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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!

Submitted by:

Jed Yorkshire

Jed Yorkshire is a retired teacher and pet enthusiast who writes about canine health topics, specialty breeds, animal training and grooming. An avid pet lover and breeder, he owns four beautiful Giant Schnauzers. Yorkshire also works as a private pet behavior consultant.


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