4 Essential Puppy Shots

Puppy shots are mandatory to guarantee that the dog will be less exposed to common canine viruses.

The puppy is born with immunity due to the antibodies that are transmitted from the mother, through the placenta and the breast milk. However, these antibodies protect the puppy for only a few days, so vaccinations are needed. If the mother has not been vaccinated against a certain virus, she will not have antibodies for it, so the puppy will not be protected against it.

There are a few essential shots that are recommended for every puppy. These should be administered starting from the age of 6 weeks. Talk to your vet about the best time for immunization for your pet.

1. Canine Distemper Vaccine

Canine distemper is caused by a virus, and is a highly contagious disease. It may be transmitted through air and body secretions. The virus may affect the dog's skin, brain, intestines and respiratory tracts.

Puppies under the age of 6 months are more susceptible to the distemper virus. The virus is fatal in most cases.

2. Rabies

Rabies can be contracted from a number of animals through biting, and is a disease that has no cure.

The virus attacks the brain of the dog and, in time, the pet will get weaker and die from respiratory failure.

The vaccine should be administered at the age of 12 weeks.

3. Canine Adenovirus 1 and 2

The canine adenovirus-1 causes hepatitis in dogs, and can be spread through body fluids such as nasal discharge and urine.

The virus affects the respiratory tract at first, causing coughing and a sore throat. The virus then advances to vital organs, attacking the kidneys, liver and sometimes the eyes.

Dogs younger than 1 year are the most exposed to the virus.

The vaccine against hepatitis is also efficient against the adenovirus-2, which causes cough and respiratory problems.

4. Parvorvirus-2

The canine parvovirus has two different types: CPV1 and CPV2. The dog should receive a vaccine against CPV2, which causes the parvo disease, a severe medical condition. Parvo symptoms include vomiting and diarrhea, and if the puppy has a weak immune system, he may die due to severe dehydration.

CPV2 is spread through canine feces. Rodents are carriers of the virus, so if the dog ingests an infected rodent, he will also get infected. The virus can survive 5 to 12 months in the right environment. CPV2 is resistant to both cold and warm temperatures.

The first vaccine should be administered when the puppy is 5 to 6 weeks old.

These are the 4 essential vaccines recommended for every puppy. After the first shot, the puppy should get regular boosters.

In addition to these vaccines, the puppy may also get the following vaccines:

  • Bortadella
  • Parainflueza
  • Leptospirosis
  • Coronavirus
  • Lyme

Your vet will determine if these vaccines are needed for your dog, depending on exposure, environment and other factors.