Everything You Need to Know About Canine Vaccines

Everything You Need to Know About Canine Vaccines - Sparky Steps Chicago Pet Sitters - Article

Everything You Need to Know About Canine Vaccines

Dogs bring their owners a great deal of love and companionship. In return, it is our responsibility to make sure that our pets receive the care they need to stay healthy and happy. Regular vet visits and canine vaccinations are a big part of that pet owner duty. You can expect routine vet care for your healthy pup to cost between $700 and $2,000 each year, according to The Spruce Pets. But, what shots does your dog need and when?


Puppy Shots

Getting a puppy is exciting. You want to introduce him or her to your family and help the little one adjust to their new home. But, one of the first things you should do is get your puppy to the vet for an exam and puppy shots.

When you head to the vet for the first time, bring any existing health records. If you picked your puppy out from a reputable breeder, they likely did at least some puppy shots before you took her home. If you adopted your puppy, the shelter may have taken care of some of those shots as well. If you don’t know this information, tell your vet.

During the first year of your puppy’s life, vet visits will be fairly regular in order to get him fully vaccinated and protected from common diseases. The American Kennel Club describes common puppy shots that protect your dog from diseases, including:


  • Bordetella. Bordetella is a bacterial infection that can cause kennel cough.


  • Distemper. Distemper is contagious disease that affects multiple systems in dogs. It does not have a cure.


  • Leptospirosis. Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection that can be transmitted via water or dirt.


  • Lyme disease. Lyme disease is a disease passed to dogs via tick bite.


  • Parainfluenza. Parainfluenza is a virus that can cause kennel cough.


  • Parvovirus. Commonly referred to as parvo, this viral infection affects a dog’s GI system. It can be deadly.


  • Rabies. Many states require dogs be vaccinated against rabies, a viral disease that harms the central nervous system.


Some shots, like DHP (covering distemper, adenovirus, and parvo) and rabies, are considered core vaccinations, according to PetMD. This means they are essential. The exact vaccine schedule for your puppy, including non-core vaccinations, will likely be determined by different factors, including where you live. For example, a vet will probably recommend the Lyme disease vaccine for dogs that live near heavily wooded areas.

The schedule for your puppy’s core vaccinations is usually spread out from six weeks of age to 14 to 16 weeks of age, according to PetMD. DHPP is administered in a series of shots at six to eight weeks old, 10 to 12 weeks old, and 14 to 16 weeks old. The rabies vaccination may be administered at 14 to 16 weeks of age as well.


Vaccines for Adult Dogs

When your puppy reaches adulthood, her vaccination schedule will likely move to a yearly schedule. You can take your dog in for an annual checkup, which will include all necessary canine vaccines. Some vaccinations can be administered every three years, according to ASPCA.


Keeping Your Dog Healthy

Vaccinations may be expensive, but they are important part of taking care of your pet. Stay on top of your dog’s vaccination schedule, and always complete the series for vaccines that include multiple shots. Missed shots or incomplete series leave your pet vulnerable to disease, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.


Always feel free to talk to your vet to help you stay informed about your pet’s health. Check out PetMD’s list of questions to ask your vet.


Written by Carrie Pallardy



  1. https://www.thesprucepets.com/the-cost-of-dog-ownership-1117321
  1. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/puppy-shots-complete-guide/
  1. https://www.petmd.com/dog/care/dog-vaccinations-for-every-lifestage
  1. https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/general-pet-care/vaccinations-your-pet
  1. https://www.avma.org/resources-tools/pet-owners/petcare/vaccinations
  1. https://www.petmd.com/dog/care/10-questions-everyone-should-ask-their-veterinarian


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