Vaccinations are essential to keep your dog safe and healthy. Core vaccines are required, while others are optional, depending on your dog's location and lifestyle. At Confederate Ridge Animal Hospital in Fredericksburg, VA, vaccinations are part of preventative care.
What Are Vaccines?
Vaccines for dogs work in the same way human vaccines do. The vaccine contains a weakened or dead version of the virus designed to prevent it. This weakened version of the virus activates the dog's immune system, providing immunity from infection.
Vaccines for dogs are given to prevent severe or deadly diseases. However, some diseases, particularly rabies, can also be passed to humans. This dangerous disease means vaccinating your dog is essential for their health and yours.
Core vaccines are recommended for all dogs and puppies. These vaccines include parvovirus, adenovirus-2 (hepatitis), distemper, and rabies. It's important to note that the rabies vaccine is typically required by law, because it is also dangerous to humans.
You'll need to update your dog on these vaccines throughout their lives. Puppies require a series of vaccines. Depending on the vaccine, adult dogs are typically vaccinated once every 1-3 years.
Some vaccines are recommended for all puppies, while others are recommended for dogs in certain circumstances. These vaccines include:
- Leptospira species
- Lyme disease
- Kennel cough
For example, the kennel cough vaccine is often required for dogs who attend doggie daycare or boarding facilities because it is highly contagious.
Vaccinations for Puppies and Adults
Puppies typically get their first vaccines when they are six to eight weeks old. After that, some vaccines must be given to puppies as a series. These vaccines are typically given once every three to four weeks until the series is completed. These vaccines usually occur at 16-20 weeks old. For example, the rabies vaccine is a single shot given when a puppy is 12 weeks old.
Young dogs typically need a booster for some vaccines when they reach one year old. Most vaccines for adult dogs are given every three years. Rabies can be given every year, or every three years, depending on the type of vaccine.
Do I Need a Special Appointment for Vaccinations?
Dog vaccines can be given as part of an annual wellness exam with your veterinarian. During these appointments, your vet will perform an exam and discuss any concerns you may have.
Of course, if your pup needs a vaccination, you can also schedule a vaccine appointment. This appointment is scheduled when a puppy needs a non-core vaccine.
Vaccinations at Confederate Ridge Animal Hospital
Contact us at Confederate Ridge Animal Hospital if your dog needs vaccinations in Fredericksburg, VA. We offer preventative pet care, as well as emergency veterinary care. Call our office at (540) 373-6100 to schedule an appointment.