Puppy shots are an important part of ensuring your puppy grows up healthy and strong. Most veterinarians recommend a series of puppy shots beginning between 5-8 weeks old when maternal antibodies begin to wear off. Vaccines are important because they help to prevent common illnesses, such as distemper and Canine Parvovirus. Most cities and states have laws in effect that require dog owners to have their dogs immunized against several common, but severe viruses that effect dogs.

Just like many parents believe it’s important to vaccinate their children against preventable diseases, most dog-parents feel the same about vaccinating their puppies against serious illnesses. Puppy shots are crucial to your puppy’s well-being. The recommended vaccination schedule begins between 5 and 8 weeks of age when the maternal antibodies supplied in the mother’s milk begins to wear off. Most vaccines are given as combination vaccines that will protect your puppy against multiple viruses in one shot. Common vaccines are for Distemper, Rabies, Canine Parvovirus, and Parainfluenza. Your veterinarian may recommend additional vaccines based on your region and puppy’s breed. Typically, your puppy will receive a series of three combination vaccines, plus a Rabies vaccine around 16 weeks old. You will need to bring your dog in annually so that your dog can be given booster shots to ensure continuous protection.

Vaccines help to prevent a number of common diseases. When it comes to vaccines, it is especially important to remember that some diseases do not have a cure. For example, if your dog is not vaccinated against the Canine Parvovirus and contracts the disease, her chances of survival are very low. What is worse, there is no cure for Canine Parvovirus. Your veterinarian will only be able to treat the symptoms while your puppy’s immune system is put to the ultimate test.

Vaccines are divided into two categories, core and noncore vaccines. Core vaccines are the essential vaccines that most cities and states require licensed dogs to have. Noncore vaccines may also be required by your municipality or recommended by your veterinarian, but the need for these immunizations are based largely on your specific location and breed. Certain breeds are more susceptible to specific illnesses than others. You should discuss with your veterinarian any breed-specific concerns you have for you puppy, or vaccinations that are particularly important based on where you live.

Puppy shots are an important part of proper puppy care. They are able to prevent a wide range of diseases that would otherwise harm your dog. Your veterinarian will recommend a vaccination schedule that will probably begin between 5-8 weeks old. Some breeds are more susceptible to certain viruses so your vet may recommend additional vaccines based on your breed or location. In many areas, you will need to provide your puppy’s shot record to obtain a dog license.