Are you wondering when you should get your puppy vaccinated if you have just brought home a furry bundle of puppy-love? Well, the answer to that question is simple; ‘as soon as possible.’ Ideally, you should schedule your puppy’s first preventive healthcare exam within three days of bringing your pup home.
What Happens During Your Puppy’s First Preventive Exam?
If you are a first-time pet parent, then you are probably wondering what happens at your puppy’s first preventive exam? Well, the answer is, ‘a lot.’ However, the most crucial aspect of that first preventive exam is that your puppy will receive their first vaccinations to provide protection against several nasty viruses. This first veterinary visit is the perfect time to get your puppy vaccinated.
Here are 5 things you can expect to happen at your puppy's first preventive exam:
1. Physical Examination
Your veterinarian will give your new pup a thorough exam. The vet typically checks the dog’s eyes, ears, nose, mouth, skin, coat, heart, and body. The puppy’s vision, hearing, and general alertness will also be evaluated.
Yes, your puppy initially received antibodies from their mom that offered some protection against certain viruses, but by the time your puppy reaches six weeks old, those antibodies have started to wane, which leaves your furry baby vulnerable to several serious, life-threatening diseases. At this time, your veterinarian will administer a set of core vaccinations: the DHHP vaccination (vaccines for distemper, adenovirus [hepatitis], parainfluenza, and parvovirus).
3. Fecal Exam and Deworming
Your veterinarian will normally perform a fecal exam of your puppy’s stool to check for worms, such as roundworms. Many puppies are born with roundworms and will require deworming medications to treat the worms.
4. Flea and Tick Prevention
You must start protecting your puppy from flea and ticks immediately in some regions of the country where infestations of the parasites are heavy. Your veterinarian will make recommendations on preventatives and start your puppy on a regime that is tailored for your area and your pup’s specific needs. In some cases, your veterinarian might wait until your puppy is eight weeks old to tackle flea and tick preventives.
5. Booster Vaccinations
After your new furry friend’s initial first visit and set of vaccinations, you must schedule a return visit with your veterinarian to have the booster vaccines administered. Usually, your puppy will require booster vaccinations every two to four weeks between the ages of 6 and 16 weeks with the final puppy vaccines given no earlier than 16 weeks of age. During your puppy’s follow-up preventive care visits, your veterinarian will discuss other vaccinations that your puppy might require in addition to the core vaccines. Vaccinations such as Bordetella, Lyme disease, and leptospirosis are often advisable.
Protecting Your Puppy from Viruses
Many new first-time pet parents do not realize that the world is filled with unpleasant infections that can make your furry friend seriously ill and even cause death. Distemper, infectious canine hepatitis, parvovirus, and rabies are some of the main and most common diseases. Yes, your puppy will receive some antibodies to such nasty diseases from their mother’s milk, but those antibodies quickly start to wear off at about six weeks old. Once your puppy is weaned, you should not allow your new pup to play with or mix with other dogs until you take your furry baby in for its first preventive exam. You should not even allow your pup to play where other dogs have been such as in a park or other public location until the second set of vaccinations have been administered.
Puppy Vaccination FAQ
Here is a set of frequently asked questions about puppy vaccinations:
My dog will require vaccinations even as an adult?
Many owners believe their new puppy only requires puppy vaccinations and an adult rabies vaccine. However, your pup will need vaccination boosters throughout their adult life to maintain immunity.
Why does my dog need vaccinations?
Vaccinations will protect your puppy from life-threatening diseases that are quickly and easily spread from dog to dog.
What is parvovirus?
Most people are familiar with canine distemper, but some have never heard of the parvovirus. As a new puppy parent, you might have had friends warn you about parvovirus. Parvo is a highly infectious virus that is often deadly. The virus attacks the puppy’s intestine, lymphoid tissues, and bone marrow. A young pup quickly loses their appetite, suffers from a high fever, vomits, and has extreme diarrhea. Without prompt medical care, over 90 percent will die from the virus. Puppies can easily contract parvovirus from the soil where the virus easily lives for up to a year. Luckily, vaccinations prevent this devastating virus.
Puppy and Dog Vaccination Schedule
As a puppy and young dog, your pooch requires frequent vaccinations to remain healthy and prevent life-threatening health conditions.
Here is a basic outline of a vaccination schedule for a canine:
6 to 8 weeks old: Young puppies require their first DHPP vaccination (vaccines for distemper, adenovirus [hepatitis], parainfluenza, and parvovirus)
10 to 12 weeks old: Repeat DHPP, plus Leptospirosis, and Bordetella
12 to 24 weeks old: At this age, your puppy will require a rabies vaccination. You might also want a CIV or Lyme vaccination.
14 to 16 weeks: Your puppy will require another DHPP and a Lepto. At this time, you can also choose a CIV and Lyme vaccination.
14 months: At this age, your dog will start to require annual rabies, DHPP, Lepto, and Bordetella. If you have gone with a CIV and Lyme vaccination, then you will start repeating these annually.
One to Three Years: Depending on your veterinarian’s suggestions your dog will need DHPP, Lepto, and Bordetella annually or every three years. Rabies will also be required once a year or every three years depending on your local laws.
If you have recently brought a puppy into your life, then it is time to call FetchMyVet to schedule a preventive healthcare examination and set up your new pup’s vaccination schedule.