Becker Animal Hospital | Puppy Wellness
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Puppy Wellness

Puppy Vaccinations

Vaccinations are given in a series of 2-4 shots given 21 days apart for puppies with the last shot at or around 16 weeks of age. A puppy that is as little as 3 days late on it’s shots can get sick with Parvo, so it’s better to come in a little early than a little late. Vaccines are then given yearly after that as adults. It is extremely important and we recommend that the vaccinations be started no later than 8 weeks of age as the mother’s immunity inside the puppy is wearing off and the puppy needs his own vaccinations at this time in order to make it’s own immunity to protect itself from diseases while the mother’s immunity drops down.

We recommend you bring your puppy in the day you get it for its first vaccinations. Typically if it’s old enough to be off the mother, it’s usually old enough for shots.

It takes time for the puppy’s body to create immunity from the vaccine, so after the vaccination, there is a five-day window from when the vaccine is given to when the puppy has a protective level of immunity against the diseases.

Puppies that are given their shots late, after 8 weeks of age, are at risk for getting sick with Parvo virus, Corona virus and Distemper virus.

These diseases are commonly found in the environment and when you take your pet for a walk they can be exposed to disease on the ground and the viruses can even be brought home on your shoes. Rainfall often pulls the virus out of the ground where it has been lying dormant and brings it into contact with your dog or puppy and as a result un-vaccinated puppies very often get sick 1-3 days after it rains.

Additional Care Tips for Your Puppy

Both puppies and kittens should be kept in a warm environment and be well fed. Two of the biggest problems with young, small pets is that they are susceptible to getting chilled and they are susceptible to low blood sugar.

Puppies have a normal body temperature of 101 to 103 degrees F while ours is 98.6 degrees F so while a room may be comfortable to us, a small puppy will feel chilled as its temperature is higher than ours. The puppy can be even more chilled if kept on the floor as cold air sinks so its very important to keep this in mind and if necessary to even use a small room like the bathroom with a space heater in it for those very small puppies that have trouble staying warm.

Puppies can get low blood sugar from eating dry food only or from a limited food intake. Small puppies are most susceptible to this and should have dry food out all the time as a snack and also be fed canned food or table food as the main meal, all they can eat, twice a day. Canned food or wet food has a much higher fat content and thus has a higher calorie count and it is also easier to eat and digest so the puppy will get a lot more energy out of wet food than it will out of dry food only. Remember to keep food out all the time for your puppy as puppies can only be underfed, never overfed (though this is definitely not true for adult dogs).

The smaller and younger the puppy or kitten, the more susceptible they are to these two conditions. A one pound Chihuahua puppy is much more delicate than a five pound Labrador puppy and would require a greater amount of special care in these areas.

Feeding your small puppy bland table food like chicken with oil, hamburger, scrambled eggs, pasta and/or potatoes can provide a weak and thin puppy with a needed energy boost.