veterinarians with doberman pinscherRequired Dog Vaccinations

What are the required dog vaccinations for your dog? The answer to this question is going to depend on where you live with your dog. Talk to your local veterinarian to find out the required vaccinations in your area.

Vaccines can be core vaccines or non-core vaccines. Core vaccines are the vaccinations that are vital and most veterinarians will recommend them. Non-core vaccinations are those that some dogs may need depending on where you live.

Vaccines can cause mild symptoms as it stimulates your dog’s immune system to create protection for your dog against specific diseases. Schedule your dog’s vaccinations for a time when you can be with your dog following the vaccinations to monitor them.


Core Vaccinations

The core vaccinations are for diseases that could be a threat to your dog’s life or those that are dangerous to humans. Check the local laws in your area. Some areas will require a one year rabies vaccine if rabies cases have appeared in the area. In most areas you will find a three year vaccine.


Rabies

The initial rabies vaccine is for one year, then your puppy or dog will receive a one year or a three year rabies vaccine, depending on where you live. The rabies vaccine is very important for your dog’s health.

The rabies virus attacks the central nervous system and causes headaches, anxiety, excessive drooling, hallucinations, paralysis, excessive drooling and death.

If your dog is bite by a rabid animal, it is essential for your dog to receive treatment as quick as possible. Do NOT hesitate.


Distemper

Your puppy will receive their first vaccination at 6 to 8 weeks of age, and again at 10 to 12 weeks.  A one year vaccine at 16 weeks of age, then every three years.

The distemper virus attacks the central nervous system, respiratory system and the gastrointestinal tract. Symptoms include discharge for the nose and eyes, fever, diarrhea, vomiting, coughing, twitching, seizures, paralysis and death.

There is no specific drug treatment for the virus, but your veterinarian can alleviate the symptoms giving your puppy a chance to fight the virus.


veternarian with dogParvovirus

Puppies will receive their first vaccination at 6 to 8 weeks of age, and again at 10 to 12 weeks.  A one year vaccine at 16 weeks of age, then every three years.

This virus attacks the gastrointestinal system causing a loss of appetite, fever, vomiting and bloody diarrhea. Veterinary care is essential to keep your dog hydrated and to control the symptoms.


Adenovirus (Canine Hepatitis)

Your puppy will receive their first vaccination at 6 to 8 weeks of age, and again at 10 to 12 weeks.  A one year vaccine at 16 weeks of age, then every three years.

Canine hepatitis is a disease of the liver, unrelated to human hepatitis. Symptoms are fever, congestion, vomiting, jaundice, enlarging stomach and pain.

There is no cure but your veterinarian can treat the symptoms. Many dogs can survive a mild case of canine hepatitis, a severe case can cause death.


Canine Influenza

Puppies will receive their first vaccination at 6 to 8 weeks of age, and again at 10 to 12 weeks.  A one year vaccine at 16 weeks of age, then every three years.

Canine influenza (canine parainfluenza) is caused by a specific strain of the influenza virus that is easily spread between dogs but not to humans. It is often in association with kennel cough. Most canine influenza cases are mild and in a couple of weeks the dog can recover from it, although sometimes it can become severe.

Symptoms can include coughing, runny nose, lack of appetite and fever. If you visit dog parks, participate in dog shows, use a doggie daycare or use boarding kennels it would be a good idea to vaccinate for canine influenza because it spreads so easily.


Non-Core Vaccinations

Bordetella (Kennel Cough)

Puppies are will receive the vaccine, bordetella, at 8 weeks of age and again at 12 weeks. Adult dogs will get two doses, two to four weeks apart, then once a year.

Kennel cough can cause severe coughing that causes vomiting along with a loss of appetite. In severe cases, seizures and death can occur. It’s a good idea to get this vaccine if your dog visits a dog park, kennel or is around other dogs. Talk to your veterinarian about this vaccine.


Lyme Disease

The Lyme disease vaccine is given after 12 weeks of age with another dose two to four weeks later. Adults receive two doses, two to four weeks apart, then once a year. Talk to your veterinarian to see if your dog needs this vaccine, as it is not a problem in some areas.

Lyme disease is transmitted by ticks and can cause limping, lymph node swelling, high temperatures and no appetite. It can affect the heart, kidneys and joints. Antibiotics can be used with an early diagnosis although a relapse can occur.


filling a syringeLeptospirosis

Puppies are given the vaccine after 12 weeks of age with another dose two to four weeks later. Adults are given two doses, two to four weeks apart, then once a year.

Leptospirosis is caused by bacteria and sometimes will not show any symptoms. Symptoms can include vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, fever, severe weakness, stiffness, muscle pain and infertility. It is treated with antibiotics.


Vaccination Schedule

Please note that DHPP is a combination vaccine for distemper, canine hepatitis, parainfluenza and parvovirus.

Puppy Vaccinations

6 to 8 weeks                    DHPP                             Bordetella (optional)
10 to 12 weeks              DHPP                             Bordetella, Lyme Disease (optional)
12 to 24 weeks              Rabies
14 to 16 weeks              DHPP                             Lyme disease (optional)
12 to 16 months           Rabies, DHPP            Bordetella, Lyme Disease (optional)
2 years                                DHPP                             Bordetella, Lyme Disease (optional)
Every 1 to 3 years        Rabies                            Check the local laws in your area

Dog Vaccinations

Every 3 years                  DHPP
1 to 3 years                      Rabies                             Check the local laws in your area
Every year                        Bordetella                    Optional



As you can see puppies need many vaccines in their first year. If you want to take your puppy to a dog park, boarding kennel or a doggie daycare you will need to talk to your veterinarian about the dangers for your puppy until it becomes immune.

For more information on vaccinations for puppies, visit the American Kennel Club’s website here.

Leave a comment below about your dog or share a story. The information on this website is not intended to replace the advice of your own veterinarian, dog trainer, or dog behavioral specialist.

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