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Puppy Immunizations 101

Once again, it’s Immunization Awareness Month—if you own a puppy, you’ll need to get them the vaccinations they need for a healthy, happy life. Here, your Pickerington, OH vet fills you in on the basics.

How Exactly Do Immunizations Work?

Immunizations work by introducing a small strain of disease to your dog’s immune system. As a result, your dog’s system develops antibodies to the disease so that it’s able to recognize and fight off the illness should the real thing ever afflict your dog.

Are There Side Effects?

Immunizations rarely cause side effects, but it is possible for the viral strain to affect a dog’s health. In almost all cases, symptoms are extremely minor and can be treated easily at a veterinarian’s office. If your dog exhibits minor health symptoms after a vaccination, let your veterinarian know so that your dog can be made more comfortable.

What Vaccines Do Puppies Need?

Puppies receive the core vaccines early in on life (usually at about six to eight weeks of age). The core batch includes the rabies, parainfluenza, parvovirus, distemper, and hepatitis vaccines. These are considered “core” because of the dangerous and contagious nature of the diseases they protect against.

Some dogs require other vaccines, known as non-core vaccines. These are based on a particular dog’s risk factors, overall health, pre-existing conditions, environment, and more. Your vet will be able to tell you if your puppy needs additional vaccinations.

What About Booster Shots?

Most vaccinations require booster shots every year or in multiple-year intervals. The rabies vaccine, for instance, usually requires a booster shot every three years. Talk with your veterinarian about setting up a schedule to get your dog the vaccine updates he or she needs throughout life. Most dog owners have their pet’s vaccines updated during their regular veterinary check-ups.

Do Vaccinations Hurt My Dog?

A vaccination doesn’t hurt a dog in the least; it’s just like a vaccination for a human patient. All your dog will feel is a momentary pinch at the injection site; most puppies are so excitable that they barely notice! Ask your vet for more specifics on the vaccination procedure.

What if My Puppy Needs Vaccinated?

If your puppy doesn’t have the vaccines he or she needs, call your Pickerington, OH veterinarian’s office right away. Proper vaccination is key to a disease-free, healthy lifestyle, and all puppies can benefit from this life-saving preventative technique.

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