Vaccine Schedule for Your Dog, Pt. 1

Recommended Vaccine
Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

* This article is based on the 2017 AAHA Canine Vaccination Guidelines

Most pet owners have little knowledge about their pets' vaccinations as they entrust their pets' vaccination schedules to veterinarians. In fact, you may not be interested in finding out since your regular vet will notify you when the time comes. Nonetheless, understanding why and when vaccinations are recommended will save you from calling your vet all the time or wasting time Googling. Therefore, learning about vaccinations in detail, once and for all, might be a good choice. To begin, remember that vaccinations are mainly divided into recommended and optional categories, with the dosage and interval of vaccinations varying according to age.

Recommended and Optional Vaccinations

Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus, Parainfluenza, Rabies

Dogs should have their core vaccines. Generally, Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus, and Parainfluenza are all covered by a 4 in 1 vaccination called DHPP. However, there are some cases where doses for distemper and parvovirus are given earlier, followed by the DHPP later.

Because each state has its own laws regarding rabies, only state-authorized vets can provide a rabies shot. If the vaccinations in the previous paragraph were focused on your dog’s health, consider a rabies shot as a minimum certificate to exercise social rights, as it is frequently required to enter public spaces. Especially, if your dog chooses to attack someone, you must then show proof of rabies vaccination. So, make sure your dog gets a rabies shot within the state-mandated time frame.

What about the rest of the vaccines?

Every vaccine not mentioned above is an optional vaccine. Depending on your lifestyle, you may choose to get additional vaccinations. If you plan to use pet care services such as onboarding, daycare, etc., they often require a Bordetella shot. If you have an outdoor dog or plan to participate in outdoor activities frequently, a Leptospira shot might be helpful as Leptospira is regularly found in dirt and water. Thus, recommended optional vaccines differ for each case. So, we recommend planning out a schedule after consulting your regular vet.

Go check out Dr.Tail’s sample vaccination schedule

Is Your Puppy Over or Under 16 Weeks of Age?

The vaccination schedules for puppies under 16 weeks of age and puppies over 16 weeks are different. Refer to Dr.Tail’s sample vaccination schedule in the link above if your puppy is under 16 weeks old. If your puppy is older, the first dose for vaccines should be given asap and the second dose within 2 to 4 weeks. Lastly, booster shots are recommended at 1-year intervals for all vaccines except rabies, regardless of whether they are recommended or optional.

※ Remember! Booster shots for rabies are usually given every three years. However, consult your veterinarian because this may also differ depending on your state.

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