When should I vaccinate my new puppy and why?
Here at Heathfield, we follow guidelines laid out by the World Small Animal Veterinary Association with a protocol of vaccinations at 8, 12 and 16 weeks.
Puppies can socialize 2 weeks after their 12-week vaccination.
Why do we recommend this?
In simple terms, we want your lovely pup to be as protected as possible from diseases which are unfortunately on the rise and fatal, like parvovirus.
Most puppies are born with maternal antibodies which offer them some protection, these wane at between 8-14 weeks. Whilst these maternal antibodies will offer protection, they can also inhibit vaccinations.
Therefore, we recommend an initial core vaccination at 8 weeks followed by booster vaccinations every 4 weeks up to 16 weeks of age. At this point all maternal antibodies will have waned.
So where is the risk in not giving your pup the third vaccine at 16 weeks?
If your pup is one of those which retains antibodies up to 14 weeks (it’s estimated to be around 25% of puppies that do) then the 12-week vaccination will have been inhibited.
This means the vaccination may not last the full year before their adult booster is due and protection will wane earlier. The third puppy vaccinations boost this protection, so dogs are fully protected until their adult boosters.
Just by looking at a puppy we cannot tell what levels of maternal antibodies they have. They may have all waned by 8 weeks or they could still have them at 13 or 14 weeks.
Therefore, we recommend a three vaccine puppy protocol to make sure all pups get the most protected start to life and a yearly booster as an adult to keep that protection going.
If you’d like to discuss your puppy’s vaccinations please call us or book an appointment.