Vaccinating Your Puppy

Vaccinating your new puppy is essential and is the best way for you to protect against many harmful diseases. Find out when to vaccinate your puppy and which vaccinations your puppy needs.

Dog being vaccinated at vet

Why do I need to vaccinate my puppy?

There are many harmful diseases that can affect your puppy from an early age. It's imperative to fully understand the timings and need for these important puppy vaccinations. 

Many puppies will have already received an initial vaccination when you pick them up from a breeder or a rescue centre. You should always check your pet’s vaccination history in advance and ensure that you are provided with paperwork for their vaccinations.

If you are unsure about your puppy’s vaccination history, it is best to speak to your vet rather than assume that they are covered. Your vet will recommend the best approach to ensure your puppy isn’t left vulnerable.

When do I need to vaccinate my puppy?

Puppies are relatively safe for the very early weeks of their life, as they will have immunity that has been passed to them through their mother’s milk. However, we strongly recommend that puppies receive their first injections at 6-8 weeks old. 

Puppy vaccination schedule

  • The first puppy vaccination should take place at 8 weeks of age - this will often be completed by a breeder, but we strongly recommend that you check
  • The second puppy vaccination at 12 weeks
  • The third at 16 weeks

As long as these three vaccinations happen at the right time, this will protect your new puppy for the next 12 months. It’s worth getting these appointments booked as soon as possible with your vet.

What diseases do vaccinations protect my puppy against?

  • Canine parvovirus (parvo)
  • Infectious canine hepatitis
  • Distemper
  • Leptospirosis (4 serovars)
  • Kennel cough
  • Rabies (if you plan to travel abroad with your dog)

To spread the cost of your puppy's vaccinations, as well as other pet health checks, our Medivet Healthcare Plan is a way to ensure your puppy is looked after, nose to tail. 

Do puppies need booster vaccinations?

Yes. The next vaccination (the annual booster) will be at 12 months of age. This will boost your pet’s protection against the myriad of diseases that can affect them.

At your annual booster appointment, your vet will be able to assess which vaccines your pet needs for the year ahead. The immunity provided by some vaccines can last up to three years, whereas others need topping up every 12 months, so your pet won’t require the same vaccinations every year.

When you book your vaccinations with Medivet, talk to us about setting up reminders for when your pet’s vaccinations are due.

When can my new puppy go out and mix with other dogs?

You should not take your puppy out or let them mix with other dogs until they have had their second vaccination and have an adequate level of protection. Even at this stage you still need to be cautious about where you take them and what other dog’s they mix with.

It’s safe to socialise your puppy with other vaccinated dogs. You should avoid places where foxes or other unknown dogs may frequent.

Is there anything else I should be aware of?

  1. Vaccinations are generally required as a condition of your pet’s insurance policy. We always recommend insurance and there are key reasons why you should do this from an early age. Read more here.
  2. The majority of kennels and many doggy day-care services will require proof of immunisation before they will look after your dog.
  3. Vaccinations (as well as flea and worm treatment) are included in the Medivet Healthcare Plan. Talk to your vet about the benefits of the plan or read more here.

Talk to your vet today and ensure that your new puppy is fully protected.

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