What You Need to Know About Protecting Your Pup from Parvo

Posted on: 25 March 2020

If you recently acquired a puppy, you undoubtedly want your new pet to live a long, healthy, and happy life. Unfortunately, puppies sometimes lose their lives to diseases such as Parvo before their first birthday. Although you should get your puppy vaccinated as soon as possible, it's important to realize that you should nonetheless take certain additional precautions.

Vaccines do not provider immediate immunity — full protection may take as long as two weeks from the time of the vaccine, and your dog will have to one booster four weeks after the initial vaccine and an annual booster shot after that. Parvo is a serious disease that mostly impacts puppies, but adult dogs can get it as well. Here's what you need to know about protecting your precious pup from Parvo. 

1. Know the Symptoms

Even though there's no cure for Parvo, your local animal hospital may be able to provide supportive care that can help an otherwise healthy puppy power through the disease, but it needs to be caught as early as possible for your pet to have a chance. Early symptoms include lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, and lack of appetite. If you suspect your pup has Parvo, contact your local animal hospital immediately.   

2. Know How to Avoid Parvovirus

Dog parks should be avoided until your furry friend is fully vaccinated. The Parvovirus can live outside of its host for an incredibly long time (over a year in some areas) and there is no cure for it, which means that it's essential to take a preventive approach. One of the most common ways for puppies and dogs to contract Parvo is through contact with the feces of infected dogs — transmission can happen during the course of a brief sniff. Parvo can also live in the ground itself, which puts your pup at risk if it walks on an infected area and then licks its paw. You should also avoid other areas where people routinely take their dogs, such as the beach and other popular recreation areas.

When you take your puppy to the vet, keep it in its carry until you get into the examination room — the parking lot and the waiting room floors at vet's offices and animal hospitals get a lot of traffic, and you can minimize your puppy's chances of getting Parvo if you keep it off of these surfaces.

Learn more about how to protect your new puppy by visiting animal hospitals like Apple Valley Animal Hospital.