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How long should a puppy wait between two vaccinations?

Puppy getting a vaccine advice
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If there’s one investment which is worth making for your puppy, it’s vaccinations. They’re your personal insurance against deadly dog diseases. But when should the puppy second vaccination occur and when can they go outside?

By Alice Lang

You’ve bought a luxuriously comfy bed, brand new food and water bowls, lots of wonderful toys and picked out a tasty puppy food. But have you thought about the most important thing of all: puppy vaccinations?

Getting your puppy vaccinated is the ultimate gift. By getting them vaccinated early on and following up with a puppy second vaccination, you’ll have peace of mind that your pooch will grow up healthily and happily, with minimal risk of disease.

So, today we’ll be talking all things puppy vaccination, including how long a puppy should wait between two vaccinations and how long after their vaccination they can go outside.

What is a puppy vaccination?

The second your puppy comes into the big wide world, they’re at risk of contracting several life-threatening diseases. Puppies and young dogs have a much higher risk of disease, as their immune system hasn’t had much time to develop

Thankfully, puppy vaccinations offer a high level of protection against these diseases. During a vaccination, your vet will administer a small amount of altered disease into your dog’s blood. 

Your puppies immune system will create the appropriate antibodies in response. If the puppy comes into contact with the disease in the real world, their immune system will be able to fight off the disease with ease.

When should a puppy be vaccinated?

A full course of vaccinations takes place over two visits to the vets. Puppies are typically vaccinated at eight and ten weeks (although they can be vaccinated as early as four-six weeks of age) with the second dose usually being given two to four weeks later,” explain the RSPCA.

Speak to your vet about the best timings. Your puppy will then require a booster vaccination at 6 or 12 months of age.”

Your puppies immune system won’t be mature enough for the first few weeks of life, meaning vaccinations may not be effective. You must wait until your puppy is, ideally, around 8-weeks old.

There’s no need to worry, though. Your puppy is protected by their mother’s milk, which is chockablock full of disease and virus protecting antibodies, for a few weeks after birth.

How long should a puppy wait between vaccinations?

Your puppy will require a second vaccination in order to develop enough immunity to fully protect them against diseases, as well as a booster vaccine further down the line.

The second vaccination should take place around 3-4 weeks after the first vaccination. One of the sessions must take place when the puppy is at least 12 weeks old that’s when the immunity from their Mother has completely disappeared.

How long after the second vaccination can a puppy go out?

As we’ve already mentioned, puppies are much more prone to illnesses than adult dogs - poor little mites! For this reason, most vets advise owners to keep their puppy indoors until they’ve developed full immunity from their vaccinations.

Unfortunately, your puppy won’t be immune straight after their puppy second vaccination. In fact, it’ll take around 2 weeks for them to gain full protection from their jabs. But once those 2 weeks pass? You’re free to take your puppy on their first outdoor adventure - the world is your oyster!

Don’t just watch the clock until these 2 weeks are up. Use the time indoors to bond with your puppy, train them and of course, have plenty of cuddles! You can still socialize your puppy in your garden with dogs who you know for sure have been fully vaccinated.

What are puppies vaccinated against? 

We’ve harped on and on about puppy vaccinations - but you’re probably wondering what they’re actually been inoculated against.

The core dog vaccines in the UK are:

  • Canine distemper
  • Canine parvovirus
  • Kennel cough
  • Leptospirosis
  • Parainfluenza

Rabies in dogs is rare in the UK, but if you plan to travel abroad with your pooch then you should consider it

Puppy vaccination schedule

6-8 weeks – first vaccination
10-12 weeks – first booster vaccination
14-16 weeks – second booster vaccination
Yearly – annual booster vaccinations

Is puppy vaccination risky?

Dog vaccination is a heavily debated topic. Some holistic vets feel that booster vaccinations aren’t necessary and may even harm a puppy or dog’s long-term immunity. 

However, most vets agree that the benefits of puppy vaccination far outweigh the risks. After all, many of the diseases which your puppy will be vaccinated against are incurable and life-threatening.

Side-effects such as tiredness and a slight itch, swelling or rash at the injection site are common and should resolve on their own within a few days. However, in a very small amount of puppy vaccinations, an adverse reaction called anaphylactic shock may occur. The symptoms of anaphylaxis are as follows:

  • Sudden diarrhoea and vomiting
  • Drooling
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Weak pulse
  • Signs of shock
  • Collapse
  • Coma

If you suspect your pooch is suffering from anaphylactic shock after their puppy second vaccination, seek veterinary help immediately.

Remember that the benefits of puppy vaccination far outweigh the risks - good luck with your new furbaby!

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