Vaccinate your puppy
Vaccinations are an essential part of a puppy’s health care plan. Though there is some controversy about the potential risk of vaccines and over-vaccination, most experts agree that certain basic immunizations are essential to keep your puppy from getting sick and prevent the spread of disease.
When puppies are born, their immune systems are not fully developed, so they cannot fight disease. However, during the first few days of a puppy’s life, nursing mothers provide antibody-rich milk called colostrum. These antibodies provide puppies with temporary immunity against illness. While the length of this immunity varies from puppy to puppy, it is generally believed that maternal antibodies are gone after 16 to 20 weeks.
Your veterinary surgeon will probably vaccinate your puppy at both 8 weeks and 10 or 12 weeks of age, depending on which vaccine they use. Puppies are vaccinated at this age because it has been found that their immunity levels are starting to decrease or disappear altogether at these times. These vaccines take time to become effective, usually between 7 to 14 days after both doses have been given. During this time after vaccination it is essential that, to reduce the risk of infection, you keep your puppy away from other dogs, especially if you don’t know their vaccine status, and avoid places where other dogs might have been.
Does my adult dog need annual boosters?
There are evolving theories about the necessity and frequency of vaccinations for domestic dogs. Many dog owners and now many academic veterinarians have expressed concern that dogs are being vaccinated too frequently. Specific adverse reactions and general consequences for long-term health are both being cited as reasons to reduce the frequency of vaccination of adult dogs. Manufacturers of vaccines for dogs have responded by developing more vaccines with at least three year efficacy proven. Many states and communities have changed ordinances to allow for longer intervals between rabies vaccinations when vaccines of proven efficacy are administered. It’s for you to decide – do your research. Hopefully our links below will help.