Vaccinations are Vital

Puppies initially get antibodies from their mothers’ milk, however, at the age of 6 weeks they need to start getting vaccinations to protect them from diseases which could be fatal to them. We cannot stress enough how vital vaccinations are for your puppy. Sadly, many pups do not survive diseases that could have been prevented with the recommended schedule of core vaccinations.

According to the South African Veterinarian Association, there are Core Vaccines for dogs which should be given to all dogs, in all regions, because they protect against diseases that are widespread and which have serious effects.

Core Vaccines for dogs are:

  • Canine distemper
  • Canine adenovirus infections
  • Canine parvovirus infection
  • Rabies

There are also Non-Core Vaccines which are given strategically when a disease is prevalent in an area or when an animal might be predisposed to a disease. These are given once you have had a discussion with your vet with regards to possible risks involved and have deemed it necessary to do so.

Non-Core Vaccines for dogs are:

  • Leptospirosis
  • Kennel cough
  • Canine coronavirus
  • Canine herpesvirus

* Please note that it is the law in South Africa that all dogs and cats are vaccinated against Rabies.

Whether you get your puppy from a breeder or a shelter, it is advisable to visit your veterinarian, as soon as possible, to have your puppy’s health checked and get them onto the correct schedule of vaccinations. Ask your breeder or shelter which vaccinations have been administered and request the vaccination record card. If you have not used a reputable breeder or if you have bought your puppy from a pet shop (which we do NOT recommend at all) please make your very first stop is your Veterinarian. Far too often these puppies have not been vaccinated properly and are highly vulnerable to disease.

Here are guide-lines regarding vaccinations:

  • Puppies should have their first vaccinations at 6 weeks old
  • The second set of vaccinations, which includes Rabies, must be at about 11 -12 weeks old
  • The third set, which includes the second Rabies vaccination, should be administered at about 14-16 weeks old
  • Your puppy should have his first booster vaccination when he is 1 year old.
  • It is recommended that you have a booster vaccination annually, thereafter, but at the very least, every 3 years.

Always speak to your Veterinarian, if you need advice. These medical professionals dedicate their lives to improving the quality of life for animals.