Pet Tips with Dr. B, Puppy and Kitten Care, Vaccines

Puppy Vaccination: The Importance of Planning Ahead

Giving puppies a vaccination the day before or the day of moving to their forever home, won’t give the puppy the protection he needs. Don’t expect immunity immediately after you pull the needle out. It takes two weeks to receive the full benefits of a vaccine.

Is Vaccination Stressful for Puppies?

The stress of moving to a new home is hard enough on a puppy, so your goal is to not add to this stress. Make sure puppies are given their vaccines to date at least one to two weeks before being moved to their new home. Not the night before. A puppy can deal with a new home or deal with a vaccine, but not both. That means he may not get the protection desired from the vaccination. I recommend breeders give two parvo vaccines and one distemper, at least one week before going to a new home.

Puppy Allergic Reaction to Vaccine

The risk of puppy vaccine allergic reactions are the second reason not to vaccinate right before the puppy leaves. Thankfully, the reaction rate in vaccine use is low, less than one percent. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean it’s something we can ignore. Allergic reactions can happen to any dog; however, smaller breeds under three pounds have a slightly higher rate of reactions or sensitivity than larger breeds.

Two Most Common Times for Reactions to Vaccines:

  1. During the first three hours after the vaccine is given. The immediate reaction is the most common type of reaction. When this happens, most puppies just sit and don’t want to play or eat. They definitely won’t push in to compete with littermates for food, so watch for this and treat it if you see it. Swollen faces are less common, but if you notice this, it should be treated with an antihistamine.
  2. From three to five days. Delayed reactions are usually milder and easy to treat. The puppy typically aches all over and doesn’t want to participate with their littermates. Treat with an antihistamine when you see it.

Most vaccinations have an expiration of one year, so it’s a good idea to keep what you need on hand. Just make sure they are kept cool during this time. At Revival, we only ship vaccines out on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday morning unless you select overnight shipping. We ship overnight packages through Thursday morning. We don’t want to risk the vaccine getting warm from sitting in a delivery truck over the weekend. That means, planning ahead is key. If you order a vaccine Wednesday evening, it won’t ship out until Monday. So check your stock of vaccines well before the time you’ll need them. Then, when it’s time to vaccinate you’re ready to go.
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If you aren’t sure which vaccines are best for your dog, the Revival Vaccine Finder can help! This personalized free tool helps you determine which vaccines your dog needs.

Additional puppy vaccine questions? Call our Pet Care Pros at 800.786.4751.

Written by: Donald Bramlage, DVM

Donald Bramlage, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, practiced veterinary medicine for 30+ years and is known for his work in managing parvovirus. He received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Kansas State University in 1985. He served as Revival’s Director of Veterinary Services from 2011 until his retirement in 2019.

If you need help, call us at 800.786.4751.