It's essential to your dog's long-term health that he is given the proper vaccinations at the right time as a puppy. When your puppy comes home with you, he should be at least eight weeks old and have received initial vaccinations and deworming treatments. But it's up to you to help your puppy continue on his journey towards life-long health once he comes home.
At six weeks, your puppy will receive his first round of "core" vaccinations for Canine adenovirus, Canine distemper and Canine parvovirus. The parvovirus vaccine is especially important, because the mortality rate of puppies who catch parvo from infected adult dogs is very high. Your puppy may also start a heartworm preventative at this age.
Three to four weeks after his initial vaccination, your puppy will be given his second round of the core vaccinations. Since these immunizations do not last long in the puppy's system, they need to be "boosted" through these vaccinations for the first few months. Based on your region and your puppy's potential risk, your vet may also suggest the Leptospirosis vaccine and a Lyme vaccination.
At three to four months of age, your puppy is ready to receive his rabies vaccination. He should also be given the third and final round of the "core" vaccinations. Your veterinarian will also talk with you about spaying or neutering your pup, a procedure that is optimally performed at six months of age.
When your puppy reaches one year, he will be given a booster for the core vaccines that he first received months ago. He will also be given a second round of the rabies vaccination, and at your veterinarian’s discretion, based on risk, your puppy may also be given Bordetella, Leptospirosis, Lyme, and Parainfluenza vaccinations.
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