When you get a puppy, you want to know they are healthy, so you should get them examined by a vet right away. At this exam, the vet will also vaccinate them. Depending on their age, they may need to come back a couple more times for booster shots. New puppies are protected through their mother; they get temporarily vaccinated through the mother's milk. Once they wean, those antibodies will leave and they will be defenseless against many illnesses. This is why they need a series of shots. You want to make sure they are vaccinated as soon as the mother's antibodies flee. If they are vaccinated too soon, the mother's antibodies will destroy the vaccination. If they are vaccinated too late, they may end up sick in the meantime. Along with making sure you have a fully vaccinated new puppy, here are some things you should also know about vaccinations:
It's best to have vaccinations done at the vet's office: You can save yourself some money and do dog shots yourself. However, this isn't a very good idea in most cases, for a variety of reasons. When you take your dog to the vet, they will chart that your dog has been vaccinated and give you a receipt. You may need this as proof of vaccination if you go to board your dog or even to take them to the groomers. Plus, you have no real way of knowing that the vaccinations you get from a random feed store weren't sitting around for a while in room temperatures, instead of being correctly refrigerated.
Always listen to your vet regarding when to bring your dog in next: You may feel that it's more convenient to bring your dog in for their shots a little later than what the vet suggests, but this can leave your dog unprotected for a while, which leaves them susceptible to catching one of the illnesses the shots would cover.
Your dog may need different shots if you live in different areas: When you move, it's a good idea to take your dog to the vet for a new patient visit. This puts them on the vet's list of clientele, so they can get them in faster if you ever need to bring them in. Plus, it allows the vet to go over the vaccinations with you and make sure your dog is covered for illnesses that they will now possibly be exposed to in the new environment you have moved them to. For example, the leptospirosis shot may not be suggested in a big city, but if you move to a mountain region then the vets may suggest it.
Your dog will need time before they are fully protected: If you have brought home a full-grown dog and you aren't sure they have had any shots, you'll want to get them vaccinated right away. You can't expect that your dog will be fully vaccinated the moment you walk out of the vet's office. The vaccinations will take a while before antibodies are built up in your dog's system. This can generally take a week or so. Therefore, it's best to keep your dog indoors for a couple weeks after they receive their shots.
Contact local veterinary clinics for more information and assistance.