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Owning a dog is a big responsibility, and this responsibility starts with them being puppies – and getting them vaccinated to protect them from some serious problems. Taking care of your puppy should not only be limited to feeding and drinking healthy stuff, daily exercise, and obedience training. Vaccination is the most important thing of all. This protects them from all sorts of fatal and serious diseases. Not only that, it ensures them a good start on a long and healthy life, and may even help to preserve their breed.
Beginner’s Guide to Vaccinating Puppies
There are two general types of vaccines: the core vaccines and the non-core vaccines. Core vaccines are the ones that are required or strictly needed because your dog (and people) can be in great danger without them. Vaccines of this type include injections that protect your dog against the following: rabies, distemper, parainfluenza virus, parvovirus, and adenovirus. On the other side of the coin, non-core vaccines are the optional vaccines that can be decided by the dog owner whether to give it to his or her dog or not. Examples of these are injections against: Bordetella bronchiseptica (kennel cough) and Leptospirosis.
Puppies are usually brought to the vet their first vaccinations when they reach about eight weeks old. A physical examination will take place first for your puppy, and it may sometimes include de-worming. Parvo and distemper vaccines usually are the first ones given. Also, vaccination has a schedule, and it is up to your vet as to what your puppy’s vaccination schedule will be.
Speaking of vets, remember to choose a vet that your dog will adapt to well. You can ask your neighbors or circle of friends if they know of a professional who delivers not only expert care to dogs, but also can handle the dog properly. If you have a good, established relationship with your vet, you can easily work things out for your puppy’s health.
The second de-worming session for your puppy is after ten weeks. Your vet may give some booster shots of parvo and distemper vaccines a few weeks afterwards. Note that as your puppy grows, additional vaccines may be needed. Also, as the vet cannot give all the injections in one session, you still need to have regular check-ups for your puppy. Remember to keep track of the vaccination schedule so that your buddy does not miss anything. Your vet will normally call or send you reminders anyway, but “better safe than sorry”.
Most people think that vaccination is a luxury or an additional expense for the family, but it is not. Vaccination is very vital to your dog as it is to humans. Dogs need to have strong protection against sickness and diseases that could kill them, or at best, destroy their health. A puppy hopefully has a long life to live, and it needs all the protection that it can get. As the owner, it is your responsibility to preserve your puppy’s health.