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Do I need to vaccinate my dog?

Updated on February 18, 2012

When you have decided to get a puppy it is assumed that you are aware of the care you have to provide for the new pet. The care you need to give the puppy is not unlike the care given to a baby (minus the high chair of course). Aside from providing the dog with its basic needs, you also have to ensure that the dog is provided with the necessary health care. Regular vet visits will be necessary not only for checkups but also for vaccinations. Distemper and parvovirus are considered as the most contagious diseases for dogs. These killer diseases can be prevented with vaccination.

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A puppy’s immune system

The colostrums in the mother’s milk have the necessary nutrients as well as the antibodies that protect the puppies from infection. Although the puppy’s immune system is not fully developed, these antibodies protect the pup against disease carrying bacteria and viruses. However, the protection is only temporary as when the puppy is about 6 weeks old, the immunity will start to wane. This is a delicate time for a puppy. Unprotected from bacteria and viruses, the risk for diseases is high. This is the reason why vets would recommend vaccination at six weeks of age. To boost the puppy’s immune system against distemper, parvovirus, rabies, leptospirusis, corona virus and other canine diseases the initial vaccination is commonly followed up with booster shots.

What is vaccination?

Before vaccines were developed, many dogs with poor defense systems died from various canine diseases. Immunity against a particular disease can be developed if the dog succumbs to the disease. Vaccination is another way of developing immunity. Vaccination is the introduction of a pharmaceutical preparation for the purpose of stimulating the immune system of the dog against a particular disease. Disabled or weakened virus is introduced to stimulate the dog’s defense system. With vaccination, the dog need not suffer from the disease to develop immunity. More importantly, the risk of dying will be eliminated. Vaccination is a much safer way of developing antibodies.

Importance of vaccination

Infections and disease that can affect the well being of the pet cannot be totally prevented. The best way you can shield you pet from diseases, life threatening or otherwise is to have to have the dog vaccinated. Vaccination will allow your dog to have a longer and healthier life. Some canine disease can be transmitted to humans thus vaccination serves you two ways – protecting the pet and protecting the family as well. As vaccination stimulates the immune system, the pet will be ready for future virus attacks. Remember, a happy healthy pet makes the human family happy as well.

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