Regular vaccination is an effective way to protect dogs from dangerous diseases. The principle of the protective effect of vaccinations is simple: the dog’s immune system is confronted with killed or weakened – i.e. harmless – pathogens and thus gets to know its enemies. It has the opportunity to develop effective weapons against these pathogens and to rehearse the emergency. If an infection actually does occur, the immune system is prepared and can destroy the pathogens before the disease breaks out.
Most veterinarians and scientists agree that the dog must have a good basic immunization against rabies, distemper, parvovirus, leptospiros and Hcc. This requires at least two vaccinations every four weeks. For some of these diseases, under certain circumstances, e.g. in puppies or when there is a high level of infection, a third vaccination as part of the basic immunization can be useful.
These frequent vaccinations are used for basic immunization and are necessary in order to build up robust vaccination protection. Because it is possible that the first vaccinations are not yet effective. This has to do with the way vaccines work and the properties of breast milk in the first few days. Vaccines imitate pathogens and thus induce the body’s own immune system to form antibodies (defense substances) against these pathogens. Sometimes the puppies are vaccinated with a so-called Parvo Puppy vaccine between the sixth and eighth week, because it is not known whether the young animal still has antibodies from its mother’s milk. Then from the eighth week onwards they are vaccinated against SHLP and from the twelfth week onwards against SHLPT. If you vaccinate the animals later, you run the risk of disease during the so-called immunological gap – this is the period in which there are no more maternal antibodies in the blood of the animal and the own immune system has not yet had the opportunity to produce antibodies .
After the primary series, the immunization must be regularly boosted to remain effective. The intervals depend on the vaccine used. In December 2005, the rabies vaccination was changed so that dogs can be vaccinated against rabies at intervals according to the instructions of the vaccine manufacturer. These intervals can be up to three or four years, depending on the manufacturer. Some other vaccination components do not necessarily have to be re-vaccinated annually with modern vaccines. This meets the wishes of many participants not to have dogs vaccinated more often than necessary. However, the annual booster vaccination against leptospirosis has remained the same. If the dog travels abroad, the owner still has to prove a valid rabies vaccination with the help of the entry in the pet passport.