As a responsible puppy owner it is vital for your puppy growing into a healthy adult dog and for the health of other dogs that you pup may come into contact with, to get vaccinated. Vaccinations help to prevent your puppy from picking up infectious diseases and passing them on to other dogs. You may come away from your puppy’s first vet check with a lot of information swirling in your head. The vet will likely have discussed their vaccines, wormer, microchip, training, nutrition, neutering, insurance and more! Trying to keep on top of their preventative health care can be tricky. Here we discuss your pup’s vaccine schedule and parasite prevention.
When should puppies be vaccinated?
Which vaccines your pup gets and when will depend on where you are in the world. Here in the UK, most vets follow a similar protocol. We typically provide the first vaccine between 7 and 10 weeks and the second one 2-4 weeks after this. Puppies will have a full health check at the time of their vaccine and the first jab MUST be carried out by a veterinarian.
What diseases do puppy vaccines cover?
How long are puppy vaccinations effective for?
When your puppy is vaccinated you should retain their vaccination card to keep a record of their cover. Your puppy may need a booster vaccination at 6 – 12 months old as immunity starts to weaken. You should also speak to your vet about regular check-ups and vaccination top ups throughout your dog’s life to ensure that they are fully covered and vaccines are up to date.
Do I need to get my puppy vaccinated for Kennel Cough?
Some dogs will also get vaccinated for Kennel Cough, especially if they are planning to be doing a lot of socialising in boarding kennels, competitions, classes or doggy day-care.
The Rabies vaccine can be given from 12 weeks but is ONLY needed if leaving the UK as Rabies is eradicated in this country.
Your vet should provide you with a vaccine booklet which documents what your pup has been vaccinated against, what brand of vaccine was used and when the next dose is due.
It is sometimes the case that the breeder has provided the first vaccine and that this brand is not compatible with the brand used by your local vet. In this case, it is normal for the vet to advise the vaccine course is re-started. This can be frustrating if you want to take your fluffball out and about. You have the option of calling local clinics to see if the original brand used is stocked by any of them.
*Remember* Even after a puppy has received its second vaccine, they are not fully covered for another 7 days as their body mounts an immune response, so continue to exercise caution.
In the ideal world, your breeder will have already treated your pup with a parasite prevention such as Panacur (Fenbendazole) at regular intervals. However, this is not always the case. It is important to ask if your little one has been treated and to check which product was used and when. A good breeder will provide proof of this in the form of a sticker.
We generally treat puppies at 8 weeks, 10-12 weeks and then monthly until they are 6 months old. Importantly, as well as intestinal worms, they will need to be treated for other parasites such as Coccidia, Lungworm, Fleas and Mites.
Failing to provide your pup with this medicine will likely result in a parasitic infestation. They may lose weight and develop diarrhoea, itching and fur loss. Some may even become anaemic and dehydrated, requiring hospitalisation. As it is so easy to prevent against parasites, it is something we advocate is done for all puppies.
Your puppy’s first vet visit
To help make that first (and any subsequent!) vet visit more tolerable, be sure to load up on some tasty treats. It is actually very important that your puppy associates the vet visit with something good and not just a needle. This can help reduce anxiety during future visits. Our Calm & Relaxed Mini Bones would be the perfect option. While we don’t want to feed our puppies too many treats, sometimes it is important to break the rules!
Reward your puppy with a tasty treat as they arrive in the new ‘strange place’, stand still for the vet check and during their injection. Really, any time they are nice and ‘brave’ we should praise them and offer a treat. Some pups are too anxious to eat but it is still important to offer, just in case.
Though there can be a lot to remember, preventative health care is key when it comes to protecting your precious pooch. If unsure about anything, contact your vet who will be happy to discuss things further.