Dog Vaccinations are not necessary for puppies in the first few weeks of their lives.
Puppies are initially protected due to the maternally derived antibodies (MDA) passed on from their mother’s milk.
Passive immunity will have weakened by 8–12 weeks of age to a level that allows active immunization.
Dog Vaccinations Guide
For dog vaccinations the WSAVA (World Small Animal Veterinary Association) vaccination guidelines recommend:
- The initial core vaccination is given at: 6 – 8 weeks old
- Then every 2 – 4 weeks until 16 weeks of age
Many vaccine data sheets however still recommend:
- 8 Weeks Old – 1st general core vaccination
- 10 Weeks Old – 2nd general core vaccination.
Permiting valuable ‘early socialization’ of puppies while decreasing the risk of infectious diseases
An integral part of core vaccination of puppies is the ‘booster’ vaccine that has traditionally been given either at 12 months of age or 12 months after the last of the primary series of puppy vaccines.
The VGG ( Vaccination Guidelines Group) has re-evaluated this practice and now suggests that veterinarians might wish to reduce susceptibility by bringing forward this vaccine from 52 weeks to 26 weeks of age. (6 months)
Revaccination Of Adult Dogs
Following the puppy booster, revaccinations guidelines recommend that boosters for the core vaccinations are given at intervals of 3 years or longer.
The duration of protection from the core vaccinations, parvovirus, distemper, infectious canine hepatitis (adenovirus) and leptospirosis, will vary from dog to dog.
Studies show that dogs can retain immunity for at least 5-7 years once they are properly vaccinated as pups, so many dogs will have sufficient protection against one or more of the diseases by the time their next booster is due.
The WSAVA are in favour of blood titres (Titre test) over unnecessary boosters, after the initial 12-month booster.