Dog vaccinations: what you need to know

Vaccinations are a vital part of keeping your precious pup happy and healthy. By making sure they’re up to date with all their jabs you can relax and enjoy watching your puppy grow and develop.

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Your dog should be vaccinated against:

  • Canine parvovirus, an aggressive disease that causes serious and often fatal vomiting and diarrhoea
  • Canine distemper, a virus that attacks the gut, lungs and nervous system and is usually fatal
  • Infectious canine hepatitis rapidly attacks the liver, lungs, kidneys and eyes, many cases are fatal
  • Canine parainfluenza virus, a highly contagious respiratory tract infection which causes a dry, hacking cough
  • Leptospirosis is caused by bacteria and can be treated by antibiotics, but is often fatal or can cause serious kidney damage

Your dog can also be vaccinated against:

  • Canine coronavirus, this causes serious diarrhoea
  • Kennel cough (infectious bronchitis). Many boarding kennels insist on this before entry, ask your vet for more information
  • Rabies, if you want to travel abroad with your pet. Contact your vet or DEFRA for further information on the Pet Travel Scheme

When you should vaccinate your dog

  • Puppies should be vaccinated at about 8 weeks of age, and then a second dose around 10-12 weeks old is essential
  • Boosters should be given as your vet advises, usually every year.

What to do after vaccination

It is usually safe to take your puppy out in public a week after the second vaccination. However, you should balance this against the importance of socialising your puppy when they’re younger than this.

Consider taking them out to meet the world before they’re vaccinated, but keep them in your arms or go to places where there are no other dogs. Asking friends with vaccinated sociable dogs to visit is also a good idea.