The Puppy Vaccination Schedule, Explained

May 05, 2021 3 min read
dog being given a vaccine from a vet

Just like humans, dogs need proper vaccinations to stay protected against various diseases. This protection is especially crucial in their puppy years in order to build up their immune systems. As a puppy owner, you may need to take your new pet to a vet regularly for puppy shots. Not exactly sure what puppy vaccinations your dog needs? We’ve compiled a comprehensive puppy vaccination schedule below.

What Shots Do Puppies Need?

Starting from their first year, your new puppy will need regular visits to the vet to schedule puppy shots. These vaccines prevent against diseases including:

1. Canine Distemper 

This is a contagious disease that affects the nervous, respiratory, and gastrointestinal systems of dogs, skunks, raccoons, and others. The virus is spread by shared food, bowls, and water with an infected animal. 

Once contracted, this virus discharges from the nose, eyes, and through vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, paralysis, twitching, or worse, death. Currently, there’s no permanent cure forcanine distemper. However, there are vaccines your dogs can take to prevent the symptoms from ever happening. 

2. Bordetella Bronchiseptica 

This bacterium can cause vomiting, whooping, coughing, seizures, or even death. 

Bordetella Bronchiseptica is one of themajor causes of kennel cough. The vaccine against this bacterium is available in nasal sprays and injections. 

3. Canine Hepatitis 

This is a deadly viral disease that attacks the kidney, lungs, spleen, eyes, and liver of an affected dog. Symptoms typically range from pain, jaundice, vomiting, enlarged stomach, or even death. 

While the disease has no cure, its symptoms can be treated with puppy vaccinations. 

4. Canine Parainfluenza 

This is one of the common viruses that is responsible for kennel cough. 

5. Canine Coronavirus 

This viral infection isn’t the same as the global strain, COVID-19. In fact, there is no evidence that suggests that COVID-19 affects dogs. Thecanine coronavirus is a disease that attacks the gastrointestinal system of young dogs. 

Common symptoms include diarrhea, loss of appetite, and vomiting. Currently, there’s no cure for the virus. That’s why a schedule for puppy shots is encouraged. 

6. Leptospirosis

This is a bacterium found in soil and water. It can be passed from dogs to humans. The common symptoms are usually jaundice, stiffness, muscle pain, infertility, lethargy, and kidney failure. 

Your puppy needs to be vaccinated with effective antibiotics. 

7. Lyme Disease

This is an infectious disease that is transmitted by ticks. It causes an infected dog to start limping while their lymph nodes swell.Lyme disease can also attack the kidney, joints, and heart, causing neuro-disorders. 

Proper vaccination is advised to prevent this. 

8. Parvovirus 

Parvovirus is a deadly virus that attacks all dogs. However, unvaccinated dogs are prone to catch it more. This virus affects the gastrointestinal system, causing fever, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, or death. 

There isn’t a cure for Parvovirus. However, keeping the dog hydrated with proper medications can help their immune system beat the virus.

9. Rabies 

You may have already heard of it. This is an infectious disease that attacks the central nervous system of dogs. It induces hallucinations, anxiety, excessive drooling, fear of water, headache, paralysis, and death. 

Rabies vaccination is highly recommended.


Puppy Vaccination Schedule 

There’s not a one-fits-all vaccine to protect your puppy against the aforementioned canine diseases. Over the course of their first year, you’d have to arrange a puppy shot schedule with your vet. 

Below is a recommended schedule to follow. 

  • 6 – 8 Weeks 

When your puppy's age is between 6-8 weeks, they should be given parvovirus and distemper vaccinations. Bordetella Bronchiseptica treatment is optional. 

  • 10 – 12 Weeks 

When they’re 10 to 12 weeks old, your vet should issue DHPP vaccines. DHPP stands for distemper, hepatitis (adenovirus), parainfluenza, and parvovirus. Optional vaccines at this point include leptospirosis, Bordetella, Lyme, and influenza. 

  • 16 – 18 Weeks 

At this point, they should be administered DHPP and rabies vaccines. Optional vaccines as recommended by your vet include Lyme disease, leptospirosis, and Bordetella. 

  • 12 – 16 Months 

From 12 – 16 months of living with your puppy, they should get the DHPP vaccine. Others may include coronavirus, Bordetella, Lyme, leptospirosis, and influenza. 

  • Every 1 – 2 Years

Every year, your dog should be administered the DHPP vaccine. Optional vaccines include coronavirus, Bordetella, Lyme, leptospirosis, and influenza. 

  • Every 1 – 3 Years

One in every 3 years, your dog should be given the rabies vaccine, as determined by state law. 


Vaccination is an important part of keeping your puppy healthy and full of life. With this puppy vaccination schedule, you’ll be able to plan out your new pet’s vet visits and ensure a lifetime of health! 


Vaccines are no fun. Reward your puppy with thebest treats from Best Bully Sticks.

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