4 Vaccines Your Puppy Should Have

Puppy vaccines are crucial to your puppy's good health. Newborn puppies receive antibodies through their mother's milk; after your puppy is weaned and as his immune system is strengthening, he needs vaccinations to help his body form new antibodies against disease. Here are the four core dog vaccinations your puppy needs for good health.

Parvovirus Vaccine

Parvovirus is one the most common infectious dog disease in the United States. Parvovirus is spread through contact with infected feces; the virus can live on inanimate surfaces such as feeding dishes and clothing, making it virtually impossible to stop its spread. Parvovirus is deadly and treatment is costly. Your puppy needs a parvo vaccine.

Canine Distemper Vaccine

Canine distemper is another serious illness that can be deadly. The canine distemper virus attacks the central nervous system, leading to seizures and death. While dogs can recover from distemper even in its late stages, the disease can leave them with permanent brain damage.

Like parvo, canine distemper is a viral disease and therefore difficult to treat. The most vets can do is to treat the symptoms of the disease to give your dog's immune system a chance to fight back. Puppies do not have fully developed immune systems, and so they are vulnerable to viral diseases. A canine distemper vaccination is among the four core vaccinations recommended by vets.

Rabies Vaccine

In the U.S., rabies vaccines are required by law. Rabies in dogs causes aggressive behavior, seizures and death.

Rabies is a particularly dangerous disease because it is both deadly and contagious to humans. Rabies spreads through the saliva of the infected animal, and rabid animals are much more likely to attack because the disease makes them aggressive. Dogs are often vulnerable to rabies because they can come in contact will small animals who might be infected with the disease.

Canine Hepatitis Vaccine

Canine hepatitis is another viral disease that can kill your puppy if it isn't treated quickly. Canine hepatitis can kill puppies in a matter of hours, before symptoms even manifest.

Even if your dog recovers from canine hepatitis infection, he will never be the same. He will be more vulnerable to kidney infections and may suffer serious permanent damage to his liver and eyesight. Your dog can also continute to carry and spread canine hepatitis for up to nine months following his recovery, creating a high risk of infection for other dogs with whom he has contact.