Shot that dog: All you need to know about vaccinating your pup

‘And in the face of enemies, I said go ahead and shoot them down. Lo it rained combination vaccination…’

Protect your pet

Just like my human subjects, puppies need to be vaccinated to protect them from illnesses. As our puppy meets my other creations and explores the world, he is likely to be exposed to viruses, germs and infections. These are his formative years and his immunity is still developing and these diseases can prove fatal.

Vet your pet

There are standard vaccinations that each pup gets, but some might be particular to your pup’s breed, lifestyle and surroundings. Consult your vet and get second opinions about the cost, need and schedule. You are forbidden from vaccinating your pup yourself.

Time after time

The first ritual round of core vaccines should begin when your pup turns 6-weeks-old and continue every 2 to 4 weeks till 16 weeks of age. That is by week 16, your fur ball should have received at least three such rounds. You should start earlier in case pup’s not been nursing or if mama dog hasn’t been vaccinated.

Standards and practices

All puppies should receive the core vaccines of canine distemper, canine parvovirus, canine parainfluenza, adenovirus 2 or canine hepatitis, and rabies virus. The rabies shots schedule is a little different. Rabies vaccines almost never combined with others and one should wait at least 1 or 2 weeks after other shots to administer the rabies shot. The first rabies shot is usually given at 12-15 weeks of age. But if mama dog’s vaccination status is unknown, it should be given upon adoption. This is the most fundamental tenets and I shall call my wrath upon you if you fail to vaccinate.

Other vaccines like canine leptospirosis, canine coronavirus, bordetella and lyme giardia are non-core and your vet will tell you which is relevant for your pup. For example, the kennel cough vaccine are good for breeds with flat faces, that are more at risk of catching pneumonia.

I have the power

These days modern temples like hospitals and pharmacies offer multivalent vaccines or combination shots like 5-in-1 or 7-in-1, giving multiple vaccinations in one go. This is both good and bad. Good cause you’re reducing how many times your buddy’s poked, fewer visits and lesser risk of tumours developing on the vaccination site. Bad cause your poor pet’s body is going through a lot of stress. 

What you can do

A good mantra is,‘more vaccine does not mean better immunity.’ Make sure that your home is a healthy environment for your pup; it needs to be clean and dry. Avoid traveling with pups. If you must, ensure your pup receives his vaccinations at least 7-10 days prior to the trip. You don’t want your pup dealing with new antigens and vaccines at the same time. Always get a Titer test before revaccination; a positive result means an active immune system. And always insist on a vaccination card.

I know, a slight dip in energy or a redness on the vaccination site is normal. However, if your pet is suffering from hives, facial swelling, seizures, pale gums, weakness, prolonged or excessive vomiting or diarrhoea, or high fever take him to the vet immediately. No puppy should be fainting, slow or having difficulty breathing.

I move in mysterious ways. Sometimes, a puppy might contract a disease anyway and it could be the devil’s fault. It could also be because of his mother’s antibodies or a genetic weakness. But no inoculation is never the answer. All you can do after vaccination is hope and pray that our puppy’s okay.