Your Puppy’s Immunizations

August is Immunization Awareness Month! If you’re new to puppy ownership, vaccines are one of the first things you’ll need to have taken care of. Below, your North Las Vegas, NV veterinarian gives you a crash course in puppy immunizations.

How Exactly Do Immunizations Work?

Vaccines work by introducing a small, virtually harmless strain of a particular disease to your puppy’s immune system. Your pup’s system develops antibodies in response. This means that your dog’s immune system is now prepared to recognize and fight off the disease later in life, should the real thing ever come along!

What Vaccines Does My Puppy Need?

All puppies will need what are called the core vaccines, named because of the common, contagious, and/or dangerous nature of the diseases they protect against. This group can include the distemper, parvovirus, parainfluenza, hepatitis, and rabies vaccinations, among others. Often, the core vaccines are administered together in a batch when a puppy is about eight weeks old; from there, the initial vaccination regimen concludes at about 16 weeks of age.

Your puppy may also receive non-core vaccines. As the name suggests, these vaccines aren’t considered essential for all puppies. They might help some dogs, though, based on circumstances like location, environment, and exposure risk. The Bordetella vaccine and the Lyme disease vaccination are just two examples.

Are Booster Shots Needed?

Yes, your puppy will require booster shots throughout life to keep most of his vaccinations effective. Booster shots may be given on an annual basis, or be administered in multi-year increments. For further specifics on booster-shot scheduling, contact your veterinarian.

What’s the Vaccination Procedure Like?

All things considered, your puppy’s vaccinations are much like human vaccinations—your pup will only feel a momentary pinch before the process is over. The vaccination procedure is almost entirely side-effect free, although it is possible for minor swelling and/or irritation to occur at the injection site or for your dog to develop a low-grade fever and soreness. Most of the time, these symptoms will subside on their own in a few days, but let your veterinarian know if you think your puppy is suffering.

How Do I Get Started?

If you have questions about the vaccinations that your puppy needs, or if your new pet needs essential immunizations, it’s time to act! Call your North Las Vegas, NV veterinary clinic. We’re here to help with all of your puppy’s care needs!

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