As a pet parent, providing regular veterinarian care for your dog is one of your most important responsibilities. Today, we will look at what constitutes regular veterinary care, when an injury or illness should require an emergency vet visit, and how to find the right veterinarian for your pet. 

Regular Veterinarian Care for Dogs

Dogs need regular veterinary care throughout their lives to ensure health and longevity. Puppies need to be seen by a veterinarian every three or four weeks until they reach about four months of age, while adult dogs need checkups at least once a year. 

During a puppy's vet visit, it will be checked for any type of abnormality and general alertness. Your vet will also pay special attention to signs of congenital defects that your puppy may be predisposed to due to its specific breed. 

Common veterinary care for puppies includes:

  • Vaccinations
  • Physical Examination
  • Dental Care
  • Flea and Worm Prevention
  • Microchipping

Healthy adult dogs should have a checkup with a veterinarian at least once a year. As a dog ages and becomes geriatric, this should increase to at least twice a year. If your dog has chronic issues that must be treated, follow your veterinarian's advice about the frequency of visits to ensure your dog stays healthy.

Regular veterinary care for adult dogs includes:

  • Vaccinations
  • Parasite Control
  • Spay/Neuter
  • Behavior Modification
  • Weight Control

Emergency Veterinary Care for Dogs

Having a sick or injured dog can be one of the scariest and most stressful experiences for a pet parent. Emergency veterinarians are here to help in these situations. 

If your dog shows signs of illness, pain, or distress, you should contact an emergency veterinarian immediately. 

Some common emergencies dogs have include:

  • Broken Bone or Inability to Move a Limb 
  • Severe Pain
  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Severe or Uncontrolled Bleeding
  • Poisoning
  • Eye Injuries

A Note About Expenses: Like human medical expenses, emergency vet visits come with costs and are often a surprise. Many people purchase medical insurance for their dogs to prevent financial concerns associated with emergency medical issues.

How to Choose a Veterinarian for Your Dog

Choosing the right veterinarian for your dog and your family is important. We will always want our fur babies to have the best care, so start with ensuring that any veterinarian you take your dog to has the proper licenses and credentials. 

It is best if your first vet visit isn’t in an emergency situation. It is far better for your dog if it has experienced regular veterinary care and has a rapport with your family vet. 

Always remember that it is okay to ask questions. Make sure that you understand any information related to your dog's health and care very clearly. Be sure to ask your veterinarian about any concerns you have about your dog's care, including those related to their diet, other pets in the home, and long-term treatments.

Visiting your local veterinarian is a valuable tool in keeping your dog healthy. If your dog needs a checkup, don’t wait! Schedule a vet visit today. 

Dogs love summer as much as we do. As the sun climbs higher and the days grow warmer, it's time to gear up for some fun in the sun with our furry companions! From ensuring they stay cool and hydrated to planning pet-friendly getaways, getting our dogs ready for the hot weather months is essential. Join us as we explore how to keep our canine pals safe, happy, and ready for all the summertime adventures ahead!

Stay Cool

During summer, dogs are at risk of overheating, which can be dangerous. It's important to take precautions to prevent this. Dogs vary in their ability to handle heat, so know your dog's needs. Some may need to avoid the midday sun and exercise during cooler times like morning or evening.

If your dog is outdoors with you, ensure there's a shaded area for them to rest. Remember, dogs feel heat more intensely than humans, so don't assume they're fine just because you're enjoying the sun.

Never leave dogs in hot cars or similar situations. This can be fatal and should never happen.

Get Vaccinated

The summer months are a time for vacations and socializing. Whether it is a trip to a kennel while you are away, doggy daycare, or play dates at a local dog park, you want to keep your pet healthy while they interact with others. Make sure you talk to your local veterinarian to make sure that all of your dog’s vaccinations are up to date.

Stay Hydrated

Dogs can become dehydrated rapidly, especially in hot summer weather. Always make sure your dog has plenty of water available, which many people overlook when on the go. There are various products on the market, such as water bottles with flip-out troughs or spill-proof bowls, designed for traveling with pets. You can find these at specialty pet stores and online.

Keep Fido Feeling Comfortable

Whether your dog is joining you on vacation or having their own getaway, it's wise to pack familiar items. New environments can stress dogs out, especially if their owners aren't present. Bringing their bed or some familiar toys can make them feel more comfortable. Our Border Collies won't budge without their cherished (albeit smelly) blanket!

Say Hello to Dog-Friendly Venues

There are numerous dog-friendly businesses nationwide, easily accessible through online searches. While self-catering is a common choice for those traveling with dogs, many hotels also accommodate pets, offering an alternative option.

Nothing spoils a summer outing faster than discovering your dog isn't allowed, so thorough planning beforehand is essential.

Look Out For Bees

Dogs are curious creatures and often poke their noses where they shouldn't. Bee and wasp stings pose a serious risk to dogs, especially around the mouth and face. Be vigilant around areas where wasps frequent, like compost heaps or fallen fruit, and keep your dog away. If you spot a nest within reach of your dog, take immediate action to prevent any disturbance.

Enjoy the Warm Weather!

As we venture into the spring and summer months, remember that keeping our dogs safe and comfortable during the hot months is a top priority. With a little preparation and attention to their needs, we can ensure that our canine friends enjoy every moment of the sunny season by our side. Here's to many more wag-filled adventures together!

Welcome, pet parents, to our cozy corner of the internet where we discuss all things furry, cuddly, and safe! Today, we're tackling a topic that's close to every pet owner's heart: keeping our beloved companions out of harm's way. Specifically, we're diving into the curious case of pets and kitchen safety. So grab a cup of tea, snuggle up with your furry friend, and let's embark on this paw-some journey together!

The Kitchen: A Culinary Adventure…or Danger Zone?

Ah, the kitchen – the heart of the home, the place where delicious aromas waft through the air and culinary masterpieces come to life. But for our four-legged friends, it can also be a perilous playground filled with potential hazards.

Just imagine while you're whipping up a gourmet meal, lost in the rhythm of chopping, sautéing, and simmering, you suddenly hear a strange noise. It’s a choking sound coming from behind you. You spin around to find your furry friend with their head stuck in the cookie jar, gasping for air. Panic sets in as you rush to their rescue, but fear not – with a few simple precautions, we can ensure that our pets stay safe in the kitchen.

The Temptation of Treats

Let's face it – our pets are curious creatures with insatiable appetites. Whether it's the tantalizing aroma of freshly baked cookies or the irresistible scent of sizzling bacon, our furry friends are drawn to the kitchen like moths to a flame. But while it's tempting to share our culinary delights with them, it's important to exercise great caution.

Avoid leaving food unattended on countertops or tables where your pet can easily reach it. Invest in pet-proof containers for storing snacks and treats, and be mindful of ingredients that could be harmful to your furry friend, such as chocolate, grapes, and onions.

The Perils of Pots and Pans

Cooking can be a chaotic affair, with pots bubbling, pans sizzling, and ingredients flying every which way. Amid all this commotion, it's easy for our pets to get underfoot – with potentially disastrous consequences.

To keep your furry friend safe, designate a pet-free zone in the kitchen where they can't wander into harm's way. Consider installing baby gates or barriers to prevent access to hazardous areas, and always keep pot handles turned away from the edge of the stove to avoid accidental spills.

The Dangers of Debris

From stray crumbs to slippery spills, the kitchen floor can be a minefield of hazards for our four-legged friends. One wrong step could result in a slip, trip, or fall – not to mention the risk of ingesting something harmful.

Make it a habit to clean up spills and crumbs promptly, and consider investing in a pet-friendly vacuum cleaner to keep your floors clean and debris-free. Keep trash cans securely lidded to prevent scavenging, and be mindful of potential choking hazards such as bones, pits, and plastic packaging.

Prevention is the Key to Pet Safety

In the grand tapestry of life, our pets are the beloved companions who weave joy, laughter, and unconditional love into our everyday existence. As pet parents, it's our responsibility to ensure their safety and well-being – especially in the heart of the home, where culinary adventures abound.

By taking a few simple precautions and keeping a watchful eye on our furry friends, we can create a safe and nurturing environment where they can thrive. So the next time you find yourself cooking up a storm in the kitchen, take a moment to pause, look around, and make sure your beloved companion isn't choking by the stove. After all, a little extra vigilance today could mean a lifetime of happiness and health for your furry friend tomorrow. Happy cooking – and pet parenting!

Sometimes, our dogs do weird things. Like biting their dirty paws or rolling around in puddles. Dogs might even drink from toilets or lick their butts. In some cases, your pup might eat their own poop, or even worse, the poop of another dog or animal. For any pet owner, that's pretty gross and can be a cause for concern.

But why do dogs eat poop? Well, there are a bunch of reasons. Even though it might seem nasty to us humans, your dog's reasons for doing it might really surprise you.

poodle on top of an exam room table inside vet clinic

Should I Be Concerned If My Dog Eats Poop?

You should be concerned if your dog eats poop. While it's a relatively common behavior in dogs, known as coprophagy, it can be indicative of various issues that warrant attention. Here are some reasons to be concerned:

  • Nutritional Deficiencies: If your dog is lacking certain nutrients in their diet, they may resort to eating poop to try to obtain those nutrients.
  • Digestive Issues: Digestive problems, such as malabsorption disorders, can lead to undigested food in the stool, making it appealing to dogs.
  • Parasites: Worms or other parasites in your dog's digestive system can lead to an increased appetite for feces.
  • Medical Conditions: Some medical conditions, such as diabetes or thyroid problems, can affect a dog's appetite and behavior.
  • Behavioral Problems: Stress, anxiety, or boredom can contribute to coprophagy as a behavioral issue.
  • Motherly Instinct: In some cases, mother dogs eat their puppies' feces to keep the den clean. This behavior might persist into adulthood.

Can My Dog Get Sick From Eating Poop?

There is a risk that your dog can get sick from eating poop. Consuming feces exposes your dog to potential health hazards, including:

  • Parasites: Feces can harbor various parasites such as worms (e.g., roundworms, tapeworms), which can be transmitted to your dog upon ingestion.
  • Bacteria and Viruses: Pathogenic bacteria (e.g., Salmonella, E. coli) and viruses (e.g., parvovirus) can be present in feces and may cause gastrointestinal infections.
  • Toxins: Ingesting fecal matter from other animals can expose your dog to toxins or harmful substances that may be present in the stool.
  • Transmission of Diseases: Dogs can contract certain diseases by consuming the feces of infected animals, contributing to the spread of illnesses.

To minimize the risk of your dog getting sick from eating poop:

  • Monitor their environment: Keep your dog's living area and play area clean and remove feces promptly.
  • Supervise outdoor activities: Watch your dog closely when they are outside to prevent them from consuming feces, especially from unknown sources.
  • Maintain a healthy diet: Ensure your dog is fed a balanced and nutritious diet to reduce the likelihood of them seeking out additional nutrients from feces.

If you observe your dog consistently engaging in poop-eating behavior, you should consult your local veterinarian. They can help determine the underlying cause and provide guidance on how to address the issue, whether it be through dietary changes, behavioral training, or medical intervention. 

Have you noticed that your dog eats grass and wondered just how normal it is? The answer to this question is a little more nuanced than just saying yes it is normal or no it is not. However, for most pet parents, there is nothing to worry about. 

Why Is My Dog Eating Grass All of a Sudden?

If you have always known your dog to eat grass every day when they go out or they normally graze like a cow, they are probably bored or just like grass. However, if your dog is eating grass and not food, or they have started eating grass all of a sudden, there is likely a reason for it.

A lot of dogs eat grass because they enjoy eating grass. They simply like the fresh greenery outside and enjoy how it tastes. However, for some dogs, it could be an indicator of an upset stomach a lack of fiber, or another type of dietary deficiency.

Here are some common questions that dog owners ask about their pets eating grass.

Should I let my dog eat grass when they’re sick?

Eating grass can cause vomiting for some dogs. In many cases, a dog will eat grass instinctively to soothe an upset stomach. This is not generally considered harmful.

How long after eating grass will a dog vomit?

Only about a quarter of all dogs vomit after eating grass. Most of the time it is caused by them gagging on the long strands of grass, so the incidence occurs immediately. 

Why is my dog eating grass and throwing up?

If your dog is eating grass and throwing up it is a likely indication of a stomach problem and you should consult your local veterinarian. 

Why is my dog eating grass and having diarrhea?

If your dog is eating grass and having diarrhea it is a likely indication of a stomach problem and you should consult your local veterinarian.

Should I stop my dog from eating grass?

There is no need to stop your otherwise healthy dog from eating grass. However, you should stop your dog from eating any grass that has been treated with a fertilizer, pesticide or other chemical as these types of chemicals are generally poisonous to dogs. 

Is there a good substitute for a dog eating grass?

If you are concerned about toxins or just prefer that your dog not eat grass there are substitutes on the market ranging from specialty grasses to expensive herbal substitutes. Many pet owners opt to feed their dogs other vegetables instead, such as lettuce, celery, and even carrots. 

What Should I Do If My Dog Eats Grass?

It can be okay for dogs to eat grass, but only if you are sure that it is not due to underlying gastrointestinal issues. If you find that your dog is eating grass, it is best to consult your local veterinarian and discuss your dog's bowel habits, dietary indiscretions, and food and treats.

As your companion pet ages, they face increased health concerns just like their human companions do. You may watch your senior pet and worry that they might be aging and losing some of their cognitive abilities. Sight, hearing, and blood sugar have all become common concerns.  

Across the country, local veterinarians are hearing more and more people ask if their pet can get dementia.  

Just like humans, dogs and cats can develop dementia as they age. Veterinarians call this Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome. 

very old cocker spaniel nearing the end of its days
very old cocker spaniel nearing the end of its days

What is Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome? 

It is a disease that is comparable to Alzheimer's in humans. The disease begins to onset as a dog ages. “CDS” is a neurological degenerative disorder of senior dogs and cats characterized by gradual cognitive decline. Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome is the official name for what we might commonly call “doggy/kitty dementia”. 

What Age Does CDS Start? 

The exact age at which any dog might start to experience symptoms of dementia varies. Studies have shown that cognitive decline can start as early as 10 years of age in cats and dogs.   

To rule out other causes of your pet's symptoms, the veterinarian may use additional tools such as blood and urine tests.

What Are some signs of Dementia? 

Some of the first signs of dementia that many people notice are their pets staring at walls or looking off into space. Other common signs people tend to notice are not knowing their owners are in the same room or pacing around a lot with no sense of direction or reason.  

In addition to disorientation, confusion, and increased anxiety, pets dealing with this form of dementia may no longer respond to their name, stop playing, and become more irritable. 

(Other symptoms includeà Waking up in the night; increased daytime sleeping, Inactivity 

Increased vocalization, often at night) inappropriate urination or defecation in the house, lethargy, decreased interest in play or other activities, decreased responsiveness to the owner and other pets, and abnormal sleep patterns).

How long can your pet Live with Dementia? 

Most of the time they live for about two years after diagnosis when they have dementia, sometimes longer. Much like with humans, when a dog or cat is diagnosed with dementia, quality of life should take the focus over quantity of years. Work with your family’s veterinarian to ensure your pet is as content and comfortable as possible.  

How Do You Treat Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome? 

Work with your veterinarian to find the right supplements and medications to support your dog’s health. Provide your dog with a safe but stimulating environment and keep them on a regular routine. These things will best help them cope with developing dementia.  

  1. Dietary changes and supplements: Your dog may be put on a specific therapeutic diet designed to help. These diets contain ingredients such as antioxidants, fats and fatty acids that may protect and promote healthy brain cells. 
  2. Cognitive enrichment: Cognitive enrichment may improve your dog’s brain function. Cognitive enrichment consists of exercise, social interactions, providing new toys and teaching new commands to your dog. 

Can We Prevent Dementia? 

As with many diseases found in both humans and animals, there is no guarantee for avoiding some diseases. When it comes to dementia in dogs and cats there are genetics and some environmental factors that can’t be controlled.  

However, there are many things that you can do to help your pet have a better chance of living a longer, healthier, and happier life. Quality food and clean drinking water are an absolute must for a healthy dog. So is lots of exercise and mental stimulation.  

One of the best things you can do for yourself, and your pet is to exercise and play with them. It will help you both have a better, longer life. 

If you notice your pet behaving differently or in a way you do not understand, do not hesitate to contact your local veterinarian. Catching problems early gives your pet a better chance to overcome them.  

Vaccines help keep your dog healthy by protecting them from potentially deadly diseases. Having your dog vaccinated also helps protect other dogs and even humans in some cases.

This doesn’t mean that every vaccine is right for every dog on an annual basis. Here is a look at which vaccines are available for your dog and when they might need them.

Dog Vaccinations Schedule

Vaccine TypeFrequency
Rabies (Required, see your state website for specific laws)Every 1 to 3 years after the initial vaccine
DHPP (vaccines for distemper, adenovirus, parainfluenza, and parvovirus)Every 1 to 2 years
Bordetella (Kennel Cough)Every 6 months to 1 year
Influenza, Coronavirus, Leptospirosis, Lyme diseaseAs needed based on lifestyle and location

What Shots Does My Dog Need Annually?

Depending on the type of vaccine your vet uses and the state laws where you live, your dog will need a rabies shot every one to three years. Additionally, they will need their DHPP every one to two years as well.

If you board your dog anywhere, have them groomed, or for any other reason have them around other dogs outside your household, you should have them vaccinated for Bordetella every six months to a year.

Which Dog Vaccines Are Absolutely Necessary?

Rabies vaccines are required by law in all but two states. Ohio mandates rabies vaccines by county so they are still required, just not by state law. Hawaii has irradicated rabies from their islands.  They require long quarantine periods before bringing pets into the state. If you are not a resident of Hawaii, it is likely that a rabies vaccine is required for your dog where you live.

DHPP is not legally required, but it is required for taking your dog into almost any public space that welcomes dogs. Most animal hospitals, kennels, and groomers also require a Bordetella vaccine.

Vaccines for diseases like Influenza, Coronavirus, Leptospirosis, and Lyme disease are not required but may be needed under certain circumstances. For example, Lyme disease is only prevalent in certain regions making the vaccine very important to some but not others.

Is My Dog Too Old for Vaccinations?

There is no upper age limit on vaccinating dogs. Vaccines help protect dogs from harmful diseases and are needed throughout their lives. There is no evidence that vaccines are particularly risky or in any way decrease in benefit to senior dogs.

Your senior dog should be vaccinated on the same adult dog schedule they have been on unless otherwise directed by your local veterinarian.

How Do I Know Which Vaccines My Dog Needs

You will need to keep your dog’s vaccines up to date from puppyhood throughout adulthood. Talk to your veterinarian about your dog and the lifestyle that your household leads. They will help you decide which vaccines are right for your dog. They will also help you decide how often your dog should receive vaccines.

If you have any questions or concerns about having your dog vaccinated ask your local veterinarian. They will help you chart the right path for your pet’s optimal health.

Arthritis is the leading cause of pain in older pets. No one wants their pet to hurt, so treating the condition is a top priority.

How Did My Pet Get Arthritis?

Your pet’s body works much as the human body does. As your pet ages, they face many of the same complications and degenerative diseases like osteoarthritis. This kind of arthritis causes deterioration of the joints which leads to pain in humans, cats, and dogs.

How Can I Tell if My Pet Has Arthritis?

You may notice that your pet is having a problem with joint pain if you see them walking or moving gingerly, over-grooming a certain spot, or even showing outward signs like crying or whimpering. Your veterinarian can diagnose a problem like arthritis.

If you suspect that your four-legged friend has arthritis, you should schedule an appointment with your local veterinarian. It is a good idea to see your veterinarian anytime your pet behaves in an unusual way or a way you don’t understand. It could be a sign of an underlying medical issue.

3 Practical Ways to Help a Pet with Arthritis

If your cat or dog has arthritis, here are three ways that you can make a difference in how they feel every day.

1. Improve Your Pet’s Diet

What your pet eats plays a huge role in how they feel. You can talk to your veterinarian about adding supplements and making changes to your pet’s food. Herbal supplements, glucosamine, and fish oil have all shown positive results for pets.

2. Ask Your Veterinarian About Pain Management

Just like older people, sometimes older animals need help with pain management. Never give your pet medicine meant for a human. Talk to your veterinarian about how to help your pet manage pain.

Veterinarians can prescribe medicine that will help control pain. Many vet offices can even use alternative pain management therapies on your pet like laser therapy, massage, and even stem cell therapy.

3. Make Lifestyle Changes for Your Pet

It may sound kind of corny at first, but if you put a little bit of thought into it, you can make a lot of small changes to your pet’s lifestyle that will make a big difference in how they feel. You live with your pet and know them best, so you are likely to be the one who will notice what they need most on a daily basis.

For example, if you notice your dog is struggling with the stairs, you might consider building him a ramp. Adding an extra step to get up in bed can help a dog who is having a hard time climbing into the bed as they get older. Both dogs and cats with arthritis can really benefit from a heated bed to help relieve their aches and pains as they rest.

Treatment for Arthritis in Pets

If your pet has arthritis they do not have to suffer from pain. Veterinarians can help you diagnose and treat what is bothering your pet. Schedule an appointment with your local veterinarian now if you suspect your pet needs help with arthritis.

It is essential to have a first aid kit for cats and dogs. Pets can have emergencies just like other members of the family. Having a first aid kit handy can really save the day!

If you don’t already have a first aid kit for your pet you can either purchase one or build one yourself. Purchasing a premade kit can cost anywhere from $15 to more than $100 depending on which one you choose and what is included in it.

To get the best pet first aid kit, building your own is often the right option. When you build your own kit you will have complete control over each item that goes into the kit and its quality. A first aid kit for cats and dogs will be similar to a first aid kit for humans, but there are some differences.

Here’s a look at what goes into a pet first aid kit and how to build a first aid kit for cats and dogs.

What Items Should Be in a Dog First Aid Kit?

It is important to remember that an injured dog, even your best friend, can be volatile when in pain or scared. It is essential to have a soft muzzle to use in a dog first aid kit. This is necessary to have on hand even if your dog never needs a muzzle at any other time.

Additionally, you will want to stay away from any products that will stick to your dog’s fur, like self-adhesive gauze or bandages.

Dog First Aid Kit List

Here is a short list of things you will want to include when building a dog first aid kit:

  • Soft muzzle
  • Gauze
  • Non-stick bandages
  • Wide rubber wrap (to hold the gauze in place)
  • Antibiotic spray
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Milk of magnesia
  • Digital thermometer

What Should a Cat First Aid Kit Contain?

To make the best first aid kit for cats, you will need to consider your own cat specifically. An injured cat may need to be restrained. Unlike a dog which only needs a muzzle, a cat's claws can become very dangerous. You will need a towel, small blanket, or thick pillowcase to help restrain the cat if necessary.

You may also want to consider an agent to stop bleeding in case your cat has an injury to its claw nail. This is especially true if you clip your cat’s nails at home.

Cat First Aid Kit List

Here is a short list of things you will want to include when building a dog first aid kit:

  • Blanket or towel to restrain
  • Gauze
  • Non-stick bandages
  • Wide rubber wrap (to hold the gauze in place)
  • Inflatable or soft e-collar or recovery collar
  • Syringe to flush wounds & administer meds

DIY: How to Build a Pet First Aid Kit

Since you are building this pet first aid kit, personalize it for your pet and specific situation. Consider building a larger kit if you have multiple pets. You may only include items for one type of animal, but if you have cats and dogs, you may want a kit that includes items for both.

Start by including items to restrain and comfort your pet like the soft muzzle, e-collar, and perhaps a soft absorbent cloth that can be used to dry them off or keep them warm.

Include wound care items like gauze, a roll of rubber strip to secure gauze, and a pet-safe wound wash. Tweezers and a magnifier might be needed to remove a thorn, stinger, or piece of glass.

You should include copies of your pet's vet records and any other official paperwork in the first aid kit. Use a water-tight container to keep any medicine your pet takes regularly that they might need in case of an emergency.

Keep Pets Safe with a First Aid Kit for Cats and Dogs

Being prepared for emergencies is part of keeping your family safe and pets are part of the family. If you need guidance about any of the items that should be included in your pet’s first aid kit seek guidance from your local veterinarian.

Puppy vaccines are one of the most important aspects of keeping your new friend safe and healthy as well as ensuring that they have a long life. There are so many things to keep straight when caring for a new puppy that which vaccines they need and when can become a bit confusing.

The following chart shows which vaccines your puppy will need as a general rule of thumb. However, it is important to remember that location, lifestyle, and your dog’s size and breed will all play a role in determining which vaccines they will need throughout their life. You will need to consult with your veterinarian to know exactly which vaccines your puppy will need and when to get them.

Puppy Vaccine Schedule

Puppy’s AgeRecommended Vaccinations
6 to 8 weeksDistemper, parvovirus
10 to 12 weeksDHPP (vaccines for distemper, adenovirus [hepatitis], parainfluenza, and parvovirus)
16 to 18 weeksDHPP, rabies
12 to 16 monthsDHPP, rabies

Optional Vaccinations for Puppies

Distemper, parvovirus, DHPP, and rabies vaccines are recommended to keep your puppy healthy. There are additional vaccinations that you can ask for that are helpful but not absolutely necessary. As with all vaccinations, you will want to discuss the best option for your puppy with your local veterinarian. 

Puppy’s AgeOptional Vaccinations
6 to 8 weeksBordetella
10 to 12 weeksInfluenza, Leptospirosis, Bordetella, Lyme disease
16 to 18 weeksInfluenza, Leptospirosis, Bordetella, Lyme disease
12 to 16 monthsCoronavirus, Leptospirosis, Bordetella, Lyme disease

These are not vaccines that are required for every puppy. In many cases, they are a great idea and will protect your puppy from dangerous illnesses. Whether or not your puppy needs these specific vaccinations also depends on where you live and the type of lifestyle that you will lead with your dog. This is why it is so important to consult your veterinarian when deciding on the appropriate vaccination schedule for your puppy.

How Many Shots Does a Puppy Need Before Going Outside?

About a week after your puppy’s first round of shots it is okay to take them out in your own yard. That doesn’t mean they are ready to go play in the dog park and get social just yet, though.

After their second set of shots, you can take your puppy for walks on the sidewalk. They can also socialize with friendly dogs that you know are fully vaccinated.

After the third round of puppy shots, your puppy is ready to face the world and can go to a dog park. This is because they are now fully protected from the most likely puppyhood diseases.

Is It Okay to Be Late on Puppy Shots?

If you have a new puppy, they are going to need to be properly vaccinated. That means getting the appropriate shots and boosters on the correct schedule. If you get off schedule by more than two weeks, your puppy’s immunity may suffer.

If you have a puppy that needs to be vaccinated, contact your local veterinarian right away to schedule an appointment. 

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