Vaccinating your canine pack member is a relatively inexpensive but essential way to protect his or her health. In addition to preventing many life-threatening illnesses, vaccinations can prevent diseases prevalent in wildlife and those that can be passed to humans. It’s important to administer vaccinations to dogs when they are puppies because their young immune systems are still developing and need protection to stay healthy.
While any medical treatment involves some degree of risk, in the case of vaccinations, the benefits far outweigh any potential side effects. Adverse reactions are rare and usually mild and short-term when they do occur.
Puppies should be vaccinated at 8, 12, and 16 weeks of age—we do not vaccinate puppies younger than 8 weeks. Except for rabies, most other vaccinations will require a booster in 3-4 weeks; one vaccination against these diseases will not keep your pet protected. If you adopt a puppy over 12 weeks of age, he or she will only receive 2 vaccinations 3-4 weeks apart, then again at 1 year.
Which vaccines should your dog have? We typically recommend:
- Distemper/Adeno/Parvo/Para-influenza – this is an especially important vaccination because the coyote and wild dog population in Saskatchewan have a high risk of carrying distemper.
- Rabies – Puppies receive their rabies vaccination typically when they are 16 weeks of age, then again within one year. Following that, rabies vaccinations are administered every three years. Proof of this vaccination is required at all boarding facilities and to return into Canada if travelling to the US.
- Bordetella/Canine Parainfluenza – important for dogs/puppies going to boarding facilities, groomers, daycare and dog parks they should receive this vaccination beginning at 12 weeks of age then annually. Administered nasally.