Where you get your pets’ vaccinations… It DOES matter!
You have just purchased (or adopted) a new puppy. Congratulations! This is such an exciting time for your family and your new dog. As your new friend settles in, it’s normal to start considering all of the care your new dog is going to need, particularly in his/her first year of life. Let’s consider everything (give or take) a new dog will need in his first year.
Vaccinations: Puppies need several sets of vaccines to ensure proper immunity against contagious diseases such as parvo. These vaccines should be accompanied by veterinary examinations. Things can change quickly as a puppy grows, and early detection and risk evaluation based on breed is critical for long term health of your dog.
Intestinal parasite control: Multiple fecal examinations and subsequent dewormings are necessary to ensure your puppy is clear of parasites. This is critical for both his health and yours- he can carry parasites that you and your family can get (yuck!).
Heartworm and flea/tick prevention year round
Spay/Neuter depending on preferred timing for this procedure. Some pets are neutered/spayed at a later age for multiple reasons.
All of this adds up for sure. Owning a puppy is a big investment, particularly when they are young. We find that many owners try to cut costs by buying their own vaccines, most of the time from a feed store like Tractor Supply. Here are several reasons why we ask you to reconsider this decision.
Safety: We have selected our vaccines at Dogwood because they are the safest for your dog. They have some of the lowest reaction rates available in the current vaccine market. A feed store vaccine may save you a few dollars, but a subsequent vaccine reaction can cost you hundreds at an emergency clinic and in the worst case, your pet’s life.
Efficacy: Again, our vaccines are selected not only for safety, but are documented and proven effective against the most common puppy diseases. I cannot tell you how many parvo puppies I have treated that were vaccinated with feed store vaccines. Dozens at least. At the same time, I have never seen a parvo case in a puppy that received veterinary vaccines on an appropriate schedule. However, if your veterinary vaccinated puppy does contract parvo or another of the covered disease, you have a guarantee and your puppy’s treatment will be covered. Will Tractor Supply pay for your dog’s parvo treatment? Haven’t seen it happen yet. Again, saving a few dollars now, may cost hundreds to thousands to treat a sick parvo dog, providing he/she survives.
Who is handling your dog’s vaccine? Vaccines are delicate, biological substances. Any temperature variation can damage them and render them inactive. Do you trust the high school student working at the feed store to unpack and store your dog’s vaccines in a timely manner? How do you know they weren’t left out overnight when the UPS man arrived later than usual? There is something to be said for peace of mind.
This post isn’t meant
to sound preachy. However, it is a shame
to see well-meaning owners forced to decide the fate of their very sick puppy
when it can be so easily prevented.
Owning a puppy IS expensive.
Please prepare in advance for your new arrival so that you don’t have to
cut corners in his care during this critical time.