All You Need to Know About Puppy Vaccinations

By ADDW / April 18, 2019

Like us, our fur buddies also need vaccination to support their immune system. Vaccinations play a vital role in protecting your fur babies from many dangerous and even deadly diseases.

In this article, we answered the FAQs regarding puppy vaccinations.

FAQs About Puppy Vaccinations

What are dog vaccines and why are they important?

Vaccines help prepare a dog's immune system to defend itself from any invasion of disease-causing organisms. Vaccines contain antigens, which mimic disease-causing organisms in a dog's immune system, but don't actually cause disease. The purpose of puppy vaccines and dog vaccines is to mildly stimulate the immune system by having it recognize the antigens present. This way, if a dog becomes exposed to the real disease, it's immune system will recognize it, and therefore be prepared to fight it off, or at the least reduce its effects.

From: ​Northwood Animal Hospital​​​

What do vaccinations do?

Vaccinations are designed to protect your dog against an array of illnesses. Vaccinations work by injecting your dog with a small amount of infectious organisms. The organisms are placed under your dog’s skin, and as your dog’s immune system recognizes them as foreign bodies, it begins to fight them. After being exposed to a specific infectious agent, your dog’s body will be able to identify these agents and release antibodies more quickly in the future.


From: Canine Journal

What are core vaccines?

Core vaccines are considered vital to all pets based on risk of exposure, severity of disease or transmissibility to humans.

Vaccines for canine parvovirus, distemper, canine hepatitis and rabies are considered core vaccines. Non-core vaccines are given depending on the dog’s exposure risk. These include vaccines against Bordetella bronchiseptica, Borrelia burgdorferi and Leptospira bacteria.

From: ​ASPCA​​​

When should the first puppy vaccination starts?

Your puppy’s first vaccination will normally be at about eight weeks of age, with a second dose at 10-12 weeks. Your puppy won’t have full protection until two weeks after the second vaccination takes effect. After that, annual booster vaccinations are needed to maintain your dog’s immunity.

From: Pedigree

Are there possible side effects after the vaccination?

If your dog does experience any reaction to vaccinations, symptoms may include:

  • Fever
  • Sluggishness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Facial or paw swelling and/or hives
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Pain or swelling around the injection site
  • Collapse, difficulty breathing, and seizures (anaphylactic shock)

Just as with human vaccines, mild symptoms can be ignored. The majority of reactions are mild and short lived. If you suspect a more severe reaction to puppy vaccines or dog vaccines, such as facial swelling, vomiting or lethargy, you should contact your veterinarian immediately.

From: ​The Drake Center​​​

Puppy Vaccination Schedule At A Glance

Puppy’s AgeRecommended VaccinationsOptional Vaccinations
6 to 8 weeksDistemper, measles, parainfluenzaBordatella
10 to 12 weeksDHPP (vaccines for distemper, adenovirus [hepatitis],
parainfluenza, and parvovirus)
Coronavirus, Leptospirosis, Bordatella, Lyme disease
12 to 24 weeksRabiesNone
14 to 16 weeksDHPPCoronavirus, Lyme disease, Leptospirosis
12 to 16 monthsRabies, DHPPCoronavirus, Leptospirosis, Boradetella, Lyme disease
Every 1 to 2 yearsDHPPCoronavirus, Leptospirosis, Bordetella, Lyme disease
Every 1 to 3 yearsRabies (as required by law)None

From: Dummies

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