If you have ever owned a puppy you know how exciting it is to bring your new family member home. Your little bundle of energy will soon be racing around and ready to get out and about…and we all know how important socializing your puppy is for creating good canine citizens. Part of being a responsible pet owner is knowing how to protect your new friend from potentially dangerous diseases while allowing them the opportunity to socialize, and this is where vaccinating your puppy becomes very important.
Puppies get their first protection from disease from their mother (both before birth and immediately after in their mother’s milk), but this protection has largely disappeared by 8-12 weeks of age. Vaccinations protect your puppy by helping their immune system to produce its’ own antibodies. If your puppy then becomes exposed to that disease, either by contact with an infected dog or in some cases just by using the same environment, the antibodies will help fight off infection. In Australia, it is common to vaccinate against the following:
Canine cough (‘kennel cough’ – caused by a number of different viruses and bacteria including parainfluenza and bordatella)
Thanks to the dedication of owners Australia wide, in some areas many of these diseases are seen very rarely. However this is not a good reason to be complacent, and unfortunately serious illness and deaths of puppies due to these conditions still occur.
Vaccinations are usually given to your puppy as a course of three injections at 6-8weeks, 12-14 weeks and finally at 16-18weeks. Continued protection is ensured by seeing your vet every 12 months for the appropriate boosters. Your vet will advise you which vaccinations are needed for your pet – this may vary depending on the area in which you live, the age of your puppy and it’s breed.
Vaccinating properly will ensure your puppy is safe while they are doing what they do best…sharing in the fun of your life both at home and about!