Essential Dog Vaccinations: What Every Pet Owner Should Know

Essential Dog Vaccinations: What Every Pet Owner Should Know
Essential Dog Vaccinations: What Every Pet Owner Should Know

As a pet owner, keeping your dog healthy and happy is a top priority. One of the best ways to ensure your dog’s health is through vaccinations. Dog vaccinations protect your furry friend from a range of serious diseases and help keep the entire pet community safe. At Atlas Animal Hospital, we want to make sure you understand the importance of dog vaccinations for your pet’s well-being.

Why Are Dog Vaccinations Important?

Vaccinations are essential because they help prevent your dog from getting sick with serious diseases. When your dog gets a vaccine, it teaches their immune system to recognize and fight off specific germs. This means if your dog comes into contact with those germs in the future, their body can fight them off more easily, keeping them healthy.

Core Dog Vaccinations

There are some vaccinations that all dogs need, no matter where they live or what their lifestyle is like. These are called core vaccinations, and they protect against diseases that are common and can be very dangerous. The core dog vaccinations include:

  1. Rabies: Rabies is a deadly disease that affects the brain. It spreads through the bite of an infected animal. Getting your dog vaccinated against rabies is not only crucial for their health but also required by law in many places.
  2. Distemper: Canine distemper is a serious virus that can affect a dog’s breathing, stomach, and nervous system. Vaccination is important because distemper can be deadly or cause long-term damage.
  3. Parvovirus: Parvovirus is a highly contagious virus that affects a dog’s stomach and intestines. Symptoms include severe vomiting and diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration and death if not treated quickly. Vaccination is especially important for puppies.
  4. Adenovirus (Canine Hepatitis): This virus causes liver disease in dogs. Vaccination protects against this potentially deadly illness.

Non-Core Dog Vaccinations

There are other vaccinations that your dog might need based on their lifestyle and where you live. These are called non-core vaccinations. During your visit to Atlas Animal Hospital, our vets will help you decide which of these vaccines your dog needs. Some common non-core vaccinations include:

  1. Leptospirosis: This bacterial infection spreads through water contaminated by the urine of infected animals. It can cause kidney and liver damage and can be passed to humans.
  2. Lyme Disease: Lyme disease is spread by ticks and can cause joint pain, fever, and kidney problems. If you live in an area with lots of ticks, this vaccine is important.
  3. Bordetella (Kennel Cough): This bacteria causes a cough that can spread easily among dogs, especially in places like kennels or dog parks. Vaccination helps prevent this illness.

Puppy Vaccination Schedule

It’s important to start vaccinating puppies early to protect them from diseases. Puppies should get their first set of vaccinations at around 6-8 weeks old, with booster shots every 3-4 weeks until they are about 16 weeks old. After this initial series, your dog will need regular booster shots throughout their life.

Adult Dog Vaccination Schedule

For adult dogs, the vaccination schedule varies based on the type of vaccine and your dog’s health. Most adult dogs will need booster shots every 1-3 years. At Atlas Animal Hospital, we’ll work with you to create a vaccination schedule that keeps your dog protected.

The Bottom Line

Dog vaccinations are a key part of keeping your pet healthy. By keeping up with your dog’s vaccinations, you protect them from serious diseases and help keep all pets in the community healthy. At Atlas Animal Hospital, our team is here to help you with the vaccination process and ensure your dog stays healthy and happy. Schedule an appointment with us today to discuss your dog’s vaccination needs and keep them protected for years to come.

A healthy dog is a happy dog! Trust Atlas Animal Hospital for all your dog vaccination needs.