Posted 5 months ago
There was a huge puppy boom during the pandemic, with many owners getting a dog for the very first time.
Those that were suddenly spending more time at home now had free time to dedicate to their new addition, something that may have once been out of the question.
But getting a new puppy, especially for those who are new to dogs, is a very steep learning curve - you’ve got to train them, help them settle in, know how much to feed them, how to care for them, and when to take them to the vets. There’s a lot to learn.
And then there’s vaccinations. When should a puppy be vaccinated? And what diseases do they protect against?
While us Brits are busy getting our Covid vaccines, there are dogs across the nation who are urgently in need of their vaccinations.
Record numbers of puppies, bought over lockdown and at a time with reduced access or fear of attending regular veterinary services, have led to an alarming number of puppies at risk of contracting serious diseases.
Charity Guide Dogs is urging new puppy owners to make sure their pets are vaccinated at the right time.
When does my puppy need to be vaccinated?
Puppies are typically vaccinated from the age of six-weeks-old. Initially, there will be several injections that are required, with a second dose two to four weeks later.
These are then followed by booster jabs.
Until your dog is fully vaccinated, you should keep them inside and away from public outside spaces to avoid them picking anything up from other dogs.
What diseases do they protect against?
The vaccinations will protect your your pup from a number of diseases, they include:
- Canine distemper
- Canine parvovirus
- Kennel cough
The first set of jabs typically cost between £30 and £60. You’ll then have the cost of the boosters after this, although these are generally cheaper. But the injections cost far less than the treatment that may be required if your dog was to become unwell.
Sarah Miller, head of Canine Health and Wellbeing at Guide Dogs, said: “Until a puppy has developed protection from these diseases, which is a couple of weeks after the second puppy injection, owners need to be extremely careful of where they allow the puppy to visit.
“It’s important to ensure that they do not come into contact with other dogs or environments which may pose a risk to them – particularly important as the world starts to open up again.”
The charity's immediate advice for new and future puppy owners is to discuss your dog’s vaccination regime with a veterinary surgeon as soon as you welcome a new dog into your home.
Sarah advises: “A veterinary surgeon will be able to advise on a suitable vaccination regime for your individual puppy and also provide information on how to safely socialise him or her during the early weeks before they have gained full protection.
“Your veterinary surgeon will also take into account the prevalence of these diseases in your local area which is why speaking to your local veterinary surgeon is so imperative.”
Talking about the Guide Dogs vaccination programme, Sarah added: “We ensure that all of our dogs are fully vaccinated against Parvovirus, Distemper, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis and Parainfluenza, which are all a threat to the life, health and welfare of dogs.
“The vaccination regime we follow normally requires two injections a few weeks apart, which takes place by the time the puppy is 16 weeks of age, and this is followed by an annual booster vaccination for the remainder of the dog’s life.”