Puppy care can feel a little overwhelming. Don’t worry, they need the most early on and their wellness needs will start to taper off as they reach adulthood. It is important to remember that your puppy is not fully protected until they have completed the series recommended by your veterinarian. Until they are fully vaccinated, puppies should not walk in public areas, visit other dogs, dog parks, pet stores etc. We know it can be hard, but limiting their exposure until your veterinary team gives you the green light will help keep your puppy safe and healthy.
Why do puppies need so many vaccines? Check out this blurb from our friends at Preventative Vet. You can follow the link to learn even more.
Why are "puppy shots" a series? Why is the timing important?Every puppy is different. A puppy who was one in a litter of 3 puppies may have been able to suckle more colostrum (the antibody-rich “first milk”) from Mom, than a puppy that was one in a litter of 13.
Although if the Mom of the litter of 3 wasn’t well vaccinated herself, or she didn’t produce good milk or do a good job of nursing her pups, then it may not necessarily be the case.
Similarly, some puppies are born with deficiencies in their immune system, or their immune system may develop more slowly because of dietary or other factors. So we never 100% know a pup’s starting immune status, how well they are initially protected by “maternal immunity,” or how well their immune system will respond to the vaccines we're administering.
So to provide the best level of protection to the greatest number of puppies in the greatest number of situations, the “puppy shots” are administered as a series of "initial shots" and "booster shots" over the course of the first several months of their life. This gives their maternal immunity (which is protective but can interfere with a puppy's vaccinations) time to wane while their own immune system is fully developing in response to and conjunction with their "shots."
Working to share the work of the amazing team at Friendship Pet Hospital and Wellness Center.