What Shots Does My Puppy Need, and When?

Once you bring home your new pet, you certainly don’t want anything to happen to them. Unfortunately, puppies are susceptible to serious illness when they’re young. That’s why it’s so important to vaccinate them. Timing their vaccines appropriately gives them the best chance at a long, happy and healthy life. Here’s a brief overview of when to schedule puppy shots in West Des Moines, IA.

Why vaccinate your dog?

Vaccinating your dog exposes their immune system to gentler forms of an illness, so their immune system can respond appropriately. Their immune system will “recognize” the actual illness, and know how to combat it if they’re exposed to it in the wild. Pet vaccines work in much the same way human vaccines function.

The most important reason to vaccinate your dogs, of course, is because these illnesses are potentially deadly. Parvovirus, for example, is notorious for killing puppies. Additionally, most municipalities (including West Des Moines) require dog owners to vaccinate against rabies, at the very least—and if you don’t, you could be liable if your dog bites someone else.

Which vaccines you should get

There are some vaccines that you’ll need to get no matter what kind of dog you own, since the disease affects all members of the species. These include Borrelia burgdorferi, Bordetella bronchiseptica and Leptospira bacteria. Vaccinating for parvovirus, hepatitis, parainfluenza, distemper and rabies will ensure that your pet is protected from serious illness. If your veterinarian suggests additional vaccines, make sure to seriously consider them. They may help protect your dog against diseases to which their breed is particularly susceptible.

When to vaccinate

Generally, a dog is vaccinated between six and 16 weeks of age. Then they must be revaccinated every year, at their regular checkup. If you’re concerned that your dog may have special health circumstances that could throw off their timing, talk to your vet, breeder or other trusted dog expert to learn more. Most dogs will fall into this timeframe, however.

West Des Moines vaccination requirements

According to the city website, you must have a license for your dog (whether intact or altered). To get that license, you have to prove that your dog has a current rabies vaccination. Iowa in general requires that dogs be vaccinated for rabies before six months of age, so be prepared if you’re planning to bring home a puppy soon.

Bottom line

Not only are puppy vaccines important to your dog’s health, some of them are also legally required. Vaccines are completely safe and will not harm your dog. If you’re concerned about how vaccines might affect your puppy, be sure to talk to your vet—but don’t be surprised if they agree that your dog will be fine. It’s a good way to not only protect your dog, but also the other dogs with whom they come into contact.

Your dog should have puppy shots for their health in West Des Moines, IA—especially if you’re planning to board them at Canine Country Club. Call us today to find out more.

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