What to Know Before Vaccinating Your Dog

What to Know Before Vaccinating Your Dog

Dogs are more than just our furry friends, they’re family! We’ll do anything and everything we can to keep them happy and healthy. Many pet owners choose to vaccinate their pets in order to protect them from sickness and disease. While state laws require a rabies vaccination, there are a number of vaccinations available for your pet’s protection. Here is everything you need to know before vaccinating your pup!

What does each vaccination protect against?

With so many vaccinations available, you’ll need to know exactly what each one does for your pup before deciding what immunizations are best for them.

Bordetella – This vaccine helps to protect against kennel cough. Kennel cough is a very common and highly contagious bacterial illness that affects dogs of all ages. This vaccination is almost always required in any daycare or boarding facility as kennel cough outbreaks happen routinely in these settings.

DHPP – DHPP is a combination vaccine that protects against distemper, canine hepatitis, parainfluenza, and parvo. You may see similar combination vaccines with names like DAPP, DA2PP, DHLPP, and DAPPC with. These vaccines are not the same and you should confirm with your vet which vaccine combination is best for your pet. 

Rabies – Cases of rabies are more rare than they’ve ever been, but it is 100% fatal if contracted as there currently is no cure. In most cases, rabies is contracted when your dog comes in contact with rabid wild animals such as bats, raccoons, skunks. 

Lyme Disease – If you and your pup spend a lot of time enjoying the great outdoors, you might want to consider talking with your vet about the lyme disease vaccination. Dogs contract lyme disease the same way humans do, it is a bacterial infection caused by a bite from an infected tick. Early signs of lyme disease include rash, headache, and fatigue that if treated early on can be cured with antibiotics.

When does my dog need to be vaccinated?

Puppies receive an initial vaccination series starting from 6-8 weeks and will need boosters in order for the vaccine to have it’s full effect.

  • 6 – 8 weeks: Distemper and parvovirus vaccines
  • 10 – 12 weeks: DHPP (Distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza, and parvovirus) vaccines
  • 16 – 18 weeks: DHPP and rabies vaccines
  • 12 – 16 months: DHPP and rabies vaccines
  • Every 1 – 2 years: DHPP
  • Every 1 – 3 years: Rabies

Vaccines such as DHPP are administered repeatedly to gradually boost your dog’s immunity against disease.

Other “optional” vaccines can be given at the following ages:

  • 6 – 8 weeks: Bordetella
  • 10 – 12 weeks: Bordetella, influenza, leptospirosis, lyme disease
  • 16 – 18 weeks: Bordetella, influenza, leptospirosis, lyme disease
  • 12 – 16 months: Bordetella, leptospirosis, lyme disease
  • Every 1 – 2 years: Bordetella, influenza, leptospirosis, lyme disease

Talk to your vet about the best vaccination options for your pup!

Reactions to vaccines 

It’s important to know the signs of a vaccine reaction before scheduling your vet appointment as, in most cases, dogs will not show signs of a reaction until you get home from your appointment. A mild reaction could include symptoms such as fever, pain at the vaccination site, lethargy, and reduced appetite. In most cases, these symptoms will go away on their own and can be treated with allergy medication. To be safe, you should contact your vet immediately if your pet shows any signs of a reaction. 

Some dogs may experience anaphylactic reactions to vaccines. This occurs rarely, but it could be potentially life threatening. Take your dog to a vet immediately if they are exhibiting:

  • Diarrhea or vomiting
  • Swelling around the face
  • Hives
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Fainting

Pet care vaccination requirements

Planning a vacation? Before booking your kennel boarding or in-home pet sitting, make sure your pup is up to date on their vaccines. Kennel cough and canine influenza are easily contracted and spread in dog daycare and kennel settings, so it is very important to keep your dog up to date on their bordetella and DHPP vaccines whenever you’re scheduling pet care. 

If you have concerns about your pet being at risk of getting sick in the kennel setting, in-home pet sitting is an excellent option for keeping your fur baby safe and comfortable at home while you’re away. Little Friends Pet Sitting offers in-home pet sitting with visits ranging from 15 minutes to 24 hours so you can book a daily schedule to match any and all of your pet’s needs!