What is vaccination and why is it important?

Your dog's natural ability to fight infection is called "immunity". While puppies are protected for the first few weeks by an immunity passed through their mother's milk, this fades rapidly leaving the puppy susceptible to disease. This is when vaccination is needed to restore the puppy's immunity.

Your puppy's first vaccination will involve two injections, separated by a couple of weeks, and can be started at 8 weeks of age. Your puppy will also receive a full health check at the time of vaccination. We will give you a vaccination certificate to record your puppy’s vaccinations and subsequent annual boosters - make sure you keep this in a safe place as you will need to show this at boarding kennels, training classes and to us. It is very important to keep your dog's immunity boosted each year. We will send you a reminder to let you know when the booster is due.

It’s important for young puppies to socialise. Vaccination takes about a week to give protection so you should not take your puppy out for a walk until at least a week has passed after the second vaccination – make sure you speak to one of the team for advice about when it's safe to let your puppy meet other animals.

If you're wondering which diseases the different vaccines protect against, read on! To ensure that we give the right protection at the right time (and don't over-vaccinate your pet), we give only what is necessary each year.

  • Leptospirosis is spread in the urine of rats and other dogs and is widespread in the UK, especially in canals and rivers. There are a lot of waterways (and rats) on Anglesey so this is in important vaccination. Also, because Leptospirosis is caused by a bacterium, the protection provided by the vaccine does not last for a long time and needs to be topped up annually. Leptospirosis can also cause Weil’s disease in humans. It is difficult to treat and can be life-threatening in dogs and humans.
  • Canine Parvovirus is widespread throughout the UK and caused major epidemics in the 1970’s. It causes horrendous disease and usually fatal. We vaccinate for this every 3 years.
  • Canine Distemper (Hard Pad) is a severe, inevitably fatal disease but is fortunately controlled by vaccination in the UK. We vaccinate for this every 3 years.
  • Infectious Hepatitis is another nasty, potential fatal disease that is now controlled by vaccination in the UK. We vaccinate for this every 3 years.
  • Kennel Cough is usually transmitted in places where dogs come together, e.g. parks, shows and kennels. The disease is extremely unpleasant and can be life-threatening. If you are planning to put your dog into kennels or take part in training classes, they will need the Kennel Cough vaccine at least a week in advance, although some kennels ask for it to be given at least two weeks before a stay. This vaccine is given as drops into the nostrils and is given annually.
  • Rabies is fortunately not found in the UK, although vaccination is required by law if you plan to take your dog abroad.