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Pet Care Tips
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Why You Need to Vaccinate Your Puppy Before You Walk It

Believe it or not, taking your new puppy for a walk can have grave consequences. These consequences, however, are easy to avoid with a simple vaccination.

Parvo is a highly contagious and dangerous disease that is unfortunately very common for puppies. Caused by the canine parvovirus, dogs can contract parvo through direct contact with an infected dog or indirect contact with a contaminated object. Such objects include another dog's faeces, food or water bowl, leash or collar, or even the hands of a dog owner whose dog has parvo.

At What Age Should I Start Walking My Puppy?

Understanding your puppy's timeline for susceptibility to parvo and vaccination schedule is essential to protecting them. If you're wondering, "At what age should I start walking my puppy?" here's what you need to know:

  • If the mother has been fully vaccinated against Parvo, her puppies will have her antibodies for their first few weeks of life.
  • Puppies are at the greatest risk for parvo between the ages of 6 weeks to 6 months.
  • Puppies can receive their parvo vaccinations at 6, 8 and 12 weeks of age. They must receive a full series of vaccinations to ensure complete immunity.
  • Puppies require a parvo booster vaccine between 14 and 16 weeks of age.

Symptoms of Parvo in Puppies

Even if you take all the essential puppy walking precautions, your puppy may still come into contact with the virus. Sometimes, it can take a few days after the initial contraction for puppies to start exhibiting serious symptoms of Parvo. Therefore, you should call your vet anytime your puppy feels under the weather, just to be safe.

Symptoms of the parvovirus include:

  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Lethargy
  • Refusal to eat
  • Weight loss
  • Weakness
  • Dehydration
  • Depression

Proper Medical Treatment Can Save Your Puppy

There is no cure for parvo, but taking a sick puppy to see a veterinarian could be the difference between life and death. A sick puppy needs constant medical care to monitor and treat the symptoms of parvo. Your vet can ensure that your puppy stays hydrated and receives proper nutrition to help them recover faster. 

Preventing Parvo in Puppies

Parvo is preventable. The best thing you can do to prevent parvo is to ensure that your puppy receives all of their parvo vaccines before you take them for a walk or let them socialise with other dogs. If you have other dogs in the household, make sure that they are vaccinated against parvo as well.

So, if you're wondering how much you should walk your puppy, the best answer is not at all, or at least not until they are vaccinated. Talk to your vet about best practices for puppy walking and how much caution you should exercise to keep your puppy safe.

Kirrawee Veterinary Hospital offers canine vaccinations and emergency veterinary care in Sylvania, Sutherland and Miranda. To schedule your puppy's parvo vaccine appointment or if you suspect your puppy has parvo, call us on 02 9521 6422. 


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