Why do puppies need vaccines?

When a puppy is born, its immune system is not yet mature. For a while (a few weeks) the mother’s antibodies help protect their puppies' immune systems. Eventually, the maternal antibodies fade away, and it is important that we help the puppy have a strong immune system to help fight off contagious diseases. Vaccines trigger immune responses by stimulating the immune system’s productions of antibodies that destroy disease-causing organisms that enter the body.

We recommend that puppies receive a minimum of 3 rounds of vaccines in the first year, and for ultra protection against Parvo, we recommend puppies receive a 4th round of vaccine. Ideally, the first round of vaccine is administered about 6 weeks of age. The following rounds should be administered approximately 3 weeks thereafter.

Which vaccines do they need?

Recommended vaccines for an individual dog may vary due to factors such as what kind of exposure to disease the animal has and what diseases are common in the area. Ultimately, it is best to talk to a trusted veterinarian to determine risk factors and go with his or her recommendation.

Are vaccines necessary for my indoor dog?

For dogs there are 2 core vaccines that important for dogs whether they are indoor or outdoor dogs. They are the combo shot that includes Distemper, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Parainfluenza and Parvo (DAPP+L vaccine) and the Rabies vaccine. The first Rabies vaccine will be a 1-yr vaccine, but thereafter dogs can receive a 3-yr Rabies vaccine.

In addition, we recommend vaccinating against Bordetella for our canine patients that go outside for walks or to grooming or boarding facilities, etc. Dogs that rarely contact other dogs probably do not need vaccination for Bordetella, but dogs that go to daycare, grooming, or boarding facilities should be vaccinated for Bordetella.

A schedule for puppy vaccines

Round 1 - “1st puppy shots” can be started as early as 6 weeks of age.

1st DAPP _____________________________ Date given

Round 2 - “2nd puppy shots” should be about 3 weeks after 1st round.

2nd DAPP _____________________________ Date given

Round 3 - “1st adult shots” should be about 3 weeks after 2nd round.

DAPP +L _____________________________ Date given

1-yr Rabies _____________________________ Date given

Bordetella _____________________________ Date given

Round 4 - “Final booster for ultra protection” should be about 3 weeks after 3rd round.

DAPP +L _____________________________ Date given