To help ensure a healthy puppy, vaccinations are a must. When puppies are first born, they are protected from diseases from their mother’s milk.
It is not known exactly when their mother’s immunity wears off, so puppies are given a series of shots in order to be protected during this “unknown” lapse in immunity.
Since this is a grey area, do not take your pup to a lot of different places. His socializing can wait a few weeks.
He has a lot to learn within his new home to keep him quite busy for awhile!
©Photo Courtesy of Sheila Schimpf
Parvo is extremely dangerous, and death can occur within just a few days.
I never allow any of my pups off of my own property unless they have had at least 2 shots, and usually I wait until they have had 3.
Most vaccinations are given every 3 weeks, although some veterinarians will space the shots every 4 weeks.
There are basically two types of vaccines. A 5-in-1, or a 7-in-1.
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These are combination shots and the 5-in-1 vaccinations protect against hepatitis, canine distemper, parvovirus, parainfluenza, and adenovirus cough.
The 7-in-1 combination shot includes all of the above, plus a few types of leptospirosis.
Vaccinations need to be started at the age of 6 weeks. Your pup will need at least 2 more shots, one at 9 weeks of age, and another at 12 weeks.
I also give my Golden Retrievers a 4th combination shot when they are between 16 and 18 weeks old. Some studies show that bigger breed dogs need an extra measure of protection, and to me, it isn’t worth the risk not to give the extra shot.
©Photo Courtesy of M.H. Stephens
After these initial series of shots, your dog vaccination schedule will be a booster shot one year after his last vaccine, and then yearly boosters.
Your puppy also needs rabies vaccinations. These are given at 3 months of age and then are repeated one year later. After that, in my state, a rabies shot is given once every three years.
Every state is slightly different in what is required with rabies vaccinations, so make sure that you check with your veterinarian.