In addition to healthy dog food and lots of exercises, some vaccinations are recommended so that your dog always stays healthy. There are compulsory vaccinations as well as optional vaccinations. You can find out everything you need to know about dog vaccinations here.
Basically, the same rules regarding vaccinations apply to dogs as to us humans: Where do the viruses come from, how high is the risk of illness, and how safe is the vaccination? The first vaccinations should be done already a few weeks after the birth of the puppy since after some time the mother’s immunity decreases and the puppy becomes more susceptible to infections. Regular vaccination boosters are also important for adult dogs to keep them healthy.
Common dog vaccinations include protection against rabies, hepatitis, distemper, parvovirus, kennel cough, and leptospirosis. Which vaccinations are necessary depends on the living conditions of the dog. For example, an additional vaccination against rabies is necessary for dogs that live in areas with a high incidence of rabies.
A detailed vaccination consultation should be carried out by a veterinarian so that the respective situation of the dog and the existing risks can be addressed.
First vaccination for puppies
Many puppies die each year from preventable diseases because they were not vaccinated. Vaccination is a simple and effective way to protect your puppy from serious illnesses.
Most puppies are born vaccinated by their mothers. However, this protection only lasts for a few weeks. After that, puppies must receive a series of vaccinations to protect them from dangerous diseases.
The recommended vaccination sequence for puppies varies in different countries. However, in most countries, a series of primary vaccination courses are recommended before puppies are 8 to 16 weeks old. These vaccinations protect puppies from the most common and deadly diseases, including parvovirus, distemper, hepatitis, and rabies.
Some puppies also get an extra shot against Lyme disease, a tick-borne disease. Lyme disease is a serious illness that can cause joint damage, kidney damage, and even death. It is advisable to take precautions with a suitable tick repellent.
The second vaccination against parvovirus, distemper, and hepatitis is usually given between 12 and 16 weeks of age, as is the third vaccination against rabies and Lyme disease vaccinations.
Should I have my dog vaccinated?
Whether the dog should be vaccinated or not is still a matter of controversy. Skeptics in particular fear side effects or damage.
However, vaccination protects your dog from dangerous diseases. Therefore, mandatory vaccinations should be carried out on the dog in any case. They provide reliable protection and also protect other animals. The spread of deadly diseases can be prevented.
With regard to the optional vaccinations for your dog, it is advisable to present the pet to the veterinarian in advance and to seek advice. With an examination and expert advice, you are on the safe side.
Read Also: Dog vaccinations
Mandatory Dog vaccinations
Most vaccinations for puppies and young dogs take several batches before they are fully effective. Adult animals usually only need to be refreshed once a year or every two years.
The most important vaccinations for dogs are against distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus, parainfluenza, and kennel cough. Many vaccines contain several of these pathogens in a single syringe. Puppies should be vaccinated against distemper, hepatitis, and parvovirus from eight weeks of age. The vaccinations must be repeated at regular intervals to ensure adequate protection.
Recommended vaccinations for dogs are leptospirosis and rabies. Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that can cause severe kidney and liver damage. Rabies is a viral infection that can cause behavioral problems and death in dogs and other animals. Although both diseases are rare in Germany, they can occur in rare cases.
The most important things summarized
Dog owners should be aware that vaccinating their dogs protects not only them but others as well. Vaccinations are important because they prevent diseases that can have serious health consequences. Therefore, always pay attention to the following points when vaccinating your dog:
- Which vaccinations are recommended? Find out from your veterinarian which vaccinations are important for your dog. Depending on the age, breed, and living environment of your dog, the vaccination recommendation may differ.
- Are there any side effects? Vaccinations can cause mild reactions in dogs, such as a brief swelling at the injection site. This is completely normal and nothing to worry about. In rare cases, allergic reactions can also occur. It is best to ask your veterinarian about the possible side effects of the vaccinations.
- How are the vaccinations structured? Vaccinations consist of dead or weakened pathogens that stimulate your dog’s immune system to produce antibodies. The antibodies, in turn, protect your dog if it comes into contact with living pathogens.
- When will my dog be vaccinated? Vaccinations are usually given in multiple batches to ensure maximum protection. While puppies receive their first vaccinations at 8 weeks, adult dogs only need booster shots every two years.