About Dog Vaccinations

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When you bring that new puppy home you’re responsible for their health and their happiness, and one of the first tasks as their owner will be to protect their health by giving them a number of dog vaccinations. Veterinarians agree that a number of vaccinations are necessary to protect your pet against some of the most common diseases for dogs.

Vaccinations work to stimulate your dog’s immune system against the disease being vaccinated against. A vaccination puts your pet into contact with with foreign antigens which it’ll learn how to destroy. Their body remembers how to destroy that particular antigen and will be able to produce the necessary defensive antigens should it be faced with the same disease in the future.

Are Dog Vaccinations Safe?

Many pet owners are, understandably, worried about the prospect of injecting disease into their dogs. However, vaccinations only contain a weakened part of the virus and dogs won’t generally get sick.

Some dogs will have some unpleasant side effects for a couple of days following the vaccination, including fever, aches and pains. In very rare cases, the dog may have an allergic reaction to the vaccine.

In other rare cases you may find that a dog still contracts a disease they were vaccinated against, due to factors such as being vaccinated too young, disease and fever. Your veterinarian will be able to talk you through the measures taken to ensure the dog vaccinations are effective.

What Vaccinations Does Your Dog Need?

When you visit the vet with your new puppy they will generally let you know exactly what needs to be done. Vaccinations are usually delivered in the form of combination shots to cover against distemper, rabies, parvovirus, hepatitis and more. Vets will group vaccinations into “core” vaccinations – those that are thought as necessary for all puppies – and “non-core” vaccinations – those that are suitable in your dog’s individual case.

When To Start Vaccinations

Vaccinations given to puppies under six weeks of age may not be effective, so puppies will usually receive their first shot at around six to eight weeks old, and two more shots three weeks apart. Your veterinarian will let you know when it’s time for a booster shot. The good news is that vaccinations for the various diseases are all delivered effectively in combined shots.

Dog vaccinations are well worth the small risks involved. By getting the appropriate vaccinations for your new puppy, you’ll be protecting them against potentially fatal diseases!

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