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The Basics of Puppy Vaccinations

August 15, 2014

August is Immunization Awareness Month, and all puppies need their vaccinations to live happy, healthy lives. Here, your Lansdowne veterinarian answers some of your most common questions about what your pup needs.

How do Vaccinations Work?

Vaccines stimulate your dog’s immune system with a small strain of the disease it protects against. This way, your dog’s body produces antibodies and can recognize and fight off the disease if the real thing ever enters the system.

What Vaccines Does My Puppy Need?

Most puppies will receive a batch of essential vaccinations at an early age, known as the “core” vaccines. These usually include the distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus, parainfluenza, and rabies vaccinations. These are considered necessary for all dogs because of their dangerous and highly contagious nature.

Depending on where you live, your puppy’s health, environment, and other factors, your puppy may require other vaccines, known as “non-core.” Ask your vet about these vaccinations and what your puppy may need vaccinated against.

Do Vaccinations Hurt My Pet?

Vaccinations are administered via subcutaneous injection—a regular shot with a needle. It won’t hurt your pet at all, minus the slight pinch when it’s first administered. Many puppies don’t even react when they’re given the shot.

What About Vaccination Updates?

Most vaccinations will require booster shots every year or every few years. It’s best to schedule a yearly appointment with your vet, at which point all necessary updates and immunizations are given. Talk to your veterinarian about the proper schedule for you and your dog, as well as what vaccines need annual or three-year updates.

How Do I Get my Pup Started?

If your puppy needs his vaccinations, call your Lansdowne vet’s office as soon as possible. Your veterinarian can inform you about all the vaccinations your puppy needs, when he’ll be able to get them, and when they’ll need updated. It’s one of the best things you can ever do for your dog’s health and well-being, so don’t delay!