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OTHER ITA SITES:
A Booster for Buster
Sure, he�s adorable. That bouncy, little fluff ball boasting the new-puppy smell surely warms the heart and puts a smile on a proud, new pet owner�s face. But that puff ball is now all your responsibility! That means it�s up to you to keep the little mongrel healthy and up to date on all his shots.
You may be asking yourself, �Didn�t he get his puppy shots at the shelter where I got him?� Maybe � but there�s a little more to it than that. Immunizations keep puppies healthy and happy � after all � those natural antibodies from their moms only last for about six to eight weeks.
So, here�s what to expect when you take your four-legged friend to the vet:
� The First Visit � (6 to 8 weeks old) Your veterinarian will give him a combination vaccine (DHPP) to protect him from four dangerous diseases: Canine distemper, infectious hepatitis, parainfluenza, and parvovirus infection.
� The Second, Third, and Fourth Visit � (9 to 12 weeks old) He�ll get a second DHPP vaccination and possibly vaccinations against coronavirus infection, leptospirosis, Lyme disease, and kennel cough, depending on his risk for those diseases.
� The Fifth Visit � (13 to 16 weeks old) He�ll get another DHPP and any others your veterinarian recommends, plus his very first rabies shot.
� The Last Visit�finally! � (15 to 16 months old) He�ll get all of them again, then you�ll both be done.
After that, it�s all fun and games for you and your new pup � with the exception of those yearly boosters he�ll need. These help keep vaccine levels high enough to offer ongoing protection. PETCO�s website has a great article on this if you need more information (http://www.petco.com/Page.aspx?pc=Article&PetTypeID=1&TopicID=12&id=2240&nav=153).
By the way, don�t worry about the scary needles; they probably intimidate you more than your unwitting puppy. Just give him a little doggie treat when it�s all done and he�ll quickly forget it ever happened!
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