Your Important Vaccination Questions For Puppies & Adults Dogs Answered

new mexico pet vaccinations

new mexico pet vaccinationsYour Important Vaccination Questions For Puppies & Adults Dogs Answered

One of the biggest responsibilities of pet ownership is the health and well-being of our four-legged friends. Arguably the biggest part of this task are the annual vaccinations that these animals require for their safety, health and welfare as well as our own.

Often when thinking about getting shots for our dogs, rabies (also known as acute viral encephalomyelitis) is the first one to come to mind. Rabies is a fatal, viral infection of affecting the nervous systems and is most commonly spread through saliva and blood transmitted through bites or open wounds.

The best defense against this deadly disease is through vaccination, which begins at twelve weeks of age and adult dogs are given them once every three years thereafter. Many states, including New Mexico, require that all dogs be vaccinated against rabies under the care of a qualified veterinarian.


Vaccinations for puppies come with a rigorous schedule to protect our young pets from developing unnecessary diseases that can be prevented by receiving their shots in a timely manner. The AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) recommends that you consult with your vet to ensure your puppy is properly vaccinated and a typical schedule looks something like this:

  • 5 Weeks – Parvovirus
  • 6 & 9 Weeks – Combination Virus
  • 12 Weeks – Rabies
  • 12 & 15 Weeks – Lyme


A combination vaccine, often called a 5-way vaccine, usually includes adenovirus cough and hepatitis, distemper, parainfluenza, and parvovirus.  Again, consult with your veterinarian to ensure that your puppy (or even your adult dog) is getting the shots that they require according to their needs for core and non-core vaccinations.


dogsThe AVMA publishes guidelines that differentiate between the need for “core” and “non-core” vaccinations for both puppies and adult dogs. Core vaccinations are considered to be those that are vital for a dog’s health which many of us are familiar with, rabies, distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus and parainfluenza. Non-core shots are those vaccinations that are given to certain dogs according to their breed, lifestyle, travelling habits, proximity to other animals and exposure to the elements. These include vaccines for things like:

  • Parainfluenza: Although considered a part of a puppy’s core vaccination, this shot can help to prevent kennel cough in young animals and is usually only given to dogs that come into close contact with other canines.
  • Bordetella Bronchiseptica: Another vaccination given to dogs at risk of kennel cough and other respiratory conditions that can result from being in tight quarters with other dogs.
  • Lyme Disease: Dogs living in rural environments are often encouraged to be vaccinated against this dangerous and deadly disease transmitted by ticks. Even though you may be already giving your pet flea and tick treatments, they aren’t 100% effective and just one bite can result in contraction and infection.


For the third and final time, it’s recommended that you seek the advice of a veterinarian or other pet medical professional who is licensed and educated on the administration of these important vaccinations. While we want to protect our dogs from unwanted disease, we don’t want to over medicate them either and give them unnecessary vaccines that can come with side effects.

Why Pet Check-Ups Are Worth It

Vet-Co Dr. SimmsWhy Pet Check-Ups Are Worth It

It’s something no one wants to think about – your pet is aging or ill and needs care. Getting regular check-ups for your pet in New Mexico can help alleviate some worry by identifying potential health problems and risks before they become a problem.

All animals have a life cycle, and all animals age. From snakes and birds to cats and dogs, when your pet reaches a certain age, their system is going through specific changes. Young animals face different issues than ageing pets. Taking your pet to a veterinarian and having them examined by professional caregivers is an excellent way to learn about the particularities of your pet’s lifecycle. Regular check-ups are just as important to identify what may be wrong, as well as what’s perfectly normal.

Another issue to consider is pets’ invisible health risks. Even though we love our pets like our own, most of our pets can’t communicate with us as directly as we may like. As such, something may be going on in our pet’s system that they can’t express and we aren’t qualified to identify. A professional caregiver will be able to identify anything that may be bothering our animal friends. Regular check-ups are a good way to prevent health issues in pets and identify developing health issues in pets early.

Finally, there is the issue of preventative health care in pets. As difficult as it may be to consider, many health issues in our pets can be prevented or delayed by proper care. A disastrous snakebite in New Mexico may be less traumatic with a proper vaccine administered well in advance. Joint problems may be avoided by maintaining proper weight and exercise levels. Awareness of these sorts of preventable illnesses and issues are just another way in which check-ups with your local New Mexico veterinarian are worth it.

A pet health care professional from Vetco understands the every day experiences of you and your pet here in New Mexico. We can help you be the best possible friend to your best friend by making sure their health is always at its most optimal level.

Ideas For Natural Pet Treats

Ingredients for dog treats

Ingredients for dog treatsIdeas For Natural Pet Treats

We’ve all been there – standing in the pet food aisle at your local grocery store or specialty pet food store in New Mexico. And we’ve all been faced with the treat section.

Giving your pet a special treat of food, chew toy, or a puzzle that involves a food item is a great thing. Everyone loves the joy such a simple action brings. But sometimes treats can be overwhelming. There are so many options for pet treats, and it’s easy to wonder about the differences in flavors, ingredients, and formulation. Will your pet like their treat and most importantly is it good for them?

One simple way to get great healthy treats for dogs is to simply go natural. Here are some simple ideas to skip the prepackaged treats (and even save a bit of money on pricey pet treats).

1. Raw Sweet Potato

Depending on the time of year, sweet potatoes generally go from affordable to even more affordable. A raw sweet potato chopped up into bite-sized pieces appropriate for your dog’s size is a great, natural way to give Fido a sweet and healthy treat.

2. Brussels Sprouts

 Brussels sprouts are a healthy treat and a fun toy rolled into one! When you are looking for healthy pet treats, a raw sprout mimics a ball and gives your dog their greens. Pick fresh raw sprouts directly from the stalk or get one of those convenient pre-washed bags of Brussels from your local New Mexico grocery store. Your best friend will love playing with the ball-like shape before eating their tasty healthy dog treat.

3. Blueberries

Blueberries are an excellent bite-sized natural treat for pets, especially for smaller dogs. Blueberries are filled with vitamins beneficial to all dogs, are a fun shape, and occasionally will enhance your dog’s smile with a little bit of blueberry color.

Each of these ideas is a healthy way for you to give your dog a special food treat, while also feeling secure in the ingredients – 100% fruits and vegetables – and perhaps saving a little money on the side. Note: Never feed your pet fruits and veggies that may be toxic, things like tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, garlic, avocados, grapes, raisins, or corn, which is a common pet allergen. 

To get the green light on the best options for your specific species and breed, be sure to call or visit the Vetco New Mexico office today.