Vaccines keep your pup healthy, but post-vaccine care is often unclear. A common question is: Can a puppy take a bath after vaccination? Let’s find out.
Vaccinating your puppy protects them from various diseases. The main purpose of the vaccine is to stimulate the immune system in puppies so that when they are exposed to a milder version of the disease. This prepares their weak immune system to fight the disease or at least lessen its effect if they get it later on.
Most states in the United States have made it compulsory to vaccinate dogs for rabies. Other vaccinations protect them from serious diseases that can be easily prevented. A puppy should receive the rabies vaccine three times, i.e., first at fourteen weeks, then at one year, and then at the age of four.
While most puppy owners are sensitive to the need for vaccination, there are many misconceptions and much haziness around post-vaccination care. One common question that pup owners ask us is: “Can a puppy take a bath after vaccination?”
Veterinary doctors generally advise not to bathe puppies immediately after taking the vaccination. However, there are many misconceptions about why this is so.
The reason is actually quite simple: their immune system is in the development stage. Some Puppies may be lethargic or a bit off-color on the day they have taken the vaccine. So, If you bathe them, then they will catch a cold or may get irritated. So allow them to take rest as much as possible.
In this article, I will discuss what happens to the puppy after taking the vaccine and when you should start bathing them again.
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Does A Puppy Get Sick After Taking a Vaccine?
A vet usually gives two types of vaccine to the dog:
Attenuated vaccines contain viruses that have been weakened to create a protective response in dogs. Their effects are long-lasting and give better protection to the dog in comparison to inactive vaccines.
An attenuated vaccine will prevent the disease entirely instead of just reducing the symptoms so that your dog will remain healthy.
Inactive vaccines are weak in comparison to attenuated vaccines because the pathogens being given are “dead” or inactive ones.
The American Animal Association canine Task Force considers some dog vaccines core vaccines like canine parvovirus, canine distemper, hepatitis, and rabies.
There are also some non-core vaccines like Bordetella, canine influenza, Lyme virus, and leptospirosis. You need to remember that every puppy does not need vaccination against each disease. It depends on the medical history, lifestyle, and environment.
The vet usually gives four vaccines for four different diseases in one single dose to adult dogs. But the case of puppies is a bit different. This is because their body is in the developing stage, so they need some time to recover in between doses.
When the puppies take attenuated vaccines (the vaccine containing live culture), it may make them sick. On the day of the vaccine, the puppy may show some signs of discomfort like fever, sluggishness, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, pain in the injection spot, swelling of paws, or difficulty in breathing. But these reactions are mild and will occur only for a short period. If you find a severe side reaction by taking a vaccine in your puppies, try to contact your veterinary doctor immediately.
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What Happens If Your Puppy Is Sick After Vaccination?
The extent to which a vaccine affects a particular puppy depends on the health condition on that specific day. Every animal also has sensitive days like human beings because of the physical or mental phases that they are going through.
When puppies are healthy, they always like to move and play happily. But when they are sick, they behave slightly differently than usual. There might be many reasons for your baby to act abnormally after taking a vaccine:
- They might get genuinely sick after a vaccination, which is completely natural and to be expected. This phase will usually last for 24-48 hours.
- Taking your pup to a vet and giving them injections that cause a bit of pain are abnormal activities for them. Sometimes, the puppy may get irritated and behave abnormally simply because of the change in routine.
- Your puppy may have a fever or an allergic reaction after taking the vaccination.
So it’s best to talk to a veterinary doctor about it.
Bathing After Vaccination
Bathing is not advisable immediately after taking the vaccination. Some puppies will behave well in water, whereas others may get irritated after bathing. It will add more stress to an already irritated pup.
The body of the pup will be working hard to ward off the effects of the vaccine. At that young age, their immune system is very weak and still developing, so they might already be feeling uneasiness. So if you bathe them, they might get even more irritated.
How should you dry a puppy after vaccination?
If you wash the puppies or shower them but don’t dry them thoroughly, they are likely to catch a cold and fever because their weak immune system is already on overdrive, working against the vaccine.
On the other hand, if you try to dry a puppy with your hairdryer, this may put them in more anxiety conditions. That can make your puppy aggressive.
What can you do to avoid stress after a vaccination?
I suggest that you allow your puppies to relax as much as possible on the day of vaccination. You can take your puppies for a brisk walk or do some exercise at home on the day of vaccination. But don’t overexert or overstrain your puppy so that they may take much time to recover after vaccination.
When can you start bathing your puppy after vaccination?
Another thing you need to remember is never to allow your puppy to get dirty. Otherwise, you will be bound to bathe your puppy. It’s best to wait for two to three days after vaccination so that your puppy will recover entirely and you can happily bath them.
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When Is Bathing After Vaccination Essential For Puppies?
You may face an extraordinary situation on the day of vaccination that forces you to bathe your puppy. They may get into a mess while returning from the veterinary doctor to your home, which may make your puppy dirty.
Now, if the dirt is visible, then it’s best to clean the dirt immediately of your puppy after returning home. You need to wash those areas with the help of a damp cloth or wipes so that your puppy will not catch a cold.
It’s best to bathe your puppy before vaccination. In this way, your puppies will be clean and ready to go to the veterinary doctor. You don’t have to worry about the smell of dirt after the vaccination of your puppy.
You should avoid as much as possible not wet your puppy after a vaccination. Try to treat your puppy with love and allow your puppy to take a rest as much as possible. In this way, they will feel better after 24 hours.
When Can I Bathe My Puppy?
You should vaccinate your puppy as soon as possible. Vaccinations usually start when your puppy is 6 to 8 weeks old. If your puppy is already six weeks and has started getting the first dose of vaccination, it’s advisable to wait for bathing at least two to three days after each shot.
Their immune system is fragile in comparison to adult dogs. So if you bathe them immediately after vaccination, then they may have a fever or cold.
Well, when you plan to bathe your puppy, don’t forget to use the specific shampoo to clean the dust and dirt from their body. Then dry your puppy immediately after bath.
Guidelines For Bathing A Puppy
Try to use warm and clean water during bathing your puppy.
#2. Specialized Products
Try to use bathing products only designed for puppies. The fur and skin of the puppies are very sensitive. If you use other products, then it may cause an allergy.
#3. Bath Size
The bath size should be perfect for your puppy. Try to use a sink or a bowl.
#4. Ear And Eye Care
You need to properly care for the ears and eyes of your puppies while bathing. The shampoo may get into their vision. Similarly, water may enter the ears of puppies. So, you should carefully bathe them.
You need to dry your puppy thoroughly after bathing so that they will not catch a cold.
If your puppy has long hair, then try to brush that hair gently.
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Answers To Other Important Questions
#1. When can puppies take their first bath?
You should bathe your puppies when they are at least more than four weeks old. But it’s best to delay bathing, i.e., after six weeks old. The puppies find it difficult to regulate their body temperature. So if you bathe them early, it can make them chilled.
#2. How long should I wait to take my puppy out after vaccination?
Veterinary doctors usually recommend not to take your puppy outside for at least one week after their second round of vaccination. Their immune system is low at that time. So, your puppy can easily catch a virus-like parvovirus which can cause serious illness.
#3. Should puppies rest after vaccination?
Your puppy feels tired after taking vaccination, and this may last for 48 hours. You may notice swelling on the site of the injection. They may not eat much, or you may hear coughing from them. These are normal. That way, they should take as much rest as possible after taking the vaccination.
You Should Not Bathe A Puppy Immediately After Vaccination
Vaccination is essential for animals like puppies. They protect them from dreadful diseases. So, if you have kept puppies in your house, then vaccinate them at the correct time.
It’s usual to feel weak after vaccination, but that does not last for long. Again don’t bathe your puppy right after vaccination because the puppies are in the developing stage. If they get drench soon after taking an injection, it may make them ill.
I hope this article has helped you know about the vaccination of puppies and about bathing after vaccination. Please do share your suggestions for this article in the comment section. I would love to read it.