Why Vaccinate?


Vaccinations are critical in safeguarding your pups long term health. Pups enter this world without any immunity to the many viruses and diseases that inhabit our world. Nature however provides an initial buffer for the first few months of their life through the rich thick milk called colostrum that a mother dog secretes right after birth. This milk contains all her own antibodies and provides a temporary shield to protect her pups. (A very good reason to not seperate pups from their mums before eight weeks of age). But this is only temporary protection. By the age of four months the pups antibody's drop to half until the level is too low to protect them anymore making them easy targets for parasites and viruses. This is why Vets prescribe vaccinations usually starting at around six weeks and continuing till sixteen weeks (four months) of age.



What is the First Vaccination Schedule?


Vaccines are spaced out over three to four week intervals for the antibodies to take effect as well as to protect your pups delicate system from any side effects. Therefore never let your Vet give two different vaccinations to your pup simultaneously. They are also staggered so that the vaccine doesnt cancel out the natural antibodies from the colostrum or vice versa.

Based upon our own research with lots of well known doctors in this field, the earliest a puppy should start vaccinations should be at eight to nine weeks of age. And then should be re-vaccinated three to four weeks later. Then Rabies at four months and then at one year of age. So ideally pups should not receive more than two series of vaccinations.

Your pups first vaccination is the combined vaccination for distemper, parvo, influenze etc. This vaccination is also called 6-in-1 because it grants protection to your pup against six different life threatening diseases. This shot will be repeated after three weeks to one month. This dose is called a Booster dose because it literally boosts the protection provided by the first shot.

 When your pup is 16 weeks of age the next shot will be rabies. A booster for rabies will be given after 8 months of having received the first dose i.e. when your dog is one year old. 



How Often Should I Vaccinate My Pups/Dogs?


There is an ongoing and controversial debate on Vaccination versus Over Vaccination. Unfortunately this debate really doesnt exist in India whereas it should. Vets here are quite happy to go on vaccinating dogs even when they are too old to be vaccinated because frankly the profit margins are quite huge. However this is a debate worth researching for yourself and making your own decision on how frequently you would want to vaccinate your dog.

In the West years of research has led to bodies like the American Animal Hospital Association to support the conclusion that over vaccinating dogs contributes to chronic illnesses, disease and even death. Their recently announced guidelines now divide vaccines into three categories.


Core Vaccines: Those that should be given to every dog

Non-Core: Optional Vaccines that should be considered only if a dogs lifestyle or risk factors warrant it.

Not Recommended: Vaccines not recommended under any circumstances.


In core vaccines Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvo and Rabies are listed.

Non- Core vaccines are Leptospirosis, Lyme, Bordetella and Parainfluenza

Not Recommended Vaccines are Adenovirus, Corona, Giardia, Porphyromonas and Crotalus Atrox Toxoid.


In India we largely look to the West for vaccination guidelines. This is foolish in the first place because the diseases found in this part of the world are similar but also different. However we are not aware of any local body in India who determines what vaccines are essential or non essential for dogs here. Though Corona is not recommended in the West and Vets in India agree that it is not a disease common to this land mass, it is commonly administered to dogs here on an annual basis.


Multiple studies abroad have shown that a thorough series of vaccines given in puppyhood has been determined to provide most of a dogs immunity for life. Therefore the AAHA recommends that you do not re-vaccinate your dog more than once in three years. Many holistic veterinarians feel that even this much is too much since dogs properly immunised in puppyhood have shown to maintain life time immunity against diseases such as Parvo, Distemper and Hepatitis.



How Soon after Vaccinations Can My Pup Meet Other Dogs or Go Out ?


Most Vets reccomend that you keep your puppy safe and away from other dogs until all his/her vaccinations have been completed. We must be responsible and cautious during this period of a pups life but at the same time its important to not deprive him/her of normal socialisation experiences (i.e. meeting with other dogs) because these are also very important to his overall well being. There is a short period of a week after vaccinations when they haven't still kicked in and your pups immunity may be low. This is an important time to keep your dog safe but some people exaggerate this threat to a level of paranoia and keep their pups inside and isolated for months on end which creates frustration and anti-social dogs.


Ten days after the first vaccine you should allow your pup to socialise with dogs you know are vaccinated and healthy, take walks on a leash, take the pup for car rides and after sixteen weeks, well anything goes!