Vaccinations are an important part of keeping your dog healthy and protecting them from various diseases. The vaccinations your dog needs and the timing of those vaccinations will depend on a number of factors, including your dog’s age, lifestyle, and overall health. Here’s an overview of the vaccinations your dog will need throughout their life:
1. Core Vaccinations: These vaccinations are recommended for all dogs and protect against the most common and serious diseases. The core vaccines for dogs include:
* Rabies: This vaccine is required by law in many areas and is given to protect your dog from the deadly rabies virus. The first vaccine is given between 12 and 16 weeks of age, and then boosters are required every one to three years, depending on local regulations.
* Distemper: This is a highly contagious and often fatal virus that affects the respiratory, gastrointestinal, and nervous systems. Puppies should receive their first distemper vaccine between 6 and 8 weeks of age, with additional boosters given every 3-4 weeks until they are 16 weeks old. Adult dogs typically receive a booster every 1-3 years.
* Parvovirus: This is another highly contagious virus that can cause severe vomiting, diarrhea, and dehydration. Puppies should receive their first parvovirus vaccine at 6-8 weeks of age, with additional boosters given every 3-4 weeks until they are 16 weeks old. Adult dogs typically receive a booster every 1-3 years.
* Adenovirus: This vaccine protects against two types of adenovirus, one of which can cause respiratory disease and the other can cause liver disease. Puppies should receive their first adenovirus vaccine at 6-8 weeks of age, with additional boosters given every 3-4 weeks until they are 16 weeks old. Adult dogs typically receive a booster every 1-3 years.
2. Non-core Vaccinations: These vaccinations are recommended based on your dog’s individual risk factors and lifestyle. Some of the most common non-core vaccines include:
* Bordetella: This vaccine protects against kennel cough, which is a highly contagious respiratory infection. Dogs who are frequently in contact with other dogs, such as those who go to dog parks or boarding facilities, may benefit from this vaccine. Boosters are typically required every 6-12 months.
* Canine influenza: This vaccine protects against two strains of the canine influenza virus. Like the Bordetella vaccine, it may be recommended for dogs who are in contact with other dogs. The initial series is given in two doses, 2-4 weeks apart, and boosters are required annually.
* Leptospirosis: This bacterial infection is transmitted through the urine of infected animals and can cause serious liver and kidney damage. Dogs who spend time in areas where wildlife or livestock are present may benefit from this vaccine. The initial series is given in two doses, 2-4 weeks apart, and boosters are required annually.
Your veterinarian will be able to advise you on the best vaccination schedule for your dog based on their individual needs. It’s important to keep your dog up to date on their vaccinations to ensure they remain healthy and protected from potentially deadly diseases.
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