Being a responsible pet owner means more than just providing food, water, and shelter. It also means seeing that your pet is properly protected against diseases that can cause it serious illness and even death.
Many diseases that can affect dogs can be prevented by proper vaccination. Our veterinarian’s vaccine and deworming schedule recommendation is as follows: This schedule should provide your pet with proper protection.
Dogs should receive their first vaccination at 6 weeks of age. They are then given a booster every 2 to 4 weeks until 16 weeks of age (except Rottweilers and Dobermans which get an additional vaccination at 19 weeks). At that time they are also given their rabies vaccination. After the initial series, your dog will need boosters every year to continue to provide protection. In the case of the rabies vaccination, the first vaccination is effective for 1 year; the subsequent vaccinations are good for 3 years, as long as your dog is revaccinated on schedule.
Puppies should be dewormed every 2 weeks until 12 weeks of age and then quarterly per year after that. We advise an internal parasite fecal screen every 6 months. Ask a staff member to recommend a proper dewormer for your pet.
Dogs are vaccinated against distemper, adenovirus type-1 and type-2, leptospirosis, parainfluenza, and coronavirus. The veterinarian can explain each of these to you at the time of your visit if you have questions. Most are very contagious to other dogs, are easily spread, and can cause death to your pet. Your dog should also be put on heartworm preventative by 4 to 5 months of age. These tablets are given once per month year round and also prevent hookworms, roundworms, and in some cases whipworms. If you don’t keep your dog on the preventative year round, he/she will need to be tested before starting them again. If you do keep them on year round, our clinic tests once every 2 years. We also encourage vaccination for kennel cough ( the canine cousin to human whooping cough). All dogs at risk should also receive the lyme vaccine.
As with any vaccination, reactions may occur including but not limited to hives, swelling, itching, vomiting, diarrhea, shock and death. If your pet has ever experienced reactions to its vaccination, please advise the staff prior to administering a vaccine so that precautions may be taken. Overall, the prevalence of disease outweighs vaccination risks and vaccines are highly recommended. If you have concerns about a vaccine please speak to our staff.
We also highly recommend that your pet be spayed or neutered at 5 to 6 months of age. This will prevent unwanted litters and make for a better pet. A healthy pet is a happy pet!