Health Issues

Preventing is preferable to curing! Various vaccinations provide good health protection for dogs. Dogs should be vaccinated against parvovirosis, distemper, hepatitis (contagious liver disease), leptospirosis and kennel cough (canines parainfluenza virus and bordetella bronchiseptica). In addition to this, preventing tick bites is also important, because ticks transmit diseases.


When to vaccinate?

Dog vaccinations are a very complex topic. Depending on a dog’s state of health, a veterinary will adapt corresponding vaccination plans.


Parvovirosis, distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis and kennel cough: Today, well-tolerated combination vaccinations are available to treat these five diseases, so that only one sole injection is necessary. Classically, you vaccinate puppies when they are 8 weeks old. When they are 12 weeks old, the vaccination needs to be repeated in order to ensure good basic immunization. Because protection against parvovirosis and distemper does not always prove to be sufficient with these vaccinations and protection provided by breast milk (antibodies) is of varying duration, it is recommended that parvovirosis and distemper vaccinations be repeated when animals at risk reach 16 weeks of age. All these vaccinations should be repeated at regular intervals, i.e. leptospirosis and kennel cough vaccinations annually; parvovirosis, distemper, and hepatitis vaccinations every 2 to 3 years.


Rabies: If you travel abroad with a dog, you must have it vaccinated against rabies. If a dog is vaccinated after its 16th week of life, then a one-time vaccination is sufficient. Otherwise, the dog will have to be vaccinated twice. Depending on the country you travel to, different entry conditions will apply with regard to rabies vaccinations. Please ask the veterinary which concrete conditions apply. Generally, for neighboring EU countries, the vaccination must have been carried out at least 30 days ago and no longer than more than 3 years ago.


Borreliosis, Babesiosis, Piroplasmosis: Vaccinations against these diseases are also available. Because ticks transmit these three diseases, primarily, it is important to protect dogs against them with collars or spot-on solutions. Your dog’s veterinary can inform you about local threats and whether a vaccination is necessary or not.


What can I check and treat myself?

With some practice, the owner can carry out certain care measures him- or herself:

  • Checking the dog’s weight on a regular basis will help to prevent overweight in due time.
  • It is often necessary to clean the dog’s ears regularly (do not use cotton bud sticks!).
  • It is a must to worm your pet with tablets on a regular basis. Just like a prophylactic treatment against fleas and ticks (collars and spot-on), worming can easily be carried out at home.
  • Smaller wounds can be treated with antiseptic solution (e.g. Betadine).
  • Pet owners can also apply and remove bandages themselves (possibly, in agreement with the veterinary).
  • A dog’s temperature can be measured rectally (please apply Vaseline prior to measuring the animal’s temperature). Normal temperature range: 37,5 to 39,0°C.

When to go to the veterinary?

Primarily, to have vaccinations carried out on a regular basis (re. information provided above).


You should take your dog to the veterinary immediately, if it suffers a car or another accident, breaks bones or was bitten by another animal.

You should also take your dog to the veterinary as quickly as possible, if it is apathetic, refuses food or demonstrates symptoms of an organic disease. The quicker a diagnosis can be made and treatment initiated, the faster your pet will be able to recover.


A healthy dog?

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Further information