Vaccinating puppies and dogs
Recently, a customer contacted 1-800-PetMeds because he could not find information on vaccinating his 6 month old puppy. I would refer you to the Pet Education article on Dog & Cat Vaccination Schedules for additional information on the topic of vaccines. I thought this would be a great venue for discussing dog vaccines and what a recommended schedule should be. I’ll discuss cat vaccines in another post.
Lets begin by understanding what diseases we are trying to prevent:
- Dogs must be vaccinated against: Rabies (Core vaccine)
- Most dogs should be vaccinated against: Adenovirus, Distemper, and Parvo (Core vaccines)
- Some dogs should be vaccinated against: Bordetella, Corona, Leptospirosis, Lyme disease, and Parainfluenza (non-core vaccines)
Your veterinarian is the best source of information in determining which vaccines to use and within what schedule. However, a possible schedule could be:
5 weeks: Parvovirus
6 weeks & 9 weeks: “5-Way” combination. Coronavirus if in a high risk environment such as a kennel, or breeding facility.
12 weeks or older: Rabies (local law dictates age at vaccination)
12 weeks & 15 weeks: “5 way” combination or “7 way” combination (includes Leptospirosis and Coronavirus if these are a concern). Lyme vaccine if this is a concern.
Adult boosters: You should discuss the need for boosters with your veterinarian. Factors such as the potential for exposure to disease as well as the breed, age, and health of the pet are factors that need to be considered. Dogs at low risk of disease exposure may not need annual boosters.