If you just adopted a very young puppy, then you know that they must be vaccinated on time. Puppies require a rigid schedule of vaccinations. This ensures that they build up their immunity against deadly diseases. Keeping up with the schedule gives your puppy the best chance of staying well. Here is more information about what shots your puppy needs, when to get them, and what to do if you miss or wait too long between boosters.
Which Vaccinations Do Puppies Need?
Your puppy's vaccination needs vary depending on what diseases are common in your area. However, there are vaccinations that all puppies need regardless of where they live. In some cases, you cannot get a dog license without them. Here is a list of the most commonly needed or required vaccinations.
Rabies is an incurable disease easily transmitted between mammals.
Parvovirus is a common and deadly gastrointestinal disease that is highly contagious.
Distemper is an airborne respiratory and gastrointestinal disease that also has no cure. In the beginning, it mimics a cold, but it can lead to pneumonia and seizures.
Adenovirus is a contagious disease that can be picked up through infected urine and saliva. It attacks the kidneys and blood vessels.
When Should Puppies Get Vaccinated?
Most puppies should start their vaccinations around the time that they are being weaned, or about six to eight weeks old. They are then given boosters at about every three to four weeks until they are 16 weeks old. The parvovirus vaccine usually has two boosters after 16 weeks. All others are given at yearly intervals. Rabies vaccinations usually start at about 16 weeks old. After that, they get a booster every year or every three years, depending on the type of vaccination.
What Happens a Puppy Misses a Dose?
If your puppy misses a vaccination or receives it late, then he or she may be able to catch up. However, it depends on how long it has been since their last vaccination. If you are more than a couple of months late, then your puppy may need two boosters about two weeks apart. This allows the immune system to catch up on the missed vaccines.
Most puppies do well with vaccinations. While your puppy needs several vaccinations when young, the frequency decreases once your puppy reaches adulthood. Make sure that your puppy gets a wellness checkup at regular intervals. Your veterinarian can give you advice about when to bring your puppy in for vaccination and what diseases he or she needs protection from in your area.
To learn more about pet vaccinations, contact a veterinarian in your area.