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Dog vaccinations – everything you must know

Vaccinations protect your dog against contagious diseases that can be very dangerous for your dog's health, and, unfortunately, a lot of them are incurable. In order to support your dog in the best way possible, therefore, proper education and regular dog vaccinations are crucial.

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Dog vaccines – what to pay attention to

Caring for the health of your dog is not only about a good diet and physical activity, but also protection against dangerous diseases and ailments. It is the duty of every dog ​​owner to vaccinate their dog for rabies. However, this is not the only disease to protect your pet against. You can avoid many contagious infections or ailments by seeking out available means of prevention. In the first months of your dog’s life, it is worth visiting the vet and creating a schedule for necessary vaccinations.

What are the most important dog vaccinations?

Your dog’s vet will be able to provide you with a list of necessary dog vaccinations after going through a thorough examination with your pup. It is a good idea to find out in advance what diseases can threaten your dog and what you can protect against. This knowledge will allow for a more thought-out and, above all, conscious selection of vaccinations for your beloved dog.

Rabies vaccination

Keeping the well-being of your dog in mind, ensuring that he receives the rabies vaccine is a non-negotiable. It is a very dangerous disease that can penetrate into the cells, destroy the body and reduce one’s immunity. The anti-rabies vaccine is the responsibility of all dog owners and is required by law. What’s more, it is worth mentioning that a person can become infected with this disease by making contact with an infected individual.

The right time to vaccinate your dog for rabies is shortly after his birth — somewhere between his 12th and 16th week of life. This treatment should be repeated every year. As the risk of a dog contracting rabies is high, you should never neglect the yearly repetition of this vaccination.

Protection against Rubarth’s disease (Canine Hepatitis)

Rubarth’s disease is infectious hepatitis. This is a very serious illness. In 9 out of 10 cases, dogs that contract this disease end up perishing. The virus attacks dog’s organs, mainly the liver, but also the lungs, spleen or kidneys. A characteristic symptom observed in dogs infected with Rubarth disease is corneal clouding, which turns blue.

In order to prevent your dog from being infected with this disease, you must ensure that he is regularly vaccinated. The first vaccination should be done when your dog is around the age of 9 weeks and then about 3-4 weeks later.

Protection against parvovirus infection

Parvovirosis is a disease that manifests itself in hemorrhagic gastroenteritis. In most cases, it affects puppies and young dogs. This is due to the fact that dogs shortly after birth have low immunity and are therefore susceptible to all kinds of infections. The mortality rate in dogs infected with this disease is very high.

The most effective way to protect your dog from parvovirosis is to vaccinate him at a very young age. Puppies are vaccinated between 6 and 8 months old and then again after 4 weeks. For complete protection against parvovirosis, the vaccine should be repeated every year until your dog has passed the age of 5. After this time, the frequency of dog vaccination you can reduce to every other year.

Protection against canine distemper

This disease attacks the respiratory, digestive and also nervous systems of dogs. Canine distemper is a deadly disease, therefore it is recommended to protect your dog against infection. The first vaccination should be carried out when your dog is 7 weeks old, the second after 10 weeks, and the next one after 16 weeks.

Because the ventral and parvovirosis vaccinations are recommended at a similar time in your puppies’ life, veterinarians may propose a combined injection. This is a good idea, because it limits the amount of stress and pain that your dog must endure to one, instead of two, needles.

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How to prepare your dog for vaccination

The effectiveness of dog vaccinations depends largely on the health of your pooch. You should remember to take your pet to the vet for deworming in the first place. If you do not do this, there is a good chance that your dog could have parasites in his body that came from his mother’s breast milk. Deworming can be done when your puppy is about 3 weeks old. After 5 and 8 weeks of life, the treatment should be repeated. If an older puppy or adult dog is vaccinated, deworming should be carried out 7 to 10 days prior to vaccination.

Before vaccination, the vet should check your dog for allergens. It is possible that after vaccination, your pooch may experience an allergic reaction. In this case, the vet will propose a slightly different vaccine to protect against the disease. Unfortunately, there is a chance that your dog will be allergic to the key ingredient within a vaccine that has no other counterparts. In the event that an allergic reaction is very serious, you should not give your dog that vaccine. For some vaccines, the vet can prepare your dog by administering specially selected medications beforehand.

On the day of vaccination your dog does not spend too much time anticipating what awaits him. Make sure that your daily rhythm is as normal as possible, to make your dog feel safe and calm. If your dog is nervous before a vaccination, it will make the procedure more difficult for him. If possible, try to keep your pet as relaxed and rested before the exam as possible.

How to take care of your dog after vaccination?

Immediately after vaccination, your dog should be quarantined. It is very important to minimize the possibility of complications. It is important to keep the contact that your dog has with other dogs to a minimum. Your dog’s immunity right after vaccination is not yet at such a high level as to protect him against infectious diseases. Proper immunity occurs only a few days after the administration of the vaccine. When going for joint walks try to avoid crowded trails and parks.

If you notice any side effects from the vaccine, go to the vet sooner than specified in recommendation. Your dog may experience various types of skin changes such as allergic reactions or irritation. Other side effects include nausea and apathy.

It is recommended to wait a bit before bathing your dog after vaccinations. After vaccination your dog’s immunity is very low, so his risk of contracting a cold is much higher. Therefore, if possible, take a break from bathing your dog for a few days post-vaccination. This way, you will give his immune system the possibility to strengthen itself naturally.

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Are vaccinations worth it?

Excluding rabies, the law does not force dog owners to carry out any dog vaccinations. This is due to the fact that the other diseases mentioned above do not pose a direct threat to humans. This does not mean, however, that they are not dangerous for your dog.

Unfortunately, most unvaccinated puppies affected by infectious diseases have no chance of surviving. Bearing in mind the good of your dog, therefore, you should not give up the chance to shelter him through vaccination. This is the only effective way to protect your dog from unnecessary suffering. In taking care of your dog’s health, don’t forget about regular vaccinations.

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