Updated: Nov 29
Does the above shock you?! I'm not surprised, if your daily life doesn't revolve around puppies I doubt you've spent a lot of time thinking about puppy viruses or how pups catch them! I'm sure that when you picked out the new harness or collar you had visions of walking your perfect puppy with their adorable harness and matching leash and drawing lots of attention at the rest stop on your way home from getting your new puppy! But please don't put your puppy on the ground!
Why? Well, in one word - Parvo. What even is Parvo? Parvo is an extremely contagious, and often fatal, virus that puppies are especially susceptible too. You can read the AKC's article on Parvo here: https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/what-every-puppy-owner-needs-to-know-about-parvo-in-puppies/ or keep reading for my synopsis!
Parvo causes diarrhea, vomiting, and lethargy. The virus can be transmitted through direct contact with an infected puppy/dog, or through indirect contact, such as someone who recently touched a sick puppy touching your puppy, or your puppy being on the soil where a sick puppy was. The virus is extremely resilient and there are only a handful of cleaners that can kill it, and lysol does not kill Parvo! . To make things even harder, the Parvo virus can live in the soil for up to a year!
If you're on the verge of a heart attack trying to figure out how to protect your new puppy I totally understand! It's pretty scary!
Here are the things I'd like you to know about protecting your puppy from Parvo!
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! Don't put your puppy down in public places until their vaccination series is complete - which is usually between 12-16 weeks of age. This includes rest stops and gas stations on your way home from getting your puppy! Bring some puppy pads and place them in the kennel with your pup, or set your puppy on the pad and encourage them to go potty on it. But don't set them on the ground to go potty! Not until your back into your own, safe, backyard!
If you have other dogs in the home who regularly frequent a dog park, or doggy day care, you may want to consider not going to doggy day care or the dog park with any of your dogs until your pup has finished their vaccinations. Your adult dogs are (most likely) fully vaccinated, but they could easily bring the virus home from doggy day care on their feet!
Here at Above Standard Poodles we start puppies on an early and vigorous Parvo Prevention vaccination schedule. We will give them three Parvo shots before they come home to you! We give these vaccines when the puppies are around three, five, and seven weeks old! These early vaccines may not do as much as later vaccines because the puppies should have lots of immunities from Mama. But no one knows for sure exactly when Mama stops transmitting her antibodies to the puppies, and it's different for each litter. So we feel it's better to be safe than sorry! We give the vaccines to protect your puppy!
Continue your puppy's vaccinations! We've given your pup the absolute best start we could. But if you don't keep up with their boosters it could very easily all be for naught! So please take your puppy in for their checks and vaccinations!
Because it is so easy for a puppy to catch Parvo, I will not cover any treatment for Parvo Virus. I have done everything I can to keep your puppy healthy. I vaccinate early and often, I take my own blanket to the vet so the puppy never touches the surfaces even at the vet's office, I regularly spray any outdoor area the puppies are in with a special cleaner that kills Parvo, I spray down my shoes after I go to town, and I keep a separate pair of shoes that I only wear into the puppy area. I am serious about protecting your puppy! I won't put your puppy on the ground when I meet you, I'll hold them, or keep them safe in the back of my van, on a puppy pad that I disinfected.
I know this may seem a bit extreme, but some Parvo strains are fatal 90% of the time! This is no joke! And all of this precaution is only until your puppy completes their vaccination series! Let's all work together and be vigilant to protect your puppy from this deadly virus!