Parvovirus is one of the most easily spread canine diseases. It can be spread through casual contact from one pet to another. It is also really hard to kill the parvovirus; it can survive on surfaces even after they have been cleaned.
For young puppies, parvovirus can be fatal. You want to make sure you protect your puppy from this harmful disease.
1. Get Your Puppy Vaccinated
First, you need to get your puppy vaccinated. Getting vaccinated against parvovirus is the best way to protect your dog from becoming infected with parvovirus. This is a three-step process that should be started by whoever owns the puppy when it is born.
If you purchase a puppy from a breeder or a shelter, they should already have their first parvovirus shot. Puppies should get their first shot when they are about six weeks old, before they are separated from their mother.
Your puppy should get their next two vaccines three to four weeks apart, so by the time your puppy is sixteen weeks, they should have had all three doses of the parvovirus vaccine.
If your dog was not vaccinated before sixteen weeks old, the vaccination series only consists of two shots. The two shots are a little stronger than the three given before sixteen weeks. The two shoots have to be spaced a couple of weeks apart.
A year after the initial vaccine, your dog should get a follow-up vaccine. Then, from there, they should be revaccinated against parvovirus every three years. Protecting your dog against parvovirus is a life-long process.
2. Carry Your Puppy to the Vet
Second, when you take your puppy to the vet, you are going to want to carry your puppy into the building. Walking on the ground, where so many other pets walk each day, your puppy could pick up parvovirus.
Don't assume that the ground in the waiting area of your vet's office is safe. Bring your dog in a carrier to the vet, or hold them in your arms the entire time you are at the vet until your puppy is fully vaccinated against parvovirus.
Parvovirus is hard to kill, so even if your vet sanitizes the floors of the waiting room multiple times a day, parvovirus can still linger. Your vet will understand if you hold your puppy the entire time it is at their office until it is vaccinated against parvovirus.
3. Keep Your Puppy Away From Other Dogs
When your puppy is very young and has not started their parvovirus shots yet, you want to keep them away from other dogs. That means that you should not let your puppy play with other dogs, and you should not take your puppy to places where others dogs are at.
Even if you take your puppy to a dog park and don't let your puppy interact with any other dogs, they could still get parvovirus because the virus can survive on hard structures for an extended period.
Don't take your puppy to any areas where dogs play or use the bathroom until your puppy is fully vaccinated. If you have other dogs at home, keep them at home until your puppy gets all of their shots.
Don't take your other dogs to the dog park and bring them home; they could easily pick up and bring the parvovirus home with them.
Keep all your dogs at home until your puppy is fully vaccinated against the parvovirus, and make sure that your other dogs have gotten their yearly booster shots as well.
If you are getting a new puppy soon, set up a vaccination schedule for the parvovirus and other necessary vaccines that your dog needs with the team at Irby-Overton Veterinary Hospital.
We will be happy to help you vaccinate your puppy to protect your puppy's health and well-being.