Inoculating against disease in dogs is every bit as controversial as vaccinating children.  Just as with children, there are some dogs that are more sensitive to the different types of vaccines, but, again like children, most dogs get through it with little or no problems.  Vaccinations are first and foremost not meant to cure but are designed to help the body build immunity to the bacteria or virus and to aid in allowing the dog to fight off the illness on their own.  Protecting dogs unnecessarily is never recommended even by vets, but there are some basic inoculations that need to be a part of a normal health care routine.

*Puppy and Dog Vaccinations

Again like a child, during the first few weeks of life a puppy is naturally protected from many health concerns because it receives the antibodies it needs to fight disease from the mother through nursing.  As the dog is weaned, this natural protection weakens, and at about 6 weeks of age the first set of "puppy shots" is given to help stimulate the puppy's body to produce its own protection and to prepare for life without the antibody support it received from the mother.  When the antibodies from the mother are at high levels in the pup's bloodstream, the inoculations are less effective.  Therefore, the vaccinations are given again at about 9 weeks of age and the final set at 12 weeks to make sure the puppy will get the full benefit of building these antibodies on their own.  Some vets and breeders suggest an additional set of inoculations at 15 or 18 weeks.  Some breeds actually need another set at 15 weeks. All dogs require boosters at one year, and in each subsequent year.  A dog's body is not like a human's in the fact that it doesn't automatically continue to generate these antibodies or to build up immunities on its own and needs the boosters to trigger their body to do this every year.

The basic vaccines are for:
*Canine Distemper,
*Hepatitis and then
*Rabies when the dog gets older.

 These are all combined into one "shot". Along with these basic vaccines are the inoculations common to where you live to help fight off any health problems native to your area. 

This list includes:
*Lyme Disease,
*Canine Measles (common during Canine Distemper outbreaks), *Bordetella (Kennel Cough),
*Leptospirosis and
*Canine Adenovirus (various strains).

There are also other more specific vaccines that might be needed if the dog was exposed to certain living conditions or other animals that may be infected.

Your vet will be aware of what is needed in your area and will vaccinate accordingly, but if you are planning to travel with your dog it will be necessary for you and the vet to find out what is needed in the specific areas you will be traveling to or thru, and provide the vaccines necessary.  All dogs traveling out of state or out of the country, and those that are kenneled or are entered into shows must be up to date on all inoculations and meticulous vaccination records kept on hand to safeguard all other dogs and animals your dog may come into contact with.

Article by Kelly Marshall of Oh My Dog Supplies, the place to buy cute small dog clothes online.