If a puppy receives his first vaccinations less than about a week after he has stopped nursing off his mother you can have interference from maternal antibodies which can cause the vaccine to be ineffective. When puppies nurse, they receive antibodies through their mother's milk. When they stop nursing and are weaned, those antibodies protect them for about 7-10 days, and obviously the protection at day 1 or 2 after weaning would be greater than the remaining protection at day 7 or 8. The idea is to give them their first puppy shot so that it picks up where the mother's milk antibodies left off. Six weeks is about the ideal time to give the first shot. Any earlier and there will be interference from the maternal antibodies because the puppies are still nursing enough to make a difference.
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