Back to School: Vaccines for Puppies Made Simple

It’s a dangerous world out there for our little dog friends: rabies, distemper, and other diseases lurk around many corners, waiting to make our buddies sick unless we vaccinate them. If you are thinking about bringing a puppy home from a breeder, you might be even more concerned, as your friend will be exposed to many different environments as it makes its journey to you. How can you protect them from the unseen viruses that await them?

Blue Collar Pet Transport would like to offer some helpful information and advice for you so that you can understand the ins and outs of vaccinations for puppies and protect them as they deserve to be.

In the Beginning, the Mother of the Puppy Protects It through Her Milk.

For an unknown period of time, the puppy will receive some amount of protection from the antibodies (a blood protein that fights against viruses, bacteria, and anything foreign in the blood) found in its mother’s milk. The issue, however, is that these antibodies can interfere with vaccinations, so there is the potential for the vaccinations to be less effective. How quickly will these maternal antibodies begin to decrease? No one is sure, as the rate can vary from puppy to puppy. 

To avoid this guessing game and potentially harmful consequences, puppies routinely receive multiple vaccinations until they are 16 weeks old.

The First Vaccinations Should Be Given Very Early.

Around 6-8 weeks old, the puppy will receive its first round of vaccinations. This first set is important because of its effect on the body: its immune system will begin making a lot of antibodies that will be able to fight off disease. Because the mother’s antibodies can interfere with those vaccinations, the puppy will continue to receive boosters until it is 16 weeks old.

Tips for Protecting Your Puppy

  • Make sure your puppy has all vaccinations recommended by your veterinarian, especially if you will be purchasing it from a breeder. It can be tempting to skip vaccinations to save on the cost, especially with the high cost of purebred puppies, but this could be disastrous for your puppy’s welfare.
  • Limit your puppy’s contact with other dogs or animals until it is fully vaccinated. You cannot trust that other pet owners will have vaccinated their own dogs, so it is possible your puppy could become infected through this contact.
  • If you must go to the vet, be sure to carry your puppy in and out of the clinic. A vet clinic is, of course, a place where sick animals come, so no matter how clean the building might be, it is always possible that your puppy could pick up a disease if it is not yet fully vaccinated.
  • Remember to keep any of your other pets vaccinated as well so they cannot infect your puppy.
  • Keep your puppy in a confined yard until it is vaccinated. Your backyard, if it is fenced, would be ideal. Avoid taking your puppy to your neighbors’ yards, especially in the front, until it is vaccinated so that it does not pick up any disease from another dog that was out for a walk.
  • Remember to remain current on the puppy’s vaccinations. Your veterinarian can give you a schedule to follow and help you to implement it.

Fortunately, disease, while potentially deadly for any dog, let alone a puppy, is preventable. The key is to remain committed to providing the best veterinarian care for your canine buddy, and with that, the two of you should have years of fun and love to experience together. 

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