Many diseases that can seriously harm your dog or even kill it are preventable with the use of vaccines. Rabies, a neurological disease that can be transmitted to humans, is required by law. All dogs and cats over the age of 4 months must be vaccinated against rabies. Parvo is a virus that can also be vaccinated against. The disease begins with vomiting and diarrhea and can cause death within days if untreated.
When to Start
Puppies get antibodies from their mother to protect them from diseases, assuming the mother has been vaccinated, and they do not start to lose this protection until about six weeks of age. If you vaccinate before this time, you are fighting the maternal antibodies. If you wait much longer, your puppy will be unprotected. Vaccines work by stimulating you puppy's immune system to produce antibodies to the disease, without actually giving him the illness. The distemper/parvo vaccine is given in a series of 3 or 4 vaccines, starting at 6 weeks, spaced 3 to 4 weeks apart with the last one when the puppy is at least 16 weeks of age. This sounds very complicated, but don't worry, we'll keep track and let you know when your puppy needs to come in.
Why have your Veterinarian Vaccinate
Rabies vaccines must be given by a licensed veterinarian or certified veterinary technician working under the authority of a vet.