16–19 Weeks: What to Expect From Your Puppy
A Guide to Your Puppy's Third Round of Vaccines
Once again it's time to get your puppy to the vet for his vaccinations. The good news is this is the last round of puppy vaccines. Unless you have some problems, you can stay out of that sterile waiting room for months. It is essential to finish his vaccines with this round because, if you don't, you're undoing all the good the first two rounds provided. One of the biggest misconceptions is that one booster is adequate when, in fact, your puppy is not fully protected until all rounds are finished.
From now on, you have the option to give your puppy his vaccinations yourself (except for Rabies which must be on the record). If you think you might want to do this later, get instructions from your vet at this visit and watch how he administers this round. You can save money doing it itself but you must make sure you are comfortable with the process. At this vet visit, be sure to learn everything you can.
The vaccines your puppy is due for are 1.Distemper, 2. Parvo, 3. Corona, 4. Rabies but, as always follow your vet's advice as he may have a different schedule.
After a five day period after this round of boosters, most vets feel it is OK to take your puppy to places with multiple dogs such as obedience class. But keep in mind a few things:
Make sure the puppies you and your pet are around are vaccinated.
Avoid possible highly contaminated places such as dog parks and boarding kennels for awhile. Before boarding, make sure your pup has his Kennel Cough vaccine.
If you see any signs of the major illnesses such as lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, disorientation or seizures, call your vet immediately.
This visit is also a good time to discuss your puppy's next shots due at his first annual check-up. Talk to your vet about what is necessary and what is not. For instance, many vets will not recommend a Lyme vaccine unless your pup spends time in wooded areas. Ask your vet his opinion on giving non-core vaccines and how often he recommends core vaccines be given. Remember, only Rabies is required by most states and you might want to get a second opinion to avoid getting over-vaccinated.
This way, prepared for the future, you can happily lead your dog out of the vet's and leave the bad memories of the needle behind for months.
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