It's that time of year again - when seasonal vaccines are needed for both you and your furry friend! While most of us humans are scrambling to get our shots, pet owners should not forget that their dogs’ immune systems are susceptible, too. So, now is a great time to make sure your beagle gets their vaccines. After you head home from the doctor’s office or a clinic to get your own flu vaccine, pick up your pup and head out to the local veterinarian or clinic so your pup can get their dog vaccines, too!
In this blog post, we'll discuss the importance of vaccinations for beagles and the different types of vaccines they need in case you’ve ever asked wondered “when to vaccinate my beagle”. We'll also provide tips on how to make sure your beagle gets all of the shots and dog health care it needs during this busy season. From vaccine safety tips to vaccination scheduling advice, this blog post has everything you need to help make vaccination season a success for your furry friend.
What are vaccines for dogs?
Vaccines are a type of proactive medication used to prevent diseases. To prevent certain diseases, vaccines contain a weakened antigen that mimics the disease itself. Don’t worry - the weakened antigen isn’t strong enough to cause the disease itself, but it is strong enough to activate your dog’s immune system, preparing their bodies to identify and fight the disease if they encounter it.
Why are vaccines important?
It’s extremely important to ensure that your dog gets the vaccines they need. Vaccines prevent dogs from developing certain diseases, meaning they’ll help your pup stay safe, healthy, and happy for longer. It’s even more important to make sure that your dog is vaccinated if they are a social pup that spends lots of time around other dogs, as both core beagle vaccines and non-core beagle vaccines fight against communicable diseases.
Vaccination Schedule for Beagles
Are you a new beagle owner asking yourself, “when does my beagle need shots?” Although the number and type of vaccines your beagle pup will need are unique to your dog, there is a standard vaccination schedule that is adequate for most beagle pups. However, be sure to always consult with your veterinarian before vaccinating your beagle. Each beagle has their own health needs, which is where we move to the first step in the vaccine process: titer testing.
Before your pup receives any vaccines, your veterinarian needs to determine which shots they need. To do this, they use a type of test called titer testing.
Titer testing is a type of lab test that measures the number of antibodies in your dog’s blood. Essentially, veterinarians can see which viruses your dog’s body can already fight against, and those that it is particularly susceptible to. This way, they can determine if your dog needs more vaccines than other dogs might; on the other hand, your dog might already be immune to a certain disorder, so they wouldn’t need to receive that vaccine at all.
Titer testing is more accurate than in-clinic antibody tests, but takes longer. Titer testing is the best way to determine a dog’s immunity and to figure out which pups need certain vaccines.
Core vs. Non-Core Dog Vaccines
While dogs need core vaccinations to be safe, noncore vaccinations are optional shots that decrease your dog’s risk of getting certain diseases that are less universal than those covered by the core vaccines.
The American Animal Hospital Association's Canine Task Force considers the following vaccinations to be core:
Non-core vaccines include:
Canine Influenza (dog flu)
Coronavirus - Coronavirus has different symptoms in dogs than humans; it commonly causes diarrhea in dogs. Puppies are at the highest risk of mortality. Older puppies and dogs can usually overcome the disease quickly if they do not have weakened immune systems.
Giardiasis - Giardiasis is a communicable disease that is usually caught from the parasite giardia in another dog’s infected fecal matter. It causes diarrhea, yet it can be treated, making this a non-core vaccine.
Measles - Measles is related to canine distemper. Canine distemper is a core vaccine. The Measles vaccine is only administered to beagle puppies that are at a markedly higher risk for canine distemper between the ages of 4 to 10 weeks old.
Bordetella / Kennel Cough - Kennel cough is a highly contagious respiratory infection caused by the bordetella bacteria or the parainfluenza virus. If you bring your beagle to doggy daycare, dog parks, or other places where your dog might frequently be exposed to other dogs, you should consider vaccinating them for kennel cough.
Non-core vaccinations might not be required like core vaccinations, but they’re still highly important to protect your beagle from infectious diseases. If your dog likes to play outside or around other dogs, they are even more susceptible to coming down with diseases like kennel cough, measles, and giardiasis.
Is the Rabies Vaccine Core?
While the rabies vaccine is not technically considered a core vaccine, it’s still important to get it, as it is required by law in 48 states. Depending on your state, you’ll need to get your dog regularly vaccinated for rabies on a specific timeline. Check Google or check with your veterinarian to learn more about when is the best time to get your dog vaccinated for rabies.
At 5 Weeks Old
At 5 weeks old, your dog will get their first Parvovirus vaccine. Dogs need to receive parvovirus booster shots every 3-4 weeks until they are about 16 weeks old. It's incredibly important to make sure that your dog gets their boosters before 4 weeks, as otherwise, you'll need to restart the Parvovirus vaccine treatment. You'll need to get one more Parvovirus vaccine a year after the first series of shots, and then one shot every three years after that.
Parvovirus is an extremely contagious disease that attacks the circulatory system, sabotaging white blood cells. Parvovirus is a dangerous and fatal disease, causing death within 24-48 hours. Humans cannot contract parvovirus.
At 6 to 8 Weeks Old: Combination Vaccine DHPP
At 6 to 8 weeks old, your beagle puppy will receive a combination vaccination that fights against several different diseases. The vaccine will fight against these diseases:
Canine Distemper vaccine - Canine distemper attacks the nervous, respiratory and digestive systems. It is extremely important to vaccinate your pet since there is no known cure for this disease.
Hepatitis Vaccine - In dogs, hepatitis affects the liver and kidneys. Hepatitis is contagious and can be spread via saliva, urine, nasal discharge or feces. The type of hepatitis is different than the kind that humans can contract.
At 12 Weeks Old:
If your dog lives in an area where they are at-risk for leptospirosis, they will receive their first of three leptospirosis vaccines at 12 weeks old. Leptospirosis is usually transmitted via infected soil or water, or through the urine of infected squirrels, deer, wildlife, and farm animals. This makes beagles who live in farms or in kennels especially susceptible.
Leptospirosis is treatable through antibiotics, but it is contagious to humans, making it important to vaccinate your beagle for both your safety and your dog’s safety if you live in an at-risk area.
At 14 Weeks:
At 14 weeks, beagles will receive their second leptospirosis vaccine. The first shot is administered at 12 weeks, with a final third shot at 16 weeks.
Most beagles will also receive a combination vaccine at 14 weeks, but not all dogs - nor the vaccines needed to prevent diseases within them - are the same. The vaccine might include a variety of shots. For example, if your dog is at risk for Lyme disease or coronavirus, they will receive both of these vaccines at 14 weeks.
At 16 Weeks:
At 16 weeks, beagles will receive their third and final leptospirosis vaccine. Dogs who received this vaccine will have received their first shot at 12 weeks, and their second at 14 weeks of age.
Once beagles reach adulthood, it’s important for them to receive a rabies vaccine. In fact, it is required by law in 48 out of 50 states. When you’ll need to vaccinate your beagle for rabies depends on your local and state regulations, so you’ll need to look into them to learn the right time to administer a rabies vaccine to your beagle.
If you’re wondering why it’s so important to get the rabies vaccine, here’s why. Rabies is one of the most well-known communicable and virulent diseases that affect beagles, dogs, and other pets. Not only can this disease be passed on to humans, it tends to be fatal to those who are infected by it. As a result, ensuring that all pets receive the rabies vaccine helps keep people and pets safer.
Potential Side Effects of Beagle Vaccines
After receiving their vaccines, it is possible that your beagle might experience some side effects. While side effects are rare, they can still occur, so it’s important to keep an eye out for them in your pup.
Some side effects to look out for include:
Loss of appetite
Swelling and pain on the site of injection
Difficulty in breathing
Hives on skin
You should observe your beagle at home after they receive any vaccines. If you observe any severe side effects, have questions about your beagle’s behavior or appearance, or have concerns, contact a veterinarian as soon as possible.
What are the Costs of Vaccinating my Beagle?
Every beagle will require different vaccines, and every veterinarian charges different prices - so the costs of vaccinating your beagle can vary a lot depending on those factors. To get a rough idea of how much it will cost to vaccinate your beagle, we can take a look at the average cost of shots.
Most pet owners spend $75-100 on puppy vaccinations, which include core vaccines. For an adult dog, you’ll likely only need to get booster shots for your pup as well as rabies vaccination, which usually only costs about $15-20.
If you’re looking to vaccinate your pup for a more affordable price, try heading to the local animal shelter or a pop-up clinic. Most shelters will vaccinate dogs for a cheaper price than veterinarians - sometimes as low as $20 - while others will do so for free.
Keep Your Beagle Healthy
There’s a lot to learn about beagle vaccinations, but it’s important to be informed so you can do what’s best for your pet. Making sure that your dog gets all of their vaccinations in a timely manner is the best thing you can do to be proactive about your dog’s health. While some pet owners are nervous about the potential side effects of shots, it’s important to know that vaccines are not only safe but affordable, and can keep both you and your pet safe.
If you’re looking for a healthy and happy beagle pup to call your own, don’t hesitate to check out KanD Beagle. We’re proud to call ourselves members of the National Beagle Club, which sets the health standards for Beagles in the US. All of our dogs are tested for genetic issues and health conditions according to AKC’s “Bred with H.E.A.R.T” program. If you purchase your beagle from us, you can rest assured that your dog will be happy and healthy for years to come.
Adopt your own Beagle from KanD Beagles
Are you looking to adopt a healthy, outstandingly pedigreed, and better mannered beagle? Check out the KanD Beagles website.
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