How Often Does Your Dog Need Vaccinations
What is the Process of Getting Dog Vaccinations?
There are so many important things to remember when bringing home a puppy. You have to set up food and water bowls and a place to sleep. They need lots of toys and grooming supplies. You need to go through and puppy-proof by hiding cords and keeping important items out of their reach. And you need to schedule an appointment with one of our vets in Dundee, Elgin or Algonquin, IL to start their dog vaccination schedule. This can feel totally overwhelming. Just remember, it’s all worth it to have a lifelong companion by your side.
You should schedule your first vet appointment within a few days of bringing home your new little furball. At the first appointment, the vet will go over everything you need to know about puppy care and will include discussing the dog vaccination schedule with you. Each situation is unique and depends on a few factors like your puppy’s age, breed, where he came from (breeder, shelter, etc.), litter size, and where in the country your puppy came from. From there, your veterinarian will give a personalized recommendation for the dog vaccination schedule.
Shots are important because they prevent diseases. Some of these diseases are treatable if they are contracted and some are not. Vaccines are split into two categories, core and non-core. Core vaccines are necessary for all dogs to get due to the risk of exposure, the severity of the disease, or the transmissibility to humans. Non-core vaccines are optional because the risk of exposure is not as severe. Our veterinarians may recommend a non-core vaccine as a necessary one due to your geographic region. Some parts of the country need additional protection.
In your puppy’s first year, the dog vaccination schedule is pretty intense. Every three to four weeks, you’ll need to take him in for a new round of shots and boosters.
Here’s a quick rundown of what the first year looks like:
Your first puppy exam will include a physical exam and the distemper combination vaccine (DHPP).
The vaccine schedule at this point kind of depends on what you did at 8 weeks. If your puppy has already received its first distemper injection at 8 weeks, your pet should receive a second booster at 12 weeks, which will include the leptospirosis vaccine. Other non-core vaccines you might choose to get for your pup at this time are the bordetella and or/ Lyme disease vaccines.
If your puppy was given all of the recommended vaccines at 8 and 12 weeks, then they will be needing the last distemper vaccine which needs to be given at 16 weeks. In addition, it’s time to get their one-year rabies shot. This is a core vaccine and is required by the state and most rental properties.
So, your puppy made it through all of these dog vaccines and now it’s been almost a year since you’ve been to the vet. What can you expect at your checkup? Will they need more shots? Your dog may be considered low-risk enough that you can get on a three-year booster schedule, but that is for your vet to determine. If you regularly take your dog to doggie daycare or board your pup, you should be getting yearly boosters, specifically for bacterial diseases like kennel cough.
Overall, you should discuss what the best option for you and your dog is with your vet. Our doctors will take into account your dog’s age, lifestyle, and overall wellness in their decision. You may also feel more comfortable vaccinating yearly, especially if your dog is around a lot of other dogs or around other critters that could carry disease. It’s not a necessity, but it’s often highly recommended.