There is no better feeling in the world than bringing home a new puppy. You know right away that this puppy will rely on you for everything from breakfast to bathroom breaks.
It’s a lot of fun to show your new puppy his new home and introduce him to a world of delights, but owning a puppy is so much more. You have to take full responsibility for things that aren’t that fun, like leaving your shoes on the top shelf to avoid total destruction or taking them to routine vet visits.
Veterinary visits are particularly important in the first year of life because it is good to start vaccinating as soon as possible.
But which puppy shots vaccines do you actually need? We have put together a guide to give you an idea of what your first year of puppy shots vaccinations will be like.
To know more.
When the puppy is 6-8 weeks old
Most (responsible) people do not allow the adoption of puppies until they are at least 6-8 weeks old. This is to give the puppy sufficient time to breastfeed and wean.
When a newborn puppy is breastfed, the mother’s milk contains many antibiotics that fight bacteria and protect the newborn. When the puppy stops breastfeeding and is fully weaned, it loses all of its mother’s antibodies and has to start making its own. That is why it is so important to start vaccinating around six weeks.
The following vaccinations are recommended for puppies between 6 and 8 weeks of age:
Canine distemper is a potentially deadly disease transmitted by dogs, raccoons, foxes, and coyotes. Symptoms begin with shortness of breath and can quickly lead to seizures, diarrhea, vomiting, and even death.
Also known as canine hepatitis and adenovirus, it is transmitted through urine. It’s highly infectious and is a threat to the kidneys, liver eyes, spleen, and lungs. There is no treatment for adenovirus which is why it’s crucial to inoculate your puppy.
Parainfluenza is a major cause of kennel cough and causes respiratory distress. The virus is spread when other dogs’ nasal secretions are inhaled.
When parainfluenza causes kennel cough, your pet can experience respiratory irritation, resulting in a mild to severe cough and, in rare cases, death.
Parvo is a serious virus that can occur at any age, but young puppies that have not been vaccinated are the most at risk. This virus spreads through contaminated feces and attacks the digestive and immune systems. There is no cure for parvo and the mortality rate is extremely high, especially in young puppies.
Leptospirosis (Lepto which is short for) is an invasive bacterial infection that attacks the kidneys and liver. It is a zoonotic illness which means it can be transferred from animals to people.
Symptoms of lepto may remain dormant for some time, but when they do appear, they typically manifest themselves in the form of fever, vomiting, pain, lethargy, and kidney failure.
When the puppy is 12-15 weeks old
Once the puppy starts to get a little bigger and a little stronger, he can withstand stronger vaccines and will likely need them.
The following vaccines are recommended for puppies between 12 and 15 weeks of age:
The Coronavirus is extremely contagious and is a threat to the digestive tract. It can cause nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, and an inability to eat. There are no medications that can eradicate the virus. However, vets can provide relief for symptoms.
Bordetella is another cause of canine cough. It is a bacterial infection that is very resistant to antibiotics and therefore very difficult to treat. The infection is transmitted by air and by direct contact.
Canine Influenza H3N2 & H3N8
H3N2 and H3N8 are two highly contagious strains of canine flu that cause severe breathing difficulties. Puppies should be vaccinated against both strains to be fully protected.
Rabies Virus 1st Year
Rabies vaccination is required by law in most areas. Anger attacks the central nervous system and causes symptoms such as headaches, anxiety, excessive drooling, hallucinations, and fear of water. Rabies is most commonly transmitted from an animal that already has the virus. It is a deadly disease that can be easily transmitted to humans.
We understand that you want to make sure you are giving your puppy 100%. You are ready to provide them with the best care, but you may still have some questions.
Do puppy vaccinations have any side effects?
The short answer is yes, but only sometimes.
It’s the same idea as the flu shot. For some, the flu shot can cause drowsiness or even little nausea, but for others, it has no side effects. This is because your immune system is unique and tailored to you, and although it is similar to that of the general population, it can react differently to potential irritants.
Fun tip: This is why people experience allergies to different products.
Always ask your vet about the potential side effects of each vaccine, as they can vary. It is important to monitor your puppy closely for the first 24 hours after a new vaccination as he may react.
Call your vet right away if you notice any serious or occasional side effects.
When can I take my puppy out?
You have probably heard that it is not safe to take your puppy out until he has had a full set of vaccinations. This is true, but it doesn’t mean the puppy can’t pee in the grass. Rather, it is about making the puppy socialize with other animals.
It is important to keep your puppy away from as many new things as possible until he has received his vaccinations.
How Can I Safely Socialize My Unvaccinated Puppy?
Of course, the first weeks of a puppy’s life are essential for its development, even socially.
Keeping your puppy in a cage for too long without giving him a chance to socialize can lead to behavioral problems later in life.
Most vets agree that it is safe to socialize by carrying the puppy around. By not letting it touch the ground, you will keep it as far away from bacteria and disease as possible.
You can also encourage friends and family to come to your home, but we recommend that you leave your shoes at the door (away from the chewing area!).
Ask Your Vet About Scheduling Puppy Shots
Once the puppy has arrived home, it is time to think about planning the first vaccines for the puppy shots. It’s never too early to call the vet and discuss planning.
For more information on how to help you and your puppy thrive, check out the rest of our website.