How often do I need to vaccinate my dog?
After last weeks post about parvo, we have found a lot of people are unclear as to how often their pet needs to be vaccinated against parvovirus.
We have based our recommendations on AVA and WSAVA guidelines.
Puppies should be vaccinated at 6-8 weeks, 10-12 weeks and 14-16 week of age. It is important that dogs have at least two vaccinations over 10 weeks of age to ensure adequate protection. If your puppy has been exposed to parvo, such as having a litter mate infected, it may be worth vaccinating every two weeks until 16 weeks of age.
Puppies can be socialised 14 days after their 10-12 week vaccination. Although there is still a very small risk of them picking up parvo before their final vaccination, we need to balance the need for puppies to be socialised while young.
Adults: dogs should receive a booster vaccination at around 15 months of age, then every three years against parvo, distemper and hepatitis. If they receive vaccinations against Canine Cough, they will need annual boosters for this.
What do you do if you’re worried about your dog having a vaccination? Although vaccinations are very safe, there are some pets we don’t recommend routine boosters for. These include dogs that have had a reaction to previous vaccines, or pets with some autoimmune conditions. For these dogs (and for any other dogs where the owners are worried), we can do a blood test to check for antibodies against parvo and distemper. A positive blood test means your dog is protected, and we recommend rechecking again after 12 months.
Some vets still use annual parvo, distemper and hepatitis vaccines, so please follow the recommendations of your vet. Also remember that annual health checks are critical for keeping your pet in the best possible health, so you should still take your pet to see your vet at least once each year.