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Puppy Vaccinations

Initial Vaccines – also known as Puppy Vaccines

The initial vaccines are given at three-week intervals so as to reinforce and heighten the immune response to each vaccination, culminating in protection which will last one year from the date of the final vaccine. It is also important to remember that although your puppy receives his first set of shots at or around 8 weeks, these shots do not offer full protection until they have received the full set of three vaccinations, three weeks apart. Your veterinarian will discuss the implications of this with you and can go over ways of socializing your puppy while still keeping him safe. We recommend that puppies receive their first vaccination at 8 weeks. Prior to 8 weeks the immunity they receive from their mother may interfere with effective vaccination.

For more information on puppy vaccines, the way they work, side effects and the diseases for which they effect – take a look at your Centretown Veterinary Hospital Puppy Manual. Each puppy receives this useful book on their first visit and it’s used to chart their growth and development over the weeks, months and years to come.

What vaccinations do you provide to new puppies?

The initial vaccine (DHPP) is given at a monthly interval so as to reinforce and heighten the immune response to each vaccination, culminating in protection which will last one year from the date of the final vaccine. The first in the series of immunization is usually at 6-8 weeks of age. This vaccine will not have a lasting effect, unless the puppy receives a booster around 10-12 weeks, and again at 14-16 weeks of age. The rabies vaccine is usually given at the 16-week mark. Other vaccines are added based on your puppy’s individual risks and need.

Why is it important to vaccinate your puppy?

The protection a puppy gets from his or her mother starts to wane and is usually gone by 8-10 weeks. If puppies do not develop their own antibodies (to fight disease) they are at risk of contracting serious, life-threatening and potentially difficult to treat diseases.

At what age should I bring in my puppy for its vaccinations?

A puppy’s first vaccine is given when they are 6-8 weeks old. The second vaccine or booster is given 3-4 weeks later when they are 10-12 weeks and the final booster is given when they are 14-16 weeks of age. If several vaccines are needed at the same time and depending on the breed of your dog, we may try to separate vaccines or spread them out differently, so as not to give to overwhelm the immune system.

How should I prepare my puppy for its first vaccination visit?

Please bring along all pertinent medical information that is available for your puppy. For example, any previous vaccines, deworming or any other medication given. This will benefit your health care team to provide the best possible medical care and advice. Please bring a fresh sample of feces, (about the size of a thumbnail), to your first visit, so that we can check for internal parasites. It is also beneficial to let us know what type of food your puppy is eating, and how much they are eating per day.


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