Vaccination for Dogs and Puppies

Vaccines prepare animals to fight infections caused by pathogens by stimulating antibody production. They can reduce the severity of a disease or prevent it from developing at all. Since 2003, we’ve been reviewing the frequency of vaccination and have decreased it to ensure ideal protection for your pet without unnecessary risk.

What vaccines should my dog or puppy receive?

The vet will establish a vaccination schedule specifically suited to your pet’s needs and lifestyle. Here are the vaccines available at our veterinary hospital:

  • The basic or DHPP vaccine: protection against distemper (sometimes called footpad disease), infectious hepatitis, parainfluenza and parvovirus
  • Leptospirosis vaccine
  • Bordetella vaccine (kennel cough)
  • Rabies vaccine
  • Lyme disease vaccine

    If you want to travel with your pet, some destinations will require certain vaccines to be up-to-date. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) can offer more information on this subject.

    At what age can a puppy be vaccinated?

    Dogs should get their first round of shots around six to eight weeks old. Before this age, puppies are protected by the antibodies in their mother’s milk, which provide gradually diminishing natural immunity. Monthly booster shots will be needed at this early age. A first dose and further boosters of the vaccines against the other diseases listed above will be given over the coming weeks according to a vaccination schedule determined by your vet.

    How often does my adult dog need to be vaccinated?

    Vaccine boosters should be administered every one to three years, depending on the disease. Refer to the vaccination schedule set by your veterinarian based on your pet’s needs, and the dates of the last doses received.

    Is vaccination always effective?

    Unfortunately, vaccines aren’t always effective, but they help the vast majority of animals from developing signs of disease. Don’t take any chances!

    How will my dog react to their vaccines?

    Some dogs are more tired after their shots or have a fever or lose their appetite. They might also experience some mild discomfort at the injection site. Other animals don’t experience any side effects. Severe allergic reactions, such as swelling, repeated vomiting and breathing difficulties, are rare. We’ll always tell you what signs to look for after they got their shot.



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