12–15 Weeks: What to Expect From Your Puppy
A Guide to Your Puppy's Second Round of Vaccines
It may seem like yesterday when you took your pup in for his first round of vaccines but it's time again to make a trip to the vet. The second round of vaccines is as important as the first. Your puppy needs the full three rounds to ensure he is safe against illnesses such as Distemper, which is often fatal. If your puppy does get Distemper, excellent vet care is essential and signs of neurological control such as seizures are hopeful indications of a recovery. But better to get to the vet now than take a chance.
In the second round of vaccines, your pup is less likely to develop serious side effects. However, be on the lookout for lesser side effects such as:
Call your vet if any of these last more than 24 hours. The vaccines your puppy should be getting are:
Always follow your vet's guidelines, as different localities have different schedules. And remember to keep your puppy away from other dogs for at least five days and preferably until after the third round of vaccines. This is a great time for puppies to socialize with new humans, however, in order to keep them open to new beings in their environment.
This is also the time to start worm checks and to start Heartworm prevention. You can help your vet by looking for worms in your puppy's stool. Do not start Heartworm prevention without talking to your vet. It is important that a Heartworm test be done first and that the correct dose is given to your pup. You're well on your way to having a healthy puppy!
Advice from Other Dog Owners
A Puppy's First Round of Shots
Almost all of my puppies get their first shots between 9 and 10 weeks of age. Prior to that the mother's immunity is still present and the shot does no good, in fact there is some evidence that given too early it will actually interfere with the mother's immunity. Mine get the full series of three shots, usually 9 weeks, 13 weeks, 16 weeks and 20 weeks. Rabies is given usually around 14 weeks, but not at the same time as the other ones are given.
~Evelyn C., owner of Miniature Poodle
When Puppies Should Get Their First Vaccines
First vaccines are usually given between 6 and 8 weeks for Parvo/ Distemper/ Parainfluenza, etc. Hopefully the mom was up to date prior to giving birth, as her immunity should help cover the pups up to this point, but be very careful, as they are very susceptible to Parvo!
Some people think the vaccines they can mail order or buy at farm supply stores are good, but it is not worth it! Take the pups to the vet, the vaccines they use are superior to the others, have been shipped and stored at the right temperature to ensure efficacy, and if the pup were to have an immediate reaction, they can help, as opposed to dying at home before you can get help for it. Doing them at home is just plain dangerous! Plus, the doc will do a physical exam to check them out, and be certain they are healthy with no congenital birth defects.
~Kim K., owner of Rottweiler