depends on the dog’s geographic area and lifestyle. Lastly, some have booster shots that need to be given yearly during your pet’s lifespan to keep them healthy and safe.