Getting a new puppy is like having all your Christmases come at once. This is a gift that will last you for many years, and help to create countless happy memories. A dog can be a best friend, and can bring joy to an entire family.
Within moments of meeting your new furry companion, you will almost always fall head-over-heels in love. And so you might be scared of the notion of a puppy vaccinations.
Puppy Vaccinations: What You Need to Know
Dogs don’t like injections any more than humans do, and knowingly subjecting your pup to that kind of discomfort is something that doesn’t sit easily. Rest assured though: this is by far the best thing you can do for your dog. AND for other dogs.
Here’s what you need to know.
What Are Puppy Vaccinations? Are They Safe?
A vaccination or vaccine is a small dose of a virus or bacteria, delivered intravenously using a syringe. The idea is to briefly infect the dog with the pathogen, thereby encouraging an immune response. This immune response essentially trains the body by forcing it to create the necessary antigens. These will then be available and ready any time that virus should show up again.
This might sound alarming, but keep in mind that the amount of virus being injected is extremely small and not enough to cause serious damage. In some cases, your dog might show some signs of being mildly under-the-weather; they may have cold symptoms for example, or they might seem very tired. Often though, there will be no obvious symptoms at all.
Keep in mind too, that the alternatives are far more severe and are under no such doubt. Further, protecting your dog against disease helps to prevent it spreading, making this a conscientious choice as a dog owner.
What Vaccines Does Your Puppy Need?
This depends on the area you live in. However, most vets will offer a combination called a multivalent vaccination. This has the benefit of allowing a single injection rather than many. Common inclusions are adenovirus 2, canine parvovirus, and parainfluenza.
Vaccinations After Puppyhood: Boosters and Titers
There is a difference of opinion about having your adult dog vaccinated every year. Some vets believe too many vaccinations in adult dogs pose health risks. But others disagree, saying that yearly vaccinations will prevent dangerous diseases such as distemper.
Many dog owners opt for titer tests before they administer annual vaccinations. Titer tests measure a dog’s immunity levels, and this can determine which, if any, vaccinations are necessary. Please note that a titer test is not an option when it comes to the rabies vaccine. These are required by law (see above). Your vet can tell you the schedule for your particular state.
And it’s all worth it. For your effort and care your puppy will lavish you with lifelong love in return. This critical first year of her life is a fun and exciting time for both of you. As she grows physically, the wonderful bond between you will grow, too.
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