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Vaccinating your dog: why and when?

A dog has to be vaccinated to prevent it from contracting contagious diseases. In this article, we explain why and when you should do this.

Why vaccinate your dog?

There are various contagious dog diseases in our country. Vaccinating your dog helps protect it against these diseases. A vaccination makes sure that your dog produces antibodies that protect it against the disease. This contributes to your dog’s health.

Want to find out what else you can do to promote your dog’s health? Read this elaborate article about health.

Antibody titration

The objective of vaccination is to have the immune system respond by producing antibodies. But the success rate is not 100%. Vaccinations may cause annoying side-effects. You can have your dog or puppy titered to make sure that doesn’t happen. Titration involves drawing blood to see how many antibodies your dog’s blood contains. Titration and checking the body of your dog for antibodies allows for prevention of unnecessary vaccinations.

When to vaccinate?

When to vaccinate your dog depends on its age. The table below provides an overview of the right frequency and timing for having your dog vaccinated.

Dog's Age Vaccination Against
1 6 weeks Parvo and Canine distemper
2 8-9 weeks Parvo and Weil's disease
3 12 weeks Parvo, Canine distemper, Weil's disease, Contagious liver disease
4 1 year Parvo, Canine distemper, Weil's disease, Contagious liver disease

Pups need to be vaccinated more frequently than older dogs. In older dogs, the presence of antibodies can be determined with a blood analysis after three years (titration). If not enough antibodies are found, it is time for another vaccination.

Against what diseases?

Standard dog vaccinations include the following core diseases:

  • Parvo
  • Canine distemper
  • Weil’s disease (this vaccination only protects for a year and must be repeated annually).
  • Contagious liver disease

Kennel cough

Kennel cough vaccination is not part of the standard regimen. It is only done when an elevated risk of contracting this disease exists. The disease is common in (boarding) kennels and at dog shows. The vet can help decide whether a vaccination against kennel cough is required.

Deworming

Preferably, deworm your dog two weeks before vaccination. It has been shown that vaccinations are more effective if the dog has been recently dewormed. Spreading the deworming treatment and vaccinations prevents your dog from having to fight worms and produce antibodies against diseases at the same time.

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