What Dog Vaccinations Are Necessary? All You Need To Know



It is without a doubt essential to know What Dog Vaccinations Are Necessary for your dog. Before I start, I want to say that I love my pet vaccinations and you should love it too! So today, I want to talk about dog vaccinations in detail. We must know what dog Vaccinations are. Is it the same as human vaccinations? And what is in dog vaccinations, how vaccines work? And what is the role of Vaccinations in our dog’s life?


Dog vaccinations play a critical role in protecting dogs from many fatal infections. Not only that, they play a significant role in protecting other dogs and even us humans. It is required for all dogs to be vaccinated against different diseases to safeguard it from fatal severe infections that are easily preventable such as Rabies.

It is incredible how quickly we see our dog become an essential member of the family. We soon What-Dog-Vaccinations-Are-Necessary

consider them a child that we want to protect from everything that might harm them, just like our children vaccinated against different diseases. Our dog will need some vaccinations to give them immunity to some serious, maybe even fatal diseases. As I said in a previous post, Dogs are just like kids; they vulnerable to infections and weak against them.

It is a beautiful thing to learn about the benefits of dog vaccinations. This includes what vaccines are necessary and how or when they should be taken. People nowadays always ask questions about dog vaccinations, and in this article, I will put details about it. This is only meant to be general information to dog vaccinations. At your dog’s next veterinary appointment, you will have enough knowledge about vaccines, and you will be happy giving it to your dog.

All dogs need vaccinating during the first few weeks (usually between 6 and 8 weeks). The reason for that, the puppy before this age receive their immunity and antibodies from their mother’s milk, considering the mother has a healthy immune system. That way, we keep our dogs protected from harmful infections such as distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus, leptospirosis, Rabies, and even kennel cough.

Vaccines are the only proven method of protecting your dog or any pet against these diseases and infections, which is why it is imperative to get your dog vaccinated at the correct time.

In this article, I want to talk about different subjects related to Vaccines. First, I will talk about What is Dog Vaccination and what is in it. The second will be about Types of Vaccines. Then we come to the third central part, which is about Dog Vaccination schedule. After that, we come to the fourth part The Time Each Vaccination Is Effective and Method of Administration of Vaccines. In the end, I will put some side effects of Vaccinations.

What Is Dog Vaccination & What Is In Dog Vaccinations?


First, we need to understand what the term “Vaccine” means. By knowing that we will start to realize What Dog Vaccinations Are Necessary for your dog, and what is it! A vaccine is a preparation biological in origin that provides active acquired immunity to a particular infection or disease. The vaccine contains an agent that resembles the causing microorganism and is often made from a killed form or weakened form of this organism (microbe). Once the agent enters the body, it stimulates the immune system to recognize it as a threat. Then it destroys it, and save it to a special kind of memory to kill any microorganism associated with that agent that it may encounter in the future.

Dog Vaccines is the same as any other vaccine; it helps prepare the dog’s immune system to defend itself from any future invasion of the microorganism. It stimulates the dog’s immune system by having it recognizes the weakened microorganism presents. So if the dog becomes exposed to the real infection, its immune system act immediately by distinguishes the threat, and therefore be prepared to fight it and kill it. Or at least reduce the overall effects on the dog to be killed eventually.

Dog Vaccinations Are Good!


These are some diseases that Dog immune system will fight against with the help of Vaccinations :

  • Parvovirus
  • Distemper
  • Parainfluenza Virus
  • Hepatitis
  • Leptospirosis
  • Kennel Cough
  • Coronavirus
  • Canine Influenza

Types Of Vaccines – Core And Non-Core Vaccines

Types of vaccines will make us know and understand more about our main question of What Dog Vaccinations Are Necessary and the importance of it for dogs. Core vaccinations mean vital vaccines to all canines based on a universal risk of exposure, the severity of the disease, and the risk of transmission to other dogs, As we said before some diseases are fatal to dogs, as well as the risk of transmission to other animal species and human beings like Rabies. That means Core Vaccines are essential and a must for our dogs.

*Core Vaccines that considered by The American Animal Hospital Association are:

  • Canine Parvovirus.
  • Canine Distemper.
  • Hepatitis.
  • Rabies.

Here I want to point out that Rabies Vaccine is required by law in most countries. It is given around the age of 16 weeks (not earlier than 15 weeks). It is essential to understand that this vaccine is suitable for one year only for puppies and three years for adult dogs.

*Non-core – vaccines include:

  • Canine Influenza.
  • Bordetella.
  • Leptospirosis.
  • Lyme Disease.

These vaccines are not considered Core. However, they are significant for dogs who may be exposed to these infectious diseases.

When? Dog Vaccination Schedule


Before we know when we need to know that Puppies should not be separated from their mother nursery. Because simply it is crucial to their both psychological and physical health. As we talked about it before, Puppies, before the age of 6-8 weeks, need their mother’s milk to boost their immune system and protect them from infections. However, after this period, they need vaccines to stay protected. That is why we start vaccination for puppies at the age of 6-8 weeks, by giving them the first combination of vaccines, and later they need more combination vaccines at around 12 weeks – 16 weeks.

That means as soon as you bring your puppy home, you need to arrange an appointment with professional healthcare. To check the general health of your puppy and check which vaccinations it had and need. There will be instructions and Puppy Vaccination Schedule to follow from your vet. That would be about when each vaccine should be given, and you need to know, it can be vary depending on your dog breed, size, and if your dog has health problems.

Puppy Vaccination Schedule can be slightly different from place to place, but it is nearly the same. It is typically recommended the following vaccination schedule for puppies:

*6-8 weeks: first combination vaccinations, and it covers against Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus, Parainfluenza Virus, and Coronavirus.

*9 weeks: second combination vaccinations

*12 weeks: Third combination vaccine, Lyme Disease vaccination – repeated two weeks later and then once a year.

Some suggest this too:

*11-14 weeks: DHPP, Leptospirosis, Canine Influenza, Lyme Disease

*15-16: DHPP, Leptospirosis, Canine Influenza, Lyme Disease, Rabies

Canine influenza and Lyme disease vaccines are given depending on the lifestyle of the dog (Final combination vaccine).

* DHPP – distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus, parainfluenza.

**Some puppies may need additional vaccinations against parvovirus after 15 weeks of age. You need to consult with the veterinarian for more information about this.

You need to follow your puppy vaccine schedule and never miss any of these vaccines. It is a vital role in your puppy live to prevent diseases and infections and keep it healthy and happy, isn’t that what we all want? Your puppy is your child and a member of your family. It deserves every reasonable chance to be happy and healthy. Do not forget that you are protecting your health and your children’s health too.

Adult Dog Vaccination Schedule can be slightly different. Once your puppy reaches adulthood, and all the core puppy vaccines have been administered, we can think about and begin implementing an adult dog vaccination schedule. An adult dog vaccination schedule consists typically of periodic adult boosters, which are combinations of the same type of DHPP vaccine administered to puppies, along with several other additions.

Some professional healthcare advice and recommend dog owners for their dog’s first one year visit boosting their DHPP, Leptospirosis, and Rabies vaccines. If the dog’s lifestyle requires it, they might recommend Canine Influenza and Lyme vaccines.

  • Distemper, Parvovirus, Hepatitis: Puppies need a booster one year after they have completed all of their vaccines. Then all dogs need boosters once per year for at least three years.
  • Parainfluenza: Booster once every three years.
  • Kennel Cough: They give it in a high-risk environment once every six months.
  • Lyme Disease: in a high-risk environment once every one year before tick season.
  • Leptospirosis: They give it in a high-risk environment once every year.
  • Canine Influenza: Once every one year for all dogs.

The Time Each Vaccination Is Effective?

The Amount Of Time Each Vaccination Is Effective can vary. Depending on many factors like the size and age of the dog. But it can be as follows:

DHPP: 3 years

  • Rabies: 3 years
  • Leptospirosis: 1 year
  • Canine Influenza: 1 year
  • Lyme Disease: 1 year
  • Kennel Cough: 6 months

Method Of Administration Of Vaccines

An injection administers most vaccinations underneath the skin of the neck. But the vaccine for kennel cough is usually administered as a nasal spray. The nasal spray offers immediate, as well as long-lasting protection.

Vaccinations Overweighs Side Effects


It is uncommon for vaccinations to cause any side effects. However, If you are worried, I will explain some side effects. It is essential to understand that protection from potentially life-threatening diseases hugely outweighs the small to almost zero risks of developing any side effects.

Symptoms may include (Side Effects) :

Fever, Sluggishness, Loss of appetite, Facial or paw swelling, Vomiting, and/or Diarrhea, Pain or swelling around the injection site. As you can see, these are mild symptoms, and they can be ignored. However, if your dog started to experience more severe symptoms such as Collapse, difficulty breathing, seizures (anaphylactic shock), severe facial swelling, vomiting, or lethargy. You should contact your veterinarian immediately. But understand that these are unlikely to happen.


Let’s Keep Our Dogs Healthy And Happy – Enjoy The Moment


And now, we understand and know the answer to the question “What Dog Vaccinations Are Necessary” and how vaccinations for our dogs are essential in their life to keep them happy and healthy. Vaccinations are just a door opened for us in this life to talk to our bodies about the incoming threat to prepare to fight it with all means and keep us healthy. As it is vital to keep track of our children’s vaccination schedule, it is vital to do so for our dogs.

It is understandable now how the vaccine works. How or when to use vaccines. A vaccine is vital to protect your dogs in their weak times. Of course, to keep their bodies prepared for any threat in the future.

In the end, I want to say that Dogs are just our new Children in our houses, let’s keep them happy and protected to gain a precious loyal friend in our life. As I feel delighted about vaccinating my pet, we should all feel that because we can sleep peacefully without worrying about our pet’s health.

**Just some laugh: “Did you ever notice that when you blow in a dog’s face, he gets mad at you? But when you take him in a car, he sticks his head out the window.” — Steve Bluestone


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Monira Ansari
Monira Ansari
4 years ago

well done Dr.mohammad .. keep it up .. the best for u

Marah Darwish
Marah Darwish
4 years ago

Thanks for the information .. very healpful … great site??

4 years ago

Hello. Thank you for writing about such an important topic.

I just wanted to comment that the initial “puppy” series which should have at its heart Distemper, Hepatitis and Parvovirus should absolutely be continued through 16 weeks of age.

This is to prevent interference with vaccines from maternal antibodies obtained at birth.

Finally serious consideration must be given specifically for Rottweilers and Dobermans to an additional DHP vaccine at 18 weeks of age. These breeds have a genetically increased susceptibility to Parvovirus.

Also note that Parainfluenza is a “non-core” vaccine. As such, I vaccinate puppies with a DHP vaccine, rather than the DHPP vaccine, which is combining core and non-core antigens into one vaccine.

Keep up the good work!

Colin Chaves, DVM

4 years ago

I’ve had dogs my entire life and always keep their vaccinations up to date. Many (if not most) kennels or dog groomers won’t even allow you to leave your pet with them if you don’t show them proof that they have  had their shots. I think that’s a good policy, because it only takes one infected pet to cause an outbreak, and if all the other dogs were unprotected, the results could be tragic. I’d rather not take any chances on the health of my dog. That’s how I return the  love of my best friend.

4 years ago

Thank you for your informative post. It’s been a fear for me always to have a dog, specially while I’m travelling because it’s easier for them to get sick. But you have clarified that there is no need to be afraid while vaccinations protect the dogs against killer diseases and they are likely to be a requirement if the dog goes into boarding kennels or travels abroad with you. Each injection can contain up to several vaccines against different diseases. That’s great to know all these information!

Reply to  Negar
4 years ago

I am glad that this post is so useful for you! and I hope you have a great and healthy happy life with your future pet! It is a great thing to have a pet beside you.

4 years ago

A great post Mohammed. There are many people who do not realize the potential harm they are doing to their dogs and puppies by not having them vaccinated regularly.

I think this is something that too many owners overlook, possibly in the hope it won’t affect their dog.

Thank you for this in-depth view of what dog owners should be doing.


4 years ago

The puppy vaccination schedule is a helpful piece of information. We’ve always given most of the vaccinations you discussed. Although we’ve never given the Canine Influenza vaccination. 

There are a lot of vaccinations to give in the first 4 months of a puppy’s life. How much can I expect to pay the vet for all those vaccinations? That’s a cost many people may not consider when purchasing a new puppy.

4 years ago

Thank you for this very comprehensive post on the importance of vaccination and what vaccines you should get.  I do have one question:  I notice you have divided these vaccines into “core” and “non-core” vaccines, and then have shown suggested schedules for them both.  I understand that the “core” ones are must-haves, but what about the “non-core”?  Can some of those be left out depending on the area you live in?

I do appreciate the information and think it will be helpful to many people, especially new owners of dogs.

4 years ago

This is quite an informative topic. We’ve had a few family dogs and I must admit that we haven’t taken very good care of them in the past. We usually get puppies from other families and probably they haven’t suckled enough to get the antibodies they need.

Luckily, our dogs have not fallen ill. But I think it is time to vaccinate them. Since they are adults now, will the adult vaccination only be enough?

I am thinking of the more common threat like rabies.

Thank you for this useful post. 

Ebuka Anumba
4 years ago

Hi, I love this post and. Very informative and I must say, I have gotten some wisdom today. Getting ready to give my dog some vaccine. lol.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
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