Vaccinations for Your Dog

It’s Immunization Awareness Month! Is your canine companion up-to-date on the vaccinations he or she needs to live a happy, healthy life? Below, your Pickerington, OH veterinarian tells you all about the vaccinations that your dog requires.

Core Vaccines

The core vaccines are so named because they’re considered essential for all dogs to have. That’s because of the dangerous, common, and contagious nature of the diseases they protect against. Although the core vaccine batch can vary a bit depending on your location and your particular dog’s needs, these vaccines most often include those that protect against distemper, parvovirus, hepatitis, parainfluenza, and rabies. Ask your veterinarian about the specifics of your dog’s core vaccine group.

Non-Core Vaccines

Non-core vaccines, as you’ve probably guessed, aren’t considered necessary for every dog. Depending on factors like environment and exposure risk, however, they can be lifesavers! The Lyme disease vaccination and the Bordetella virus vaccination are just two examples—ask your veterinarian what types of non-core vaccines may benefit your canine companion.

Booster Shots

Booster shots will be needed to keep many of your dog’s vaccinations effective over the course of their lifetime. Booster shots may be administered on a yearly basis—many pet owners choose to have their animal friend’s shots updated at one of their twice-annual checkups—or in increments of several years. For more information on booster shots and how they work, contact your vet’s office.

Vaccine Scheduling

Most puppies can begin the initial round of vaccinations when they’re only about eight weeks old. From there, the first vaccine regimen will conclude at about 16 weeks of age. As your dog continues to age, they will receive booster shots at the necessary times throughout life to make sure the vaccines stay effective.

A Word on Side Effects

Minor side effects are possible when your dog receives vaccinations—after all, a small strain of the disease is being administered to your dog’s immune system! In almost all cases, minor symptoms like low-grade fever, soreness, or swelling at the injection site will go away entirely on their own. If your dog has received vaccinations and seems to be reacting poorly, contact your vet’s office for advice.

Wondering what core and non-core vaccines your dog might require? Does your new puppy need his initial round of shots? It’s time to act! Make an appointment right away to have your puppy see your Pickerington, OH vet.