Depending on where you adopt or buy your puppy, they may have already received some vaccines. Even still, there are other vaccines your dog will need as they continue to grow up to be a big strong good boy or girl.
Make sure you stay on top of things, especially if you intend to socialize your dog. You can’t be responsible for other owners’ vaccinations for their animals, but you can be proactive when it comes to your dog.
Welcome to Puppy Parenthood!
Your puppy is probably the most adorable thing you’ve ever seen. This doesn’t mean they aren’t without expenses or challenges.
You’re going to spend much of the first few months of your puppy’s life teaching them that it’s not okay to pee on the carpet and explaining that your shoes are not a snack. Dogs are highly trainable, and when they master the rules, they’re usually very good at following them.
You’re also responsible for your puppy’s medical care. You should establish care with a veterinarian and schedule regular checkups. It’s your responsibility to adhere to your puppy’s vaccine schedule, and setting up your timeline can be easy with the right tools.
Are Vaccines Really Necessary?
Yes. Vaccines are really necessary. Dogs can catch and spread fatal and contagious diseases the same way humans can. If your dog isn’t vaccinated, they’re at risk. Any time they come into contact with another dog, that contact can become fatal if the other dog is carrying a pathogen that your dog has not yet been vaccinated for. Don’t take that chance.
It’s much simpler, cheaper, and safer to vaccinate your dog than it is to treat the consequences of failing to do so.
Your dog needs to have all of their vaccinations in order to be boarded, walked by a professional walker, or to participate in any dog playday events. You need to be able to present your dog’s vaccine records as proof, as people are not likely to take your dog’s word for it. Like we mentioned, having easy, reliable access to your dog’s vaccine information is possible with the right tools. While you can always take a picture on your phone or even carry a paper copy in your wallet, you can store this information in your Communikind app and print out records as needed — a much safer, more practical route.
What Are All These Different Vaccines For?
It’s usually easy to figure out what human vaccines are for. The names of the things that affect us are all familiar. Dogs are susceptible to different diseases and will therefore have different vaccines that aren’t quite as recognizable for a first-time pup parent. Let's walk through some common vaccines for puppies.
The Puppy Vaccination Timeline
Bordetella Bronchiseptica is sometimes shortened to Bortedella or BB. Bordetella is the canine equivalent of pertussis, or whooping cough. It’s a bacteria that causes severely distressing bronchial infections and respiratory complications in dogs.
Rabies is a fatal and contagious disease transmitted through biting or scratching. Many wild animals like raccoons, foxes, and bats can carry rabies. In dogs, rabies causes muscle spasms, a permanently altered mental state, and excessive salivation until it ultimately kills the animal. If a dog with rabies bites someone, that person can also contract rabies.
Canine distemper is a contagious disease that spreads among dogs. Distemper upsets almost every single system in a dog’s body. Distress to the respiratory, nervous, and gastrointestinal systems can cause a dog’s health to deteriorate rapidly and painfully as the disease reaches its fatal conclusion. Canine distemper vaccinations are bundled with other necessary shots in the DHPP bundle (distemper/hepatitis/parvovirus/parainfluenza).
Adenovirus 1 is a type of contagious hepatitis that only affects dogs. Responsible dog owners who have vaccinated their pups have done the world a great service. This disease is virtually a legend in North America, and is proof that vaccines can really help to eradicate disease. The Adenovirus 1 vaccination is part of the DHPP vaccination bundle.
Parvovirus is often shortened to parvo, but may also be referred to as CPV (canine parvovirus) or CPV2. Parvovirus is contracted through the feces of infected dogs and manifests similarly to a severe flu. The effects are much worse than the flu, with a mortality rate of up to 91%. Don’t take chances. Vaccinate your dog with the DHPP bundle, which includes parvovirus.
Dogs get the same kind of lyme disease that humans get. Lyme disease is a disease transmitted through ticks, and ticks love to jump on dogs. Lyme disease significantly impacts a dog’s gait, making walking difficult. It slows down renal function, putting the kidneys in serious jeopardy. There is no cure for lyme disease, which makes vaccination the only option.
H3N8 and H3N2 are strains of canine influenza with effective vaccines. Dogs need flu shots just like people do. Just like you get your flu shot every year, your dog’s flu shot will require regular maintenance to remain effective. This shot comes in the DHPP bundle.
Leptospirosis is a disease that can be transmitted from animals to humans. Leptospirosis causes severe muscle pain, extreme thirst, changes in urination, changes in appetite, diarrhea, vomiting, and even jaundice. Failing to vaccinate your dog against leptospirosis can be dangerous to your whole family.
Some Exceptions to Keep in Mind
Your state or county will often have specific laws regarding dog vaccinations. Not every vaccination your veterinarian offers will be mandatory, but that doesn’t mean you should skip it. Follow best practices when vaccinating your dog. Vaccinate for things like lyme disease even if you’ve never personally seen a tick in your hometown.
How Can I Stay on Track?
Your vet will attempt to remind you when it’s time for your dog’s vaccination, but it’s ultimately not their responsibility to make sure you’re keeping track and showing up. It’s your responsibility to be proactive about your dog’s health from the moment you bring them into your family.
Communikind is an app designed to make health management easy for your entire family, no matter how many legs they stand on. The health of pets in your household is important, and empowering yourself to manage the health needs of your furry friends is the best way to be sure that everyone is receiving the best possible care.
With the Communikind app, you can create a complete profile for your pet. Once your pet is a part of your Care Family, you'll be able to log medical history and upcoming events, moods, and symptoms for your pet.
It also allows you to input your dog’s vaccination records and set reminders to ensure you stay on top of vaccination dates and upcoming vet appointments, by logging them as events and setting alerts to remind you when your dog is due for their next round of shots. Additionally, you can track symptoms if you believe your dog might be sick. By documenting flea bites, rashes, vomiting, and other symptoms your dog might experience, you can create a record to show the vet if you’re ever concerned about the health of your dog.
Being a new pup parent can be tough, but using tools like Communikind can help you keep track of the important stuff and stay up to date on your pets health, though we can’t promise it’ll help keep your slippers and homework safe from being chewed.