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Puppy Vaccination Basics

Are you planning on adding a puppy to your home in the near future? Congratulations! Proper vaccination is one of the first steps you’ll need to take to ensure that your new companion lives a long, happy, and healthy life. Below, your Happy Valley, OR veterinarian goes over the basics.

How Do Vaccines Work, Anyway?

A vaccine works by introducing a tiny, virtually harmless strain of the disease that it protects against to your dog’s immune system. Your puppy’s system will, in turn, develop natural antibodies to that particular disease. In this fashion, your dog’s body will be able to recognize, fight off, or at the very least lessen the symptoms of that disease if the real thing ever comes along at a later date.

What Vaccines Does My Pup Need?

Your puppy will need what are known as the core vaccines, which are usually administered together in a batch when your puppy is only a few weeks old. These are called the core vaccines because all puppies need them, thanks to the dangerous and/or contagious characteristics of the diseases they prevent. Core vaccines include those that ward off distemper, rabies, parvovirus, and hepatitis, among others.

There are also non-core vaccines that may be recommended for your puppy’s good health. As you may infer from the name, non-core vaccines aren’t considered necessary for all dogs. They might help some, though, based on factors like risk of exposure, location and environment, pre-existing health conditions, and more. One example is the Bordetella virus vaccine; the Bordetella virus causes kennel cough, so a puppy who will most likely be boarded later in life may benefit greatly from receiving the vaccine at a young age.

What About Booster Shots?

Most of your puppy’s vaccinations will require booster shots to remain effective over time. These may be administered in yearly intervals or in multi-year increments. Many dog owners have their pup’s vaccinations updated as needed at one of their bi-yearly veterinary checkups. To learn more about booster shots and when your puppy will need them, contact your vet’s office.

How Do I Get Started?

Your veterinarian can answer any further questions you have about vaccinations, booster shots, and vaccine scheduling. If your puppy needs his vaccinations or you would like to learn more, call your Happy Valley, OR animal hospital today. We’re here to help with all of your new puppy’s most important care needs!

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