Puppy Vaccinations and Care

Jan 10, 2023


Did your family gain a furry, four-legged addition over the holidays? Raising a puppy is an exciting time, but don’t forget to consider your puppy’s health during this formative stage!
 
Puppy shots not only prevent a wide range of diseases in your dog but also protect other animals in your home as well. Although puppies are born with a natural level of maternal antibody and immunity, vaccines act as a supplement to ensure they remain healthy throughout the early stages of their life while they are most vulnerable.
 
Core vaccinations for puppies include canine distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parvo, parainfluenza, and rabies. Shots should be administered at 3, 6, 12, and 16 weeks old, with some requiring yearly boosters. Following this schedule is important, especially when preventing parvo, which is known as the speedy killer of puppies. If your puppy is not treated within two to three days of contracting parvo, the outcome is often grim.
 
Other yearly shots such as Bordetella bronchiseptica should be administered before your puppy is exposed to other dogs at a doggy daycare, park, or boarding. You will also need to keep track of at-home heartworm and flea and tick prevention treatments. The American Heartworm Society recommends puppies be started on heartworm preventative as early as the product label allows, and no later than eight weeks of age.
 
Side effects after core vaccinations are uncommon but continue to monitor your puppy for unusual symptoms or behaviors following the vet visit. Keep up with yearly checkups as well to increase the likelihood of health issues being caught and treated before they become an issue.
 
Puppies are also ideal hosts to worms and other parasites as they often sniff and eat anything in their path. Puppies should therefore be dewormed at 2, 4, 6, 8, and 12 weeks of age, and then again at 6 months. Adult dogs do not need to be on a deworming schedule if they are being given heartworm and flea and tick preventatives.
 
Another important aspect of puppy care is the food you choose to give them. Formulated puppy food is often high in calories and dense in nutrients to give puppies the boost they need to grow up strong and healthy. Your local Co-op carries a selection of quality puppy food, as well as formulas for the next stages of their lives as they grow into adults. Give the store a call to ask about specific brands offered.
 
And then comes the easy part about having a puppy — spoiling them! Co-op has all the toys, treats, collars, leashes, and beds your pup could possibly need to stay entertained and happy, so load your puppy in the truck and stop by today.
 
For more content like this, check out the latest issue of The Cooperator.

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