Vaccinating your Puppy
Vaccination and General Healthcare
Vaccination is very important to protect your dog from several diseases that can be rapidly fatal, such as Distemper, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis and Parvovirus. These diseases are generally passed from infected dogs and foxes in their faeces, urine, saliva and bites, but some may be transmitted via water such as ditches, ponds etc. Apparently healthy dogs can carry such diseases without symptoms and so it is particularly important to keep the most vulnerable animals i.e. young puppies away from other unvaccinated dogs until at least 14 days after their second vaccination (normally at 12 weeks of age) when they will have acquired some immunity.
Vaccination does not prevent a dog from contracting a disease, but it boosts the immune system, to give the animal the best possible chance of fighting the disease off if it should be encountered. The animal may therefore only develop mild symptoms instead of the full disease, which could be fatal. Although there has been much discussion about the merits of vaccination in the media, we are of the opinion that vaccinating your dog is very important to give it the best chance of a healthy life.
A puppy vaccination course is normally given as two injections at 6-10 and 10-14 weeks of age, four weeks apart. The pup is then considered protected from 14 days after the second injection. An older dog that has an unknown vaccination history should start this course again with two injections 4 weeks apart, and all dogs should have a yearly booster.
The booster vaccination is also a good opportunity for your dog to have a health check with the vet. You can also ask about any nagging concerns you may have about your dog’s wellbeing.
Vaccination is also available to protect against Kennel Cough – this is a yearly vaccine administered as a small amount of liquid up the nose. This vaccine is often required to be up to date for admission into boarding kennels. We recommend this vaccine if you are going to attend puppy/dog training classes, dog shows, kennels and any other activities were numbers of dogs gather. We feel the New Forest environment is a risk area due to the large numbers of dog walkers from many different areas.
Rabies vaccination is required for a pet passport – please check the Defra website for up to date notification on this procedure: Taking your pet abroad