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Puppy 's Vaccines: which ones to choose and why?

Updated: Oct 30, 2021


You get a new puppy and now what...

Generally, guardians get puppies around 2 months old. When weaning is over and they are big enough to be separate from the bitch.

After getting what is necessary for its new life at home, it is also time to set up a check-up with the veterinarian.

But what vaccines to choose and why to choose them? I hope this information will be useful for you and be prepared when you arrive at the Vet.

  • Core vaccines: DHP and Rabies

DHP vaccine: ( Distemper, hepatitis or Adenovirus, and parvovirus). In the clinic where I work, we use the combined vaccine DHPP which includes as well Parainfluenza. This is a Core vaccine in Canada and it is the first one that the puppy always gets as young as 6 weeks of age according to the vaccination guidelines of the AHAA ( American Animal Hospital Association) until at least 16 weeks of age.

Booster of this vaccine needs to be done after 4 or 6 weeks maximum, otherwise, you may need to begin the whole sequence of vaccines again.

In general, we give the first shot at 2 months old, then in 4 weeks or 6 weeks, a booster, and then this vaccine is good for a year. After the annual shot, it will be good for 3 years as long you keep the vaccine up to date.

Rabies: This vaccine is given when the puppy is not younger than 12 weeks of age and is a single shot that will be good for a year and then for 3 years.

Non-core vaccines

Bordetella: This is the vaccine against the Kennel cough. And in the clinic where I work we use two types: Subcutaneous injection or intranasal:

Subcutaneous injection: This injection needs a booster in 4 weeks or 6 weeks.

Intranasal: Personally I think is the best, because is a single dose through the nose, and you are ready for the year.

So if your dog will be surrounded by other dogs, it will be going to the dog's parks, it will be going to the groomer or boarding in a shelter, I strongly recommend this vaccine.

Leptospirosis: This is a disease caused by a bacteria called Leptospira. We found this bacteria in the urine of wildlife mammals (raccoons, skunks, and others), after spraying the grass or mixing it with water from the rain, the dog can easily drink it and even more, we can easily get it because is transmissible to humans. In dogs, even if it is treatable, it may be a permanent residual that could damage the kidneys or the liver.

You give subcutaneously and you need to come back for its booster in no more than 6 weeks after the first shot.

So I personally recommend this one, especially if you are a person that likes to go hiking, go trekking, or if you like taking your puppy to your "chalet", or if your house is surrounded by wildlife.

Lyme: It is a disease transmitted by a tick, specifically the Borrelia burgdorferi sp. known as "the black-legged tick or the deer tick".

You give subcutaneously and you need to come back for its booster in no more than 6 weeks after the first shot.

This is a very good vaccine for dogs going a lot into nature, parks, and high bushes, areas where ticks can be easily present.

Another option if you decline the Lyme vaccine is to use Preventives against ticks, heartworms, fleas, and intestinal parasites.

Those below mentioned are the main ones used but there are other options as well mentioned in the vaccination guideline of the AHAA. If you would like to have more information you are free to ask your veterinarian, veterinary technician or search more about them on the website of the AHAA.


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