Americans love our dogs. Nearly 47% of American households report that they have dogs. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) reports that there are between 70 and 80 million pet dogs nationwide. And it is a good thing for our health. When children are raised in a home with a pet, they have a 33% less chance of developing allergies. People who walk their dogs are much less likely to become obese.
While they keep us healthy, we need to do the same for them. Puppy vaccinations are extremely important for their health. Most veterinarians offer these vaccine recommendations for puppy vaccinations is to get a combination vaccine at two, three and then four months of age. Often people will either get them done too early, too often or not at all.
The biggest threat to your dog is the canine parvovirus, also called “parvo.” Dogs of all ages are at risk, unless they have received a vaccination from a veterinarian. Here are some tips to keep your puppy safe:
- Puppy vaccinations save puppies!. Have your dog vaccinated as a puppy and keep up with it as directed by your pet clinic.
- Prior to getting your puppy vaccinated, don’t let them get around other dogs. This is a very contagious illness. Don’t even let your puppy walk in areas where other dogs have walked. So when you are getting him or her their shots at the animal hospital, hold them in your lap.
- Disinfect any area that you suspect has been contaminated with the parvo virus. It is really durable and will live on a surface for up to a year. You can use a water/bleach solution to wipe down any areas you think might have it. If you had a dog with it and they used certain sheets, bleach them or toss them. Any surface that animal touched could still harbor live virus. All the more reason to get those puppy vaccinations done!
- If your dog does show signs of parvo (lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea) go to an urgent pet care facility as soon as you can. Time is truly of the essence when dealing with parvo.
For most of us, our pets are not just animals we let live with us, they are truly members of our family and we love them a lot. Nearly 40% of dog owners have them for companionship. Of people surveyed, more than 66% said that their pet was their best friend. Keeping them healthy by getting the appropriate puppy vaccinations at the right time is the best way to get them started on a healthy and happy life.