When you bring a puppy home, it’s important to know how to manage their health. Since vaccinations have to be done in a timely manner, the more you learn when your dog is young, the better. With the right regimen from an animal clinic, you can minimize the risk of problems and increase the chance that they live a long life. Here’s a guide to what you should know about vaccinations. 

What Are the Most Important Vaccines for Dogs?

Conveniently, the most important canine vaccinations are now bundled into one, known as the 5-in-1 vaccine, or the DHPP. It guards against five conditions. The first is canine distemper, a dangerous virus that targets the respiratory, gastrointestinal, and nervous systems, causing vomiting, seizures, and other serious, even fatal symptoms.

The second and third are hepatitis and its parent, adenovirus type-1. Hepatitis in dogs is a liver disease that leads to vomiting, jaundice, and other symptoms. The vaccination also prevents parvovirus, which harms the gastrointestinal system, causing weight loss, extreme diarrhea, and fever.

Fifth is parainfluenza, also known as kennel cough. This contagious condition leads to coughing as well as nasal discharge. It’s also crucial to get a rabies shot for your dog, though this must be administered separately. Rabies is a virus passed between animals when an infected individual bites another. It can cause confusion, paralysis, and eventually, fatality.

When Should They Get Vaccinated?

animal clinicAs soon as you know you’re going to be the owner of a puppy, schedule an appointment with a vet. They’ll help you create a schedule for vaccinations. Typically, they are most effective when administered while the puppy is six to 18 weeks old.

Usually, you’ll have to bring your pet to the animal clinic several times to complete the full round of injections. However, part of the usefulness of the 5-in-1 vaccination process is that each visit will only require a single shot, sparing your puppy discomfort. To increase the comfort of your dog, consider bringing their favorite toy or blanket along. 


If your puppy hasn’t gotten their vaccinations yet, don’t hesitate to contact a trusted animal clinic like Cherry Hill Dog & Cat Hospital in Elkton, MD. Serving the community for more than 53 years and voted the best veterinarian facility in Cecil County for three years running, the hospital is run by Dr. Douglas Foreman and Dr. Roberta Mauro. They have earned a reputation for not just their impressive knowledge and skill, but also a noteworthy warmth toward their animal patients. To schedule an appointment, just call (410) 398-1331. Learn more about the animal hospital by visiting their website