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Dog Friendly Tips: The Core Vaccinations for Dogs

All vaccination programs are not the same; some require annual vaccinations whereas some only require a yearly titer.

Ask your dog's vet for a schedule specific to your dog's health care needs. This will also remind you when it's time to vaccinate. Also, be sure to ask him or her if it's necessary to revaccinate beyond puppyhood.

Distemper virus spreads from dog to dog by respiratory secretions. The virus is usually fatal, especially in puppies. It's the leading cause of death among unvaccinated puppies 3-8 months of age. The first vaccination should begin at 6-8 weeks of age.

Adenovirus causes liver and kidney damage and severe respiratory infections. Adenovirus vaccination is usually included with the distemper virus vaccination. Annual booster shots are recommended.

Parvovirus is a viral disease that affects puppies more often than adult dogs. The virus causes diarrhea and in severe cases, it can infect the heart, causing death. This vaccine should be given early (6-8 weeks old). Annual booster shots are recommended.

Rabies attacks the brain and is usually passed through a bite and can affect animals and people. Once the signs of rabies are visible, it is almost always fatal. Vaccinate at 6 months of age (check for your country's requirements), repeat in one year, and in most cases revaccinate every three years. In most areas in the U.S., rabies shots are required for public safety.

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