When you bring that soft, sweet-smelling little ball of puppy fuzz into your home, you know right away that she depends on you for, well, everything. It’s up to you to give her all the care she needs every day. It can be a little intimidating she needs the best puppy food, plenty of attention, gentle training, safe toys, puppy socialization, a comfortable home, and proper veterinary care. And that includes puppy shots throughout her first year.
Going to the vet repeatedly over several months for vaccinations, and then for boosters or titers throughout your dog’s life, may seem like an inconvenience, but the diseases that vaccinations will shield our pets from are dangerous, potentially deadly, and, thankfully, mostly preventable. We read about so many different vaccinations, for so many different illnesses, that it can sometimes be confusing to know which vaccinations puppies need and which ones are important but optional. Here is an overview of the diseases that vaccinations will help your pet to avoid.
Puppy Vaccination Schedule
The first thing to know is that there is not just one puppy vaccination schedule for all dogs. Factors such as which part of the country you live in, and your dog’s individual risk factors will come into play. Some dogs do not need every vaccine. This decision is between you and your veterinarian. Always discuss puppy vaccinations at your regularly scheduled appointments. That said, here is a generally accepted guideline of the puppy vaccination schedule for the first year.
6 — 8 weeks
10 — 12 weeks
DHPP (vaccines for distemper, adenovirus [hepatitis], parainfluenza, and parvovirus)
Influenza, Leptospirosis, Bordetella, Lyme disease per lifestyle as recommended by veterinarian
16 — 18 weeks
Influenza, Lyme disease, Leptospirosis, Bordetella per lifestyle