Common Vaccination Schedules for Dogs

One of the most important steps you can take as a dog owner to care for your pet’s health, and to protect the health of others, is to get your four-legged friend vaccinated. Vaccinations introduce agents into their body to stimulate their immune system to ensure they can produce the right antibodies. Multiple vaccinations are administered over time in the first stages of their life. To ensure you promote proper health and well-being, it’s important to follow the most common vaccination schedules for your dog to ensure they can live a happy life and continue to thrive.

Puppy Vaccinations

Puppies have a course of three different vaccinations that are given every four weeks while the vet performs an exam. All shots are administered with a sterile needle. They receive their first vaccination at six weeks old and their first booster vaccination at 10 weeks. At six to eight weeks, they typically get DHPP-Shot 1, Bordatella, Leptospira, Lyme, Influenza Virus-H3N8, and Influenza Virus-H3N2. At 10 to 12 weeks, the puppy may get DHPP-Shot 2, Leptospira, Lyme, and rabies. The DHPP-Shot 3 is administered at 14 to 16 weeks of age. At 14 to 16 weeks, the dog gets their final puppy vaccination.

One-Year-Old Vaccinations

At one-year-old, your dog will need its first adult vaccination exactly one year after they received their immunizations at 16 weeks old. They’ll need booster vaccines to protect them against serious diseases that can be fatal. Each year, the dog should get annual shots that include rabies, Bordatella, Leptospira, Lyme, Virus-H3N8, and Influenza Virus-H3N2. Every three years, the vet will recommend a DHPP booster and a rabies shot.

Core and Non-Core Vaccinations

Core vaccinations are useful in protecting dogs from extreme illness or disease and are often a requirement in most geographic locations. These vaccines include CAV-2 (canine hepatitis virus or adenovirus-2), the rabies vaccination, CDV (canine distemper), and CPV-2 (canine parvovirus).

Non-core vaccinations are not mandatory in most areas except if a specific illness or disease is rampant and widespread. The canine parainfluenza vaccination is one of the most common non-core vaccinations that many vets and pet owners decide to administer to the right candidates. Lyme disease vaccinations are not required but are recommended in some areas where ticks carrying the disease may be present. The non-core vaccinations are especially useful for dogs that may have poor health and are at a higher risk of becoming ill due to a weak immune system.

Although your dog may not come in contact with other animals, some diseases can still spread through spores, which makes it necessary to discuss which non-core vaccinations are right for your pet.

Checking with your vet about the series of vaccinations that are needed is suggested to ensure you can stay on a regular schedule with your dog. Not only will you be caring for your pet, but you’ll also be following local and countrywide laws with core vaccinations that are required.

A Few Considerations

When it comes to vaccinating man’s best friend, it’s important to avoid giving vaccines to a dog that is elderly or has a weak immune system. Some vets may recommend having a longer period between each vaccine to protect the dog’s health and reduce the risk of complications or side effects. The breed of your dog should also be taken into consideration. For example, German Shepherds are known to be sensitive to Ivermectin, which is an ingredient found in many vaccines. Take note of any reactions they may experience before moving forward with the schedule. Recent improvements have been made in vaccines, which has allowed them to be safer and have fewer side effects.


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