Getting a dog comes with many new challenges, and often requires a period of adjustment—your dog must get used to you, your household, and other aspects of its new life. In addition, there are many adjustments you must make, as an owner. One of these tasks involves ensuring your dog has everything it needs to be happy, comfortable, and healthy.
Vaccinations should be at the top of your radar when thinking about the overall health, growth, and development of your new canine friend. But trying to figure out what vaccinations your dog needs can be incredibly overwhelming for new dog owners. But do not worry! We are here to help you make sure you’re making well-informed choices for your dog’s health.
Continue reading to find out which vaccinations your new dog really needs. And if you have any questions, call Tiger Tails Animal Hospital in Duluth at (770) 817-9565.
Why Do We Vaccinate?
Before you begin vaccinating your canine friends, it is important to understand why we vaccinate. Vaccinations are important for the health of animals because they protect against deadly illness and diseases, which could otherwise shorten the life of your dog, or cause serious suffering.
Classifications of Dog Vaccinations
First of all, there are two different classifications of dog vaccines that are typically referred to. Core vaccines are vaccines that all dogs generally need. Lifestyle vaccines (non-core vaccines) are vaccines that not all dogs need, and the need for them will vary based on a dog’s geographical location, habits, breed/type, the prevalence of a disease at the time, or other factors that interfere with a dog’s life.
The Distemper Vaccine:
This vaccine prevents against Canine Distemper Virus and is considered by veterinarians to be one of the core vaccines that all dogs need. Canine Distemper Virus is a highly contagious and often lethal illness spread through contact between dogs. The most susceptible to this virus are puppies under four months old, and unvaccinated dogs. To prevent your dog from contracting Canine Distemper Virus, make sure your dog receives the full series of the Distemper Vaccine, and talk to your vet to determine how often your dog will need to be vaccinated to stay protected for their entire life.
Parvo is a highly contagious virus that can cause severe gastrointestinal illness in dogs. It spreads easily through the canine population when left unchecked. Dogs between six weeks and six months old are most at risk. Also at risk are certain dog breeds, including German Shepherds, Rottweilers, and others, although scientists don’t yet understand why these dog breeds have a higher risk for contracting parvovirus than others. Dogs should be vaccinated against parvovirus three times, starting at 6-8 weeks old. Contact your veterinarian in Duluth for more information about parvovirus vaccines.
Canine Adenovirus Vaccine:
The Canine Adenovirus, also known as Canine Hepatitis, can often result in death of effected dogs. However, early vaccination against Canine Adenovirus can greatly reduce risk of contraction. Talk to your veterinarian about when your dog should receive the Canine Adenovirus Vaccine. Dogs as young as 10-12 weeks can receive this vaccine in combination with the Parvovirus Vaccine, the Distemper Vaccine, and the Rabies Vaccine.
Many US State laws require that dogs be vaccinated for Rabies, and veterinarians also strongly advise dogs get vaccinated for the first time between 12-16 weeks of age, with a follow-up booster shot one year later. Make sure to check with your veterinarian about the Rabies vaccine for your dog, as well as checking your local and state Rabies vaccine regulations.
This vaccine is normally administered to dogs age 8-16 weeks. Immunity will last roughly one year.
Leptospirosis is a bacterium typically found in mud and standing water. If your dog is at risk for contracting Leptospirosis, veterinarians will recommend an initial Leptospirosis vaccine and a follow-up revaccination.
Canine Influenza Vaccine:
Dogs may have an increased risk for contracting influenza if they visit high-risk places (areas well-populated with dogs such as dog parks, groomers, etc.) If a dog is determined to be of a higher risk of contraction, they will typically be vaccinated in two doses: one at 6-8 weeks old, and another dose 2-4 weeks after that. If there is a sustained risk, veterinarians may administer a follow-up vaccination, within one year.
Still Aren’t Sure Which Vaccines Your Dog Needs?
If you still have questions about which vaccines your dog might need, don’t worry! It’s a complicated process and can take lots of time and effort to understand. When in doubt, the easiest and smartest thing to do is ask your veterinarian. After all, it’s their job to understand your dog’s needs and health, and they’ll know best about which vaccines your dog requires to live a long and healthy life. Call us today at (770) 817-9565.