Getting Your Dog Vaccinated

Part of being a responsible pet owner is to make sure you can afford the pet’s vaccinations as well as be attentive to the schedule for shots. If you ignore this, then you are putting your dog’s life at risk.

As discussed in earlier chapters, the idea age to socialize your dog with other animals is between three and twelve weeks. It is also at this time that you want to introduce your dog to as many new experiences and people as possible. Unfortunately introducing your puppy to the world also puts him at risk of virus, infection and disease. This is why it is absolutely crucial that you keep the Chihuahua puppy’s vaccinations up to date.

You must avoid accidentally introducing your puppy to animals that may have not been vaccinated. Many irresponsible pet owners casually lie about the state of their pet’s vaccinations because they are too embarrassed to admit that they don’t want to go to the time trouble and expense. By vaccinating your dog you prevent him from coming into contact with dogs and cats that have not been inoculated and that carry highly contagious and often fatal diseases.

Ideally, your Chihuahua puppy should start receiving vaccinations at about 8 weeks of age and continuing receiving them until he or she is 16 weeks old. The vaccinations should include Distemper, Parvovirus, Parainfluenza, Leptospirosis, Rabies and Hepatitis.

Most veterinarians recommend getting five shot at once at periodic times. However other vets believe this is too hard on a tiny pet’s system and recommend that your pet be brought in several times to receive each inoculation separately.

All rabies vaccines, regardless of age first given, are followed by a second vaccination a year later, plus booster shots every three years.

Of course before starting any type of vaccination schedule you should consult with the breeder first (to see what shots the puppy has already had) and the veterinarian second (to see what shots the puppy will need on what dates.)

Below is a rough guideline that indicates the timing of vaccinations.

Vaccination Schedule

6 weeks

Have a thorough exam for overall health.
Vaccinate for Distemper, Parainfluenza and Hepatitis , no Parvo.

7-1/2 weeks

Vaccinate for Parvo only (killed vaccine.)

10 weeks

Second Parvo vaccination (killed vaccine.)

12 weeks

Thorough exam.
Vaccinate for Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza and Leptospirosis.

How to Get a Free Dog

Do you really want a pet but don’t want to pay for one? It is okay to look for a free dog but not so okay to expect it to take care of itself. All pets require some kind of expense whether it involves getting them necessary shots or making sure they are licensed or microchipped or buying them healthy food.   If. If you can’t afford that kind of thing then you can’t afford a pet and have no business owning a dog whether you get it for free or not.  Hopefully you are not looking for a free dog because you think somehow that a pet can take care of itself. This is not true of most pets including cats and dog. Mother Nature does not take care of pets. Owning a dog or cat is like taking care of a child and responsibilities come with it including the need for vaccinations, dental check ups, good food, the need for a babysitter, a good doctor, toilet training and maybe even obedience school. So make sure you budget these needs in whether you decided to pay for a dog or not.  The best source of information about free dogs is probably word of mouth or you can simply look at signs posted around the neighborhood on lampposts or on bulletin boards in Laundromats and grocery stores. Most of these types of dogs are the result of owners failing to spay their dogs. If they did not spay their dog then they may have also failed to give the puppies or mother the appropriate vaccinations or other care. If you adopt this kind of dog from a private owner who seems irresponsible make sure you get the dog checked out by a vet.   Puppies with moms who have not been vaccinated are sometimes more vulnerable to disease.  Sometimes breeders also have free dogs. Usually these dogs do not quite live up to breed standards are sold for almost as much money as full breed dog. Most of the time these are great dogs with a minor physical permuatation that makes them difficult to show or sell.   In some cases a breeder that gives a dog away is a bit corrupt so be careful that you don’t end up with big vet bills. Sometimes ill-bred dogs have serious problems like hip dysplasia that require them to be put down early in life.  You can also find free or next to free dogs being given away at your local dog pounds or Humane Society. In these situations however the animal may need to be microchipped and you may have to pay for shots or buy the dog a license.Another source of free dogs is advertisements in the newspaper. Sometimes farmers don’t have the heart to terminate the lives of unwanted puppies and advertise them as free dogs to give away. Most of the times these dogs are mutts.  You can also end up being the owner of a dog that is the victim of a sudden death or a divorce or any other situation where its owner suddenly disappears. People who have to move often advertise free dogs both online and in the newspapers.