Keeping your pet happy and healthy should be an owner’s top priority. If you’re planning to breed your pet, making sure it is in good health is even more important. Just like humans, dogs have a vaccination schedule that you must follow to make sure they don’t get sick. They should also be microchipped and insured, and if you aren't planning to breed your pet, then it is recommended that you get your dog neutered.
From the moment a puppy is born, it comes into contact with many different things that can make it sick, which is why it is important to protect it. Puppies are vaccinated at six to eight weeks old, 12 weeks and then every year as an adult. These booster top-up vaccinations will help to keep your pet's immune system strong throughout its life.
When can my pet go outside?
It’s important that your puppy is socialised from a young age to make sure they grow up to be friendly, however, your dog won’t be protected from diseases until after their second round of vaccinations. At 12 weeks, when your puppy has its second round of vaccinations, your vet will be able to tell you if he is ready to meet other dogs and to walk outside on the lead. Until your vet has told you it is safe, you might be risking your pet’s health to let it go outside.
What diseases to vaccinations prevent?
By getting your dog vaccinated you will be protecting it against the following diseases:
Canine distemper, which is also known as 'hard pad'. This is a serious incurable virus that is carried by wildlife such as racoons or foxes. It attacks the respiratory, urogenital, gastrointestinal and nervous system, and is often fatal two to five weeks after infection.
Canine Parvovirus is a highly contagious virus that is fatal in 91% of cases if left untreated. Infectious Canine Hepatitis is an infectious disease that attacks the liver.
Bordetella is a bacterial infection that causes kennel cough.
Leptospirosis is a highly infectious bacterial infection that can also be passed to humans and causes kidney and liver damage in dogs.
How do I keep my pet safe from parasites?
By visiting the vet frequently you will also be able to make sure you keep your pet safe from fleas and worms. Fleas can be difficult to get rid of once they have found their way into your home, so it’s best to make sure they can’t survive with regular flea treatments. Your vet will also be able to advise you on worming treatments.
What else can I do to keep my pet safe?
When you take your pet for its second round of vaccinations, your vet will recommend implanting a pet microchip. From April this year, it is now the law in the UK to make sure that your pet has a microchip implanted and registered with your up-to-date details.