What Vaccines Does My Dog Need?

Albuquerque Dog Vaccine Schedule
Albuquerque Dog Vaccine Schedule

We all know that we need to get our annual vaccinations for our dogs, but it is easy to forget which ones to get. Here is a great rundown so you know what you need, why you need it, and when you need it.

Canine Combo

The canine combo is Canine Distemper, Adenovirus 1&2, Parainfluenza, and Parvovirus.

  • Canine Distemper is a highly contagious disease that is spread via direct contact with an infected dog or airborne exposure. Distemper is often fatal and for the dogs that manage to survive, they will typically have lifelong damage to their nervous system.
  • Adenovirus 1&2 is highly contagious and is fatal in 30% of the dogs that get it. It causes sever respiratory problems. and your dog can spread the disease for six to nine months after infection.
  • Parainfluenza this is one of the viruses that causes kennel cough and is highly contagious though not life threatening, It is required to bring your dog pretty much anywhere.
  • Parvovirus is a highly contagious gastrointestinal virus. It is also deadly. It spreads through direct contact with other dogs

The canine combo only needs to be given once every three years.


Rabies is a famously scary virus. It is transmittable from a dog to a human. If a dog is thought to have Rabies, they have to be euthanized as there is no treatment. This is must get vaccine. You can get an annual vaccination or a 3 year vaccination.


This is the most common virus associated with kennel cough. If your dog is socialized at all, including boarding, they will need to have this vaccine. This is an annual vaccine.


Since New Mexico has a large Rattlesnake population, we recommend getting the Rattlesnake vaccine. The vaccine greatly reduces the effects of a snake bite on your dog and could very well save their life and at the very least will make the effects of the venom much less severe. This is an annual vaccine. It is strong and more effective the closer to when it is administered. We recommend getting it in the spring or early summer, right before hiking season starts.


This is not the same thing as the Covid-19 coronavirus. Canine Coronavirus is only in dogs and is not transmittable to humans. However, it is highly contagious and very unpleasant for your dog. There is no treatment for it. The shot is every the first year after puppy shots, then every 3 years after that.

A Spring Dog Check List

Spring Dog checklist
Spring Dog checklist

Spring is arriving in New Mexico. You may be planning your garden, raking up the last of the fall leaves, or doing your annual spring cleaning. Whatever you are doing, now is the time for getting ready for Spring and that includes getting your dog ready too. Here is a great checklist of all the things you should do to get your dogs ready for Spring in New Mexico.

Flea and Tick Medication

Fleas never really go away in New Mexico because we are a warmer climate, so they never really go into full hibernation. But they do become a lot less active in the Winter. As all the plants start waking up with the coming of Spring, so do the fleas. If you are not already giving your dog their monthly Frontline Flea & Tick treatment then it is a good time to start. Frontline will get rid of an infestation but prevention is way better than treating a problem.

Annual Vaccines

This is the perfect time to make sure your dog has all of their annual vaccines at our Albuquerque Shot Clinic. Some vaccines are not annual, so make sure to check with your Albuquerque veterinarian about which vaccines your dog needs this year. A good vaccination to consider throwing into the mix is the Rattlesnake vaccine, especially if you like hiking or live near the mesa. New Mexico has a lot of Rattlesnakes and getting the vaccine can save your dogs life.

Microchip and Tags

If your dog has not already had a microchip then this is a great time to get it done. It is a simple in office procedure that you can do during our walk-in shot clinics. The chip is implanted beneath the skin and it has your dogs record number. This number stores your contact information so if your dog ever gets separated from you they can be easily returned home with a simple scan with a microchip reader. While you are at it, take a quick look at their tags and make sure the information stamped on there is accurate.

New Leash and Collar

As they say, prevention is the best medicine. A part of prevention is proper preventative care of your dog and her equipment. Collars and leashes wear out. If you have an worn our collar or leash it makes it easier for your equipment to fail and for your dog to accidentally break away from you. Prevent any unintentional escapes and get a new collar and leash.

Obedience Classes

Nobody likes to take their dog out to a dog park or on a hike if their dog is always pulling on the leash, trying to run after other dogs or animals, being aggressive with other animals or people, barking, or generally misbehaving. If you have never put your dog into an obedience class, now is a great time to enroll. It will make both you and your dog happy, as dogs feel more secure when they know who is their alpha and in charge, and it will make you happy to have your dog listen to you. This is a great time to start preparing for that play time in the park with a brush up on some dog training.

Check Your Fences

A lot of dogs have mostly stayed inside over the winter. Now that the weather is nice they want to be outside in the sun. As you are preparing your gardens, take some time to walk your property and make sure all the fences are in tact and free from holes or lose boards. You want to make sure your boards aren’t splintering, or have nails sticking out of them, make sure they are firmly attached to the fence, and make sure there aren’t any escape holes that could let your dog into your neighbors yard.

Check Your Fertilizer

As we prepare our gardens and yards we are often using fertilizer and other chemical additives. These may be good for your greenery but can be highly toxic to your dog. They can cause respiratory and digestive problems and some of them even cause cancer. Take some time to research what you are putting in your yard to ensure that it is safe for your pet.

What Are You Planting?

Did you know that some garden plants are toxic to dogs? Even common flowers such as daisies are toxic. Take a look at your garden and your new plants to make sure you know if they are pet safe. If you want to plant something like onions, that are not pet safe, make sure you build your garden bed in a way that will keep your pooch out of it and away from the vet!

Throw Some Shade

The weather isn’t hot yet but you know it is coming. A lot of backyards in Albuquerque do not provide good shade for our dogs. But if your dog is outside a lot, it can be pretty easy for him to get sun stroke. Be nice to your pooch and provide him with a bit of share, like an umbrella or a canopy. A dog house is not great for shade because the interior can sometimes be hotter than the exterior, so give them a place to go that is open to the air but safe from the sun.

Replace Your Toys

Dogs will chew their toys into oblivion. Sometimes it only takes days or a few months, while some toys will last a full season or a year. I know you might think your dog has a favorite toy and would be devastated if you replaced it, but he will get over it. If your toys are all chewed up, fraying, falling apart, all those bits and pieces can be dangerous to them if they swallow them. Treat your pup to some new play toys. We promise he will thank you for it.

Keeping Outdoor Pets Warm in Winter

snow dog albuquerque
Image by Manfred Richter from Pixabay

Can you believe the snow? Can you believe all the rain we have been getting? The Farmers Almanac is predicting it will be a we, and cold, winter this year. This means you may want to take some extra steps to ensure that your pets stay warm.

Keeping Outdoor Pets Warm

  • Bring them Inside: On really cold days, it is a good idea to bring them inside. Brining them inside is the best way to ensure that they stay warm. If you cannot bring them into your main house, think about bringing them into your laundry room, a bathroom, or even a garage. The main thing is to bring them in out of the elements.
  • Insulate the Doghouse: First, make sure you have a shelter for them, like a dog house. Then make sure that your shelter is insulated. You may want to add a layer of caulk along the seams to help prevent water from getting in, it will also keep cold air from blowing in. Another way to insulate your pet shelter is to add some extra blankets or even hay into the enclosure. That will give them some insulation while they sleep.
  • Keep their bedding fresh and clean: This is a big one, keeping your pets blankets or hay clean will help ensure they stay warm. If their blankets or hay get soiled, it will hold in the cold or could even freeze.. Launder or change their blankets and hay regularly.
  • If it is really cold, consider putting a heating pad underneath their blankets. You do not want to let your pet sleep directly on the heating pad as it can cause burns, but you can put it underneath their bed and it will help keep them toasty warm.
  • Exercise! This is a great way to warm up. When they get to running around and get that blood pumping it will warm up their whole body. Instead of saying, “its too cold to play outside”, if you have an outdoor pet, say to yourself, “Its cold outside, let’s go play.”
  • Keep their water from freezing. Access to water is a big issue for the winter. It is common for water bowls to freeze solid. Make sure to check it regularly and remove the ice when you see it. We suggest buying an insulated water bowl to help keep the water from freezing.

If you are concerned about your pet getting too cold, bring them inside. If you are concerned that they are having health issues because of the cold, please call your Albuquerque veterinarian and have your pet checked out. Things to watch for are:

  • Not drinking water
  • Not eating
  • Lethargy or not wanting to move around
  • Labored or difficult breathing
  • Shivering that won’t stop

Take care of .yourself and your pets this winter and stay warm.