Your little Chihuahua needs her vaccinations, just as your human children do. Dogs are vulnerable to some pretty nasty diseases, some of which can kill your Chi if she hasn’t been protected. If she spends time playing with other dogs, she definitely needs immunization protection.
Chihuahua Vaccination Schedule
If your Chihuahua is a puppy, the earliest she can be immunized is at 6 weeks old. Once she has gotten her first shot, she has to go back to the vet every three to four weeks, depending on the schedule your vet follows.
Because of the deadliness of some dog illnesses, it’s a good idea to leave your Chihuahua at home until she has had every puppy shot. If you take her to a dog park and she picks up parvovirus, she will be one very sick pup—it’s just not worth the pain and worry to take her to different places with you.
After examining your Chihuahua, your vet will decide what combination of shots she should get. This will be either the 5-in-1 or 7-in-1 combination of shots.
The 5-in-1 combination vaccine protects your little canine against hepatitis, adenovirus cough, canine distemper, parainfluenza and parvovirus. Just as with your human child, your Chihuahua won’t be feeling her perkiest after she gets her vaccination. She may be droopy, her appetite may be off and she may choose to hide until she feels better.
If your vet decides to administer the 7-in-1 series to your puppy, she’ll receive protection against all illnesses included in the 5-in-1 shot. The 7-in-1 includes protection from some types of leptospirosis as well.
This vaccination is a little more high-powered than the 5-in-1 and it packs more of a punch for your Chi-pup. Don’t be surprised if she droops for several hours afterward. Just keep a close eye on her and allow her to rest.
Puppies vs. Adult Chihuahuas
Yes, there is a difference between puppy vaccinations and adult vaccinations. Your Chihuahua will begin receiving the adult vaccinations one year after her puppy vaccinations have been completed.
If you’ve adopted an adult Chihuahua with an uncertain vaccination history, her schedule will be different. Your vet will give her a series of two shots so she receives full immunity. She will not need the third shot in the vaccine series that would normally be given to a puppy. One year after she receives her second shot, she should be given booster shots.
Don’t forget about rabies. This is a deadly disease and you're probably required by law to vaccinate against it. Your Chihuahua will have to take two rabies shots, with the first being given when she is 3 to 4 months old. One year later she receives a booster shot. Your state laws dictate how often she will have to receive her rabies vaccinations. Your vet can tell you what this schedule is. Your dog should also be vaccinated against bordetella, which causes kennel cough.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.
Genevieve Van Wyden began writing in 2007. She has written for “Tu Revista Latina” and owns three blogs. She has worked as a CPS social worker, gaining experience in the mental-health system. Van Wyden earned her Bachelor of Arts in journalism from New Mexico State University in 2006.