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What You Must Know About Vaccinating Your Puppy

Everything You Must Know About Vaccinating Your Puppy

The first few months in a pup’s life are very important because it is the first time they meet their new family and learn how to interact with the new world. But just a family is not enough to protect your pup because they also have to interact with the environment. In this process, they will come in contact with numerous viruses and bacteria. So, dog vaccination plays a vital role in protecting your pup from dangerous and even fatal diseases.

When to Vaccinate my Pup?

A vaccine helps to build a pup’s immune system to defend itself from any invasion of disease-causing viruses.Six to eight weeks age is the time when puppies receive their first vaccinations. Be sure to get medical records for your newly adopted or purchased dog so that your vet can examine and determine what vaccines have been given and when the next vaccine is due. Your vet will recommend a schedule for a follow-up vaccination depending on your pup’s lifestyle and risk of certain diseases based on where you live or travel. Generally, most dog vaccines are given every 2-4 weeks until actual protection is expected to be achieved. Depending on your dog’s age, 3-4 vaccinations may require for the distemper series till the age of 16-20 weeks. If your puppy is over 16 weeks or you are not aware of the age or are not up-to-date on shots, your vet may recommend a shorter series.

Core Vaccinations and Non-Core Vaccinations:

Core vaccinations are given to all puppies and dogs, but non-core vaccinations are given based on your pup’s lifestyle and where you live or travel.

Core vaccination includes –
  • DHP – It stands for Distemper, Hepatitis, and Parvo and is usually combined. It is also known as DAP.
  • Rabies – Required by state or local law that dictates the age and intervals for your puppy.

Non-core vaccinations include –
  • Parainfluenza – It often combines with the DHP
  • Leptospirosis – It can be given combined or separately with DHP or DHPP. Two vaccine series is needed, followed by an annual booster dose.
  • Bordetella – It can be given by different routes such as intranasally, orally or injectable. Your vet will determine the route and interval.
  • Canine influenza – Two strains (H3N2 and H3N8), two vaccinations are required initially, followed by a yearly booster dose.
  • Lyme – Initially two vaccine series are needed, followed by a yearly booster.

Typical Vaccination Schedule for Puppies:
  1. First vaccination: 6-8 weeks – DHP
  2. Second vaccination: 9-11 weeks – DHP
  3. Third vaccination: 12-15 weeks – DHP
  4. Fourth vaccination: 16-20 weeks – DHP
  5. Booster DHP: At one year age, after the last vaccine, then as recommended (usually every 1 to 3 years)
  6. Rabies vaccination: Required by law at 3 to 6 months of age, followed by a booster dose 12 months later, then a booster after every 1 to 3 years
  7. Bordetella, Canine Influenza, and Parainfluenza are recommended for special dogs.
  8. Lyme/Leptospirosis: Recommended by your vet if you live in or travel with your pup to a place where these are the deadly disease.

Can I Skip Any Vaccination for My Dog?

Dog vaccinations should be taken on a vet-recommended schedule and none of the core vaccinations should be skipped. The doses are a part of a series given to prevent deadly diseases; that’s why it is essential to follow the vet’s recommended vaccination schedule to avoid any significant illness.

If your puppy has an allergic reaction to a vaccine or if you have any concerns regarding the safety of any particular vaccine, you should talk to your vet about the risks or benefits associated with the particular dose or series.


A puppy vaccination schedule must be adhered to according to the vet’s recommended schedule because it will help your pup stay fit and healthy. So, consult an experienced vet if you are a new pup owner and arrange your appointment to get your puppy’s proper vaccination schedule.

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