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Keep your puppy healthy with this vaccination schedule (INFOGRAPHIC)

New puppies need a lot of attention — and a lot of trips to the vet. 

In fact, you’ll spend a lot of time those first few months carting your pup back and forth from the vet, keeping up with its busy shot schedule.

Image: Terese Condella/SheKnows

What to watch for

Just like children, puppies can have adverse reactions to vaccinations, though most reactions are not life-threatening.

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“Puppies and adult dogs can experience side effects to vaccinations including lethargy, decreased appetite, soreness/swelling at the injection site and low-grade fevers,” says PetSmart’s resident veterinarian and pet care expert, Robyn Jaynes, DVM. “These side effects should not last more than a day or two and are usually mild. If these effects continue longer or are more severe, pet parents should contact their veterinarian.”

She says true allergic reactions are rare but also possible. “Signs of an allergic reaction include swelling around the face or neck, difficulty breathing, persistent vomiting or diarrhea, or collapse.” She adds that these symptoms would occur within minutes to hours from the time of vaccination, and your dog should be seen by a vet immediately if any of these symptoms occur.

More: How to tell if your dog needs more of your attention

Unknown vaccination histories

Not all dogs find their forever homes in the same way. In many cases, new owners aren’t completely sure about their dog’s vaccination history and are unsure where to start.

According to Jaynes, the best thing to do is start from the beginning of the vaccination schedule. She notes that the conditions prevented by vaccinations are life-threatening and highly contagious (some to both canines and humans), so it’s imperative that all dogs receive these shots.

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“In the event that the pet had been vaccinated prior, vaccinating again is unlikely to cause any harm to the pet, and the benefits outweigh the risks in terms of mitigating a life-threatening disease to the pet itself and to help manage contagious diseases,” she adds.

Source: PetSmart Puppy Center

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