Puppy Vaccines: All you need to know

Puppy vaccines may be an intimidating topic, but they’re actually quite important if you want your dog to live a long and healthy life. In this article, you’ll learn what puppy vaccines are, why your dog needs them, and how often he should receive them in order to keep him safe from potentially deadly diseases.

By the end of this article, you’ll know everything there is to know about puppy vaccines so that you can start protecting your new four-legged family member right away!

Puppy vaccine types

The AAHA recommendations for puppy vaccines are:

Core vaccines

  • DHPP (variations DHPPi, DHLPP) – Distemper, Hepatitis (Adenovirus), Parvovirus, Parainfluenza
  • RABK/RBV – Rabies

Non-core vaccines

Non-core vaccines are optional vaccines and should be considered in the light of exposure risk; that is, based on geographic distribution and the lifestyle of your dog.

  • BORDO – Bordetella bronchiseptica
  • LEPTO – Leptospira bacteria
  • LYME – Tick-borne Disease
  • H3N8/H3N2 – Influenza
  • CV – Corona Virus
  • Rattlesnake vaccine

When do puppies get shots?

Puppies initially receive some immune protection from their mothers via maternal milk, but this doesn’t last long. This maternal immunity can also interfere with the vaccines and make them less effective, making boosters a requirement for optimum efficiency. That means thatmost vaccines require multiple doses to make sure puppies acquire a high enough level of antibodies to be protected.

Puppies typically receive their first shots when weaned or around eight weeks old. Your puppy should receive those shots roughly every four weeks until they’re approximately four months old. This is generally completed during the initial vet visits in the first few months. Your veterinarian will recommend other preventative treatments such as deworming or flee treatment during these visits.

Here is what a typical puppy vaccination timeline looks like for year one.

  • 6 – 8 weeks: DHPP 1 & BORDO 1
  • 9 – 11 weeks: DHPP
  • 12 – 14 weeks: DHPP 3 & LEPTO/LYME 1
  • 15 – 17 weeks: DHPP 4 & LEPTO/LYME 2 & RABK 1
  • 6 months: BORDO 2
  • 12 months: Annual Booster + additional new vaccines if required

First vaccination dates vary based on the puppy, but it’s essential that their boosters are administered within a specific time frame – usually four weeks; otherwise, your puppy may have to repeat the entire series of vaccines.

Puppy Vaccination Schedule Chart

Puppy Vaccination Schedule Chart

Puppy Shot Record

If you adopt a puppy, be sure to request a copy of your new pet’s immunization records. However, there are situations when this might not be available, and there are ways to check if your puppy has any immunity to these diseases. Your veterinarian may be able to run an antibody test to determine if the dog needs additional vaccinations or if their vaccination process needs to be started over.

Keeping up with the vaccination schedule can be tricky since there are many vaccines and timeframes to consider.

With the Digitail pet parent app, you can create a custom vaccination plan and, if your veterinarian uses Digitail, your vaccination appointments are automatically booked at the right time. You only show up as instructed.

It is also very valuable when you need to go to a boarding facility or want to socialize your pet, as you can have the proof of vaccination in your pocket at all times.

How much do puppy shots cost?

The cost of vaccinations for your puppy can range in price based on factors like where you live and whether they’re core or non-core vaccinations.

Veterinarians will charge more than a rural vet in a small town in crowded and expensive urban areas. In other words, there are significant price differences. But no matter the range in costs, some vaccines, such as the “core vaccines” and rabies, are necessary.

  • The average cost for core vaccines can be around $75 – $100. These will include DHLPP (distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parvo, and parainfluenza).
  • Your pup will also need a rabies vaccination, which is usually around $15$20.
  • Bordatella Vaccine, according to your area, can range between $19 – $45.
  • Lyme vaccine typically costs $20 – $40, again, depending on your location.
  • If you are in an area with an increased population of rattlesnakes, you should also consider rattlesnake vaccination shot for your dog which will cost around $25 – $30.
  • Often animal shelters charge less for vaccines — approximately $20 — or are even free. If you acquired your dog from a shelter, he would most likely have been vaccinated, up until the age when you got him.

It’s also worth noting that the initial puppy vaccination costs within the first year are generally higher than when your dog is an adult since there are more of them. Insurance helps with the costs.

Don’t miss out on valuable information for taking care of your puppy! Download the Digitail pet parent app for personalized lessons, product discounts, and veterinarian advice.