August is Immunization Awareness Month. If you’ve recently adopted a puppy or plan on adding one to your home soon, vaccines will be an essential step toward a lifetime of great health! Below, your Georgetown, IN veterinarian goes over the basics that you need to know.
What Vaccinations Do Puppies Need?
All puppies will need what are known as the core vaccines; these are given to all pups because of the dangerous and/or contagious types of diseases they protect against. Distemper, parvovirus, parainfluenza, hepatitis, and rabies are some of the most common. Ask your veterinarian for further specifics on these diseases and how exactly vaccinations help to protect your dog.
Are There Non-Core Vaccinations?
Yes, non-core vaccinations are also administered to most puppies. As the name implies, they’re not essential for all dogs but may benefit some; it depends on factors like risk of exposure, environmental elements, and others. The Bordetella vaccine and the Lyme disease vaccination are just two examples. For information on the non-core vaccinations that your puppy might benefit from, call your vet’s office today.
Puppies can usually begin receiving vaccinations as early as eight weeks of age. Talk to your veterinarian if your pup hasn’t already received vaccines, or if you’re unsure about what particular vaccines your dog requires.
Is There Any Risk of Side Effects?
Vaccines are extremely safe and are a very effective way to ward off dangerous diseases. Since a vaccine is introducing a small strain of disease to your pup’s system, however, it can occasionally cause minor side effects. Usually, these include general soreness or a possible low-grade fever, and they’ll usually dissipate on their own in a day or two. If you think your puppy is reacting adversely to a vaccination, let your veterinarian know.
What About Booster Shots?
Most of your puppy’s vaccines will require booster shots to keep them effective over the course of your dog’s lifetime. These are most often given on a yearly basis, although some vaccines only require booster shots every few years. Talk to your veterinarian for further specifics, and ask about setting up a convenient booster-shot schedule.
How Do I Get My Puppy Started?
Does your puppy need core or non-core vaccinations? Do you have more questions about the vaccines your puppy needs for a happy, healthy life? We’re here to help! Set up an appointment right away at your Georgetown, IN animal hospital.