Dog Vaccinations: What do they protect against and when should you do it?

lunaandcynderAt the moment in my house we have 3 fully vaccinated dogs, and 6 unvaccinated puppies (they are just shy of two weeks old as of writing this). I work at an animal shelter and understand the need for vaccinations, particularly when we see outbreaks of preventable diseases such as Parvovirus. You may know that your dog needs its shots, but you may not know what those vaccinations are protecting against and when they should be done. The main vaccine we use in Australia is a C5 vaccine (or C3 with a Bronchishield to protect against kennel cough).

A C5 vaccinates our dogs against five main diseases: 

Canine Parvovirus – Otherwise known as Parvo this viral disease can be deadly in young puppies and is expensive to treat. Symptoms include depression, loss of appetite, vomiting and severe bloody diarrhoea. Parvo is highly contagious and outbreaks can claim the lives of many dogs.

Canine Hepatitis – Another highly contagious disease, canine hepatitis attacks the liver and can cause high fever, depression, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhoea and acute abdominal pain. Dogs that have recovered from canine hepatitis may continue to carry the disease which increases it’s spread.

Canine Distemper – Canine distemper is a viral disease that can affect any dog, especially puppies. Symptoms may include a high temperature, lethargy and inappetence. In conjunction with fever there may be discharge from the nose and eyes, vomiting, diarrhoea and coughing. Pneumonia may also develop in time. Distemper can also cause muscle spasms, convulsions and progressive paralysis. Permanent brain damage and death may result.

Canine Parainfluenza and Bordetella bronchiseptica – These are the viral and bacterial forms of the disease commonly referred to as “Kennel Cough”. This is a highly contagious respiratory disease  which affects a large percentage of dogs at least once in their lifetime. Symptoms of kennel cough include a dry, persistent cough and watery discharge from the eyes or nose.

Cynder and friend at parkInstances of many of these potential deadly diseases are quite low thanks to routine vaccination schedules for our pet dogs. Your veterinarian will set out a vaccination course for your pet but generally speaking most dogs will be vaccinated at 6-8 weeks for Distemper, Hepatitis & Parvovirus, 12-14 weeks for Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus, Parainfluenza and Bordetella and a third vaccination at 16-18 weeks for Coronavirus and Leptospirosis (another set of infectious diseases which are particularly harmful to young puppies). Your vet will then recommend an annual booster every year to maintain immunity.

Visit the Frontline Plus website for more information on Dog Vaccinations.

Disclaimer: This post was written by That Dog Dancing Guy and sponsored by Frontline Plus. This has in no way impacted the content of the article.

Dog Dancing Basics 101: Teach your dog to Roll Over (video)

Welcome to Dog Dancing Basics 101, where Cynder and I demonstrate, and teach some of the basic moves of Dog Dancing.

Think you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Let’s try teaching them to stop, drop and roll!

Join Cynder and Sprocket as we take you through the process of teaching your dog to Roll Over!

Any questions? Leave a comment below or find us on Facebook! Happy training!

Video: Dog Tricks with Cynder

Here’s a short video of Cynder practicing some of her fun tricks! She’s working hard for her new favourite ball that we got as a present from VCA World! It’s the Starmark DuraFoam ball and she absolutely loves it!

What’s your pets favourite toy?

Three Ways to Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy This Winter

Pawl B More 3_Three Ways to Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy This Winter
By Veterinarian, Charmaine Tham

Protect your pooch from Winter’s harsh chills with a boost of health and loads of tender loving care. Here are some of my top tips for how to improve your dog’s health during the cooler months.

1. Vitamin Boost & Joint Support

For most pets a balanced commercial diet rich in essential fatty acids, minerals and vitamins as well as exercise is all they need to keep them healthy. However, the optimal balance can be hard to maintain especially if lots of treats, alternative diets (such as raw diets) or home-prepared meals are given. Through supplementing them with key vitamins, trace minerals, antioxidants and amino acids, you can help make sure that they not only receive all the vitamins they need to prevent a problem, but benefit from having optimal levels in their bodies. A multi-vitamin can be given year round to help support their general health and well being.

During winter, being cold can put extra stress on their bodies and the same goes for our pets. This is especially so for joints and many dogs experience more pain and soreness from arthritis from the cold weather. Supplementing them with glucosamine, chondroitin and New Zealand green-lipped mussel can help reduce the inflammation and help them feel better.

2. Healthy Tummies

We eat soups and hearty foods in winter, so it makes sense to boost your dog’s nutrition in the colder months too.

Avoid getting sucked into buying dog foods that just have ‘tasty bits’, and opt for real food, and preferably not ones that have been sitting on the shelf for too long. It’s good to check the use by date to determine how fresh the feed is.

If you want, you could also add some natural superfoods to their everyday diet in small amounts. Try a teaspoon of flaxseed, a squirt of coconut oil or sprinkle of chia seeds to your dog’s meals for a nutrient-dense snack. Small amounts of broccoli, kale, blueberries, goji berries, sweet potato and raw pumpkin seeds are among a few other superfoods that can also be given. They are full of vitamins and antioxidants that can help support your pet’s health. You can also find these ingredients in a convenient chew form as well, which can be offered as a healthy treat instead of ‘junk food’ treats.

For upset stomachs, boosting their good gut bacteria might be helpful, such as a multi-strain probiotic powder containing fermented natural fibres from superfoods.

3. Love Their Fur & EarsPawl at desk

Winter’s chill may leave your dog’s nose, skin and coat going from wet to dry, and cracked. Feed them a multivitamin that contains biotin and silica to help support their skin and coat.

Dry skin and coat can lead to itchy, flaky skin, calluses and cracked paw pads, which aren’t fun for anyone. A hydrating balm rich in Omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids and natural oils will help your pup’s skin deal better with the temperature drop.

Don’t forget their ears, either! Keep cleaning them well to remove excess wax, even if the weather is cold and they don’t seem to have any current problems. Keep their ears clean and dry, and help reduce the chance of infections with a gentle ear wash which contains no alcohol, harsh chemicals or acids which can be found in many other ear cleaners.


For more questions on pet health and wellness Ask Pawl – Australia’s first pet health expert “spokesdog” for PAW by Blackmores.

Dr. Charmaine Tham has been the PAW vet since June 2014. She graduated from Melbourne University Vet School back in 2004, practised as a vet in general and emergency practice for 4 years. She then joined a pharmaceutical company for a further 6 years before joining Blackmores as the technical veterinarian for PAW by Blackmores. She is also Chair of not-for-profit organisation Vets Beyond Borders, and is actively engaged with the veterinary community through volunteering and further studies. She also has postgraduate qualifications in veterinary pharmacology and business administration. She has a 3-year-old rescue dog at home and loves to go diving in her spare time.

About Paw by Blackmores

Pure Animal Wellbeing (PAW), is the natural pet healthcare range from Blackmores Animal Health division. The PAW by Blackmores range includes innovative, vet-recommended supplements and products to benefit pet health, including clinically proven products for joint, digestive, ear, wound and skin care and a grooming range free of nasty sulphates and chemicals. Developed by vets and inspired by nature for products specifically designed to keep your pets healthy and happy so they can enjoy the best of life.