Puppy vaccinations are one of the most important things you need to know about as a new dog owner. Without puppy vaccinations administered in a correct and timely manner, your pet is at risk of contracting infections, many of which can even be life threatening.
It can be a lot to get your head around at first. Thankfully, we’re here to answer all your canine vaccination questions and we’ve even created a handy calendar that you can use to keep on top of your puppy’s vaccination schedule.
How many vaccinations does a puppy need
There are 2 essential puppy vaccinations that your dog will need to get:
- First puppy vaccination from the age of 6 weeks
- Second puppy vaccination from the age of 10 weeks AND at least 2 weeks after the first dose
We would also recommend vaccination against Kennel Cough (a common respiratory infection caused by the Bordetella bronchiseptica bacterium and Parainfluenza virus), this can be done from 10 weeks of age and so is often combined with the second part of the primary vaccination course.
If you want to travel abroad with your puppy then he or she will need a rabies vaccination from the age of 12 weeks.
Your puppy is also recommended to have a health check with a qualified vet within 48 hours of picking them up from the breeders to check for any congenital problems including heart murmur, hare lip or umbilical hernia.
Your puppy should then receive monthly health checks to check on their growth, teething, general health and apply flea and worm treatment. After that, we recommend yearly checks to make sure your pup stays in good health.
It is also a legal requirement for your puppy to be microchipped before they reach 12 weeks old. Many breeders will now do this for you so make sure you ask them when you’re collecting your puppy.
What diseases do puppy vaccines protect against?
There are lots of different puppy vaccines and each of them will protect your pup against different things.
First and second puppy vaccinations
The primary course of vaccinations that your puppy should receive protects them against Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus, Leptospirosis.
This course requires two rounds of injections. The first should be given at 6-8 weeks old. Many breeders will include this first vaccine as part of a packaged deal so make sure you check with them beforehand. If your puppy has not had its first vaccine when you pick them up from the breeder, this can usually be administered at their first health check appointment (ideally within 48 hours of bringing them home).
The second puppy vaccination can be administered from 10 weeks onwards and at least two weeks after your puppy’s first vaccination. Many breeders will tell you that the 2nd vaccine needs to be exactly the same brand as the first vaccine. However, this isn’t always true, and most brands are now mutually compatible. Check with your vet if you are ever unsure.
One week after your puppy’s second vaccination your pup is free to go on their first walk on the pavement, an adventure to the park and to socialise freely with other dogs.
Afterwards, your dog will require yearly booster vaccinations to make sure your pup stays protected for life.
Flea and worm treatment
Fleas, ticks and worms are one of the most common problems your dog will face living in the UK. They are internal and external parasites that can cause your dog to become very unwell and can range from mild discomfort to serious ill health and potential life-threatening complications.
Most vets can administer a flea and worm treatment at the same time as your puppy’s second vaccination so that they are fully protected in time for their first walk.
Kennel cough vaccination
Vaccination against kennel cough is highly recommended at the same stage as the second puppy vaccine and flea and worm treatment.
Kennel cough is a highly infectious respiratory condition caused by a bacterium called Bordetella. It is very common in London and throughout the rest of the UK and dogs don’t have to be in kennels to contract the condition – we see several cases every month!
Leptospirosis is a rare disease in the UK spread via rat urine. Vaccination is recommended using either a 2-valent or a 4-valent vaccine. These are part of the primary vaccination course but the timings vary slightly dependent on which vaccine is used.
If your puppy will spend most time in London or another large city, then the 2-valent type (Lepto2 or L2) is sufficient. However, if your puppy will exercise in the countryside or will travel with you abroad then we recommend the 4-valent type (Lepto4 or L4).
Both vaccines require two doses. There must be a 2 week gap between the L2 injection and a 4 week gap between the L4 vaccine.
The rabies vaccination isn’t required for puppies that live only in the UK. However, it is a legal requirement for any pups that are planning to travel abroad. Current law states that all puppies must receive a rabies vaccine in order to qualify for an Animal Health Certificate which is required to enter an EU country or Switzerland.
Rabies vaccinations can be administered once your pup has reached 12 weeks old. Make sure they receive their injection at least 21 days before your proposed date of travel.
Non-EU countries have their own procedure for travelling pets and you must check with DEFRA which rules apply to your chosen destination.
How much are puppy vaccinations?
The price of puppy vaccinations will vary depending on the components included in the vaccination, our primary course of 2 vaccinations costs £44.40 per dose.
At Kensington Veterinary Care we offer competitive prices for your puppy vaccines, always keeping the highest standards and quality in mind. For more information or to book your puppy in for dog vaccinations in Kensington, London, call us today on 020 7221 3093 or book an appointment online. And don’t forget to download your puppy vaccination calendar to keep on track!