Puppy Shot Schedule: Your Definitive Guide

    Vaccinations are one of the most effective ways to help your puppy to boost its immunity and fight all the deadly diseases and remain healthy. Most of the owners get confused about when and which shots are needed for their four-legged friend. If you are also confused regarding puppy vaccination, don’t worry, I’ve got you.

    In this article, you will get a puppy shot schedule and complete information about puppy vaccination. So, make sure to stick to the end.

    Why Vaccines Are So important For Your Puppy?

    Vaccines are the things that prepare your puppy’s immune system. It gives them the capability to fight the diseases or at least decrease the consequences of it. According to Brekke Veterinary Clinic, vaccinations have saved the lives of millions of animals. It is not only helpful for your dog’s health but it can also help you to avoid the treatments that can flatten your wallet.

    The Difference Between Core Vaccines And Non-Core Vaccines

    Core vaccines are considered mandatory for every single dog out there. Because they protect your dog from the diseases that infect at all the lifestyle and life stages. These diseases can turn severe and even can be life-threatening to your four-legged friend. Core vaccines include:

    • Rabies
    • Canine Distemper, Parvovirus, Adenovirus (Infectious canine hepatitis). These vaccines are given as one vaccine and know as DAP. Sometimes the parainfluenza (non-core vaccine) is also combined in this vaccine, then the name turns to DAPP.

    Non-core vaccines are not mandatory for all dogs, but it is still important for the dogs living in any special conditions. It also depends on the exposure of your dog to the diseases. In simple words, it is for individual dogs who have unique requirements. Non-core vaccines include:

    • Canine influenza
    • Lyme
    • Bordetella
    • Leptospirosis
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    When Your Puppy’s Vaccination Should Get Started?

    The general rule of thumb is that you should start your puppy’s vaccinations between 6 to 8 weeks and the end should be at around the age of 17 weeks.

    Your Puppy Shot Schedule

    Puppy Shot Schedule
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    Remember that this is just a general puppy shot schedule. It is always important to talk to your vet about the vaccination schedule of your puppy.

    Here is the typical schedule for your puppy’s vaccination.

    Your Puppy’s Age Core vaccines Non-Core vaccines
    6 to 8 weeks of age Distemper and Parvovirus Bordetella and Canine Influenza
    10 to 12 weeks of age DAPP (Distemper, Adenovirus (Dog Infectious Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, and Parvovirus) Bordetella, Canine influenza, Lyme, Leptospirosis
    12 to 16 weeks of age Rabbies, Distemper, Andenovirus, Parainflenza and Parvovirus Bordetella, Leptospirosis and Lyme
    15 to 17 weeks of age The final shot of DAPP.

    Rabies (there are also chances that this may be given to your puppy at an earlier stage if required by the state law)

    Lyme, Leptospirosis and Canine Influenza


    Always remember! When you are done with the initial puppy shot schedule that doesn’t mean that vaccinations are completely over now. A dog will need booster vaccinations throughout his life. How much and what boosters your dog needs will be dependent on a few factors, including:

    • Where you live
    • Where you take your dog for traveling
    • What diseases are common in your area

    Which Diseases Can Be Prevented With The Use Of These Vaccines?

    I’m sure that you have already read about lots of diseases and the vaccination of puppies. Sometimes it can be slightly confusing but not anymore. Here is a quick explanation of all the diseases that vaccines help to prevent.

    Canine Distemper

    Canine distemper is a very severe and highly contagious disease. It occurs when a virus attacks a dog’s nervous, respiratory, and gastrointestinal (GI) systems. It can cause some serious health consequences such as fever, vomiting, coughing, diarrhea, paralyzes, and even death.

    Adenovirus (Hepatitis)

    Adenovirus is another highly contagious disease also known as Infectious canine hepatitis. Mostly the liver, kidneys, lungs, spleen, and eyes of a dog affected by this virus. Dog with this virus can show a few symptoms such as a slight fever, vomiting, pain nearby the liver, and stomach enlargement.

    Canine Parainfluenza

    Canine parainfluenza is a virus that greatly contributes to kennel cough. It can be very dangerous for older dogs, puppies, and for all those dogs who have a weak immune system. Sneezing, hacking cough and running nose are the symptoms that a dog may show.


    Parvovirus is a highly contagious virus that attacks a dog’s gastrointestinal system. It can lead to some consequences such as vomiting, fever, loss of appetite, lethargy, dehydration, and depression. Puppies who are unvaccinated and under 4 months of age are more inclined to catching this virus. Dogs with parvovirus should be taken to the vet as soon as possible.


    A highly contagious virus that is associated with kennel cough. It can lead a dog to some health issues such as vomiting, whooping, coughing, and sometimes death and seizures also.

    Remember, proof of this vaccination is required if you want your puppy to join group training classes or get puppy daycare services.


    It is a disease that occurs because of a bacteria known as Leptospira. It is mostly found in the water and soil. A dog with this disease may show symptoms like shivering, lethargy, fever, abdominal pain, stiffness, dehydration, muscle pain, jaundice, and loss of appetite. It is generally treated with antibiotics.


    Lyme is a tick-borne disease that happens to a dog because of a bacteria named spirochete. Generally, it is transmitted to your dog when an infected tick bites them.

    A dog with this disease can show symptoms such as loss of appetite, swelling in joints, loss of energy, and stiffness. Treatment with antibiotics can be very helpful if the disease is diagnosed earlier.


    It is a virus that can lead your dog to neurologic diseases. It is mostly infected through a bite of an infected animal. A dog with this disease can show some symptoms such as fever, breathing problems, restlessness, irritability, and not behaving normally.

    Almost every state requires a rabies vaccination so make sure you speak up to your vet about the law of rabies vaccination in your area.

    Are There Any Risks Involved In Getting Your Puppy Vaccinated?

    puppy shot schedule
    Photo by Morgan Lane on Unsplash

    Yes, vaccination can lead to some health consequences, but there is no need to worry. Because most likely, almost every side effect will be mild and short-lived. Also, the risk is very small in the front of the benefits of vaccination. But still, it is recommended to monitor your puppy after the vaccination.

    Here are the side effects that your puppy may face:

    • Loss of appetite
    • Vomiting
    • Diarrhea
    • Sluggishness
    • Swelling and pain around the area where the vaccine is injected
    • Fever
    • Breathing difficulties
    • Collapse
    • Neurological problems
    • Coughing

    Most of these side effects are very mild and can easily be ignored. But if you notice some serious side effects such as lethargy, vomiting, or facial swelling, immediately contact your vet.

    What Will Be The Cost Of Your Puppy’s Vaccination?

    The average vaccination cost will be approximately $75 to 100 which includes all the core vaccines. Some clinics may also charge for rabies vaccination which can cost around $15 to 20.

    The cost of your puppy’s vaccination also depends on where you live. Vets in expensive urban areas have very high charges. On the other hand, vets in small towns will charge slightly less.

    Final Words

    Vaccination is a very essential part of your puppy’s life. You should definitely get your puppy vaccinated by properly following a puppy shot schedule. In return, you will be able to have your puppy for a long lifetime period and spend a happy and quality life together.

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