Dog Vaccinations: Schedules, Types, Cost and Their Requirements

Dog vaccinations play an important role in protecting your dog from many deadly diseases. Core vaccines should be given to dogs of all breeds, while non-core vaccines are based on the dog’s lifestyle or climate and living conditions of the geographic area. Core vaccines include distemper, rabies, parvovirus, and more, while non-core vaccines include shots like Lyme, Bordetella, and Giardia.

According to United States law, it is mandatory for all dogs to be vaccinated against rabies. But there are many other vaccines that can protect a dog from serious diseases.
Our article is a general introduction to dog vaccinations. This article will help you understand vaccination recommendations for your dog at your dog’s next veterinary appointment.

What are dog vaccinations and why are they important?

Dog vaccinations are the best way to protect a dog from possible future diseases. Vaccines help prepare the dog’s immune system for disease-causing organisms. If a dog is exposed to a real disease, its immune system will recognize it and will be ready to copy antigens to fight it, and at least reduce its effects.

When to start puppy vaccinations

In general, puppies should start their first vaccinations at six to eight weeks of age. Be sure to obtain medical records from the breeder for a newly purchased or adopted puppy, so that your vet can determine when the next vaccination is due.

Your adopted puppy’s mother has a strong and healthy immune system. Therefore antibodies are likely to be found in the mother’s milk while the puppy is being breastfed.

Puppy vaccinations
Puppy vaccinations

Types of dog vaccinations and their need

Risk factors are different for each dog. There are a few key vaccines considered necessary for every dog, such as keeping them immunized against parvovirus, distemper, rabies, and hepatitis.
Due to the geographical location of the area, to strengthen the immune system of the dog, non-core vaccinations are required like- Bordetella, Leptospirosis, Coronavirus etc.

In the third type, the viruses for which dogs are routinely vaccinated are often combined into a single shot as a combination vaccine. Like- D, P, PV etc.
Your nearest vet will consider your pet dog’s risk factors and advise you on which vaccinations are best for him.

List of Core Dog Vaccines

Dog vaccinations schedule
Dog vaccinations schedule

Parvovirus: Parvovirus has also been considered a viral disease that causes severe Diarrhea and vomiting in dogs.

Parainfluenza: Parainfluenza is a viral disease that affects a dog’s respiratory system; It may be involved in the development of kennel cough.

Rabies: Rabies is a fatal viral disease for dogs that attacks the nervous system and is transmitted to humans through the dog.
Distemper: Distemper is a viral disease that affects the gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts and often the nervous system.

Hepatitis/Adenovirus: Vaccinating a dog against adenovirus type 2 protects against both adenovirus type 1 and 2. Adenovirus type 1 causes the infectious disease hepatitis, a viral disease that affects the liver as well as other organ systems. Adenovirus type 2 causes canine respiratory disease.

List of Non-Core Dog Vaccines

Bordetella: This is a bacterial infection that can cause fatal kennel cough.

Giardia: According to the AAHA, the giardia vaccine can prevent ulcers from breaking out but does not prevent infection.

Lyme Disease: Bacterial Lyme disease is spread by ticks which can cause kidney disease and other problems like arthritis in the dog.

Coronavirus: Coronavirus COVID-19 is a viral disease that mainly causes diarrhoea in dogs. The risk of coronavirus infection for the dog is not very fatal. The AAHA’s Canine Vaccine Guidelines advise against routine vaccination for COVID-19.

Leptospirosis: Leptospirosis in dogs is a bacterial disease. It affects multiple systems, including the liver and kidneys. It is a risk in only a few geographic locations in the United States, so it is not routinely used for every dog.

Canine Influenza H3N8: Also called canine influenza virus (CIV), this virus is a relatively new influenza virus in dogs. H3N8 causes flu-like symptoms in dogs and is highly contagious when dogs are in close contact (ie kennels).

Rattlesnake Vaccine: Rattlesnake can reduce the severity of symptoms seen in dogs after a snake bite. Your vet can help determine your dog’s risk for rattlesnakes.

What are the letters in combination vaccines?

Viruses to which dogs are exposed to the main group of routine vaccines or with one or two other vaccines are often referred to as combination vaccines. There are several different types of combination vaccines available, except for the dog rabies vaccine. Combination vaccines are often called distemper/parvo vaccines, although they contain more components.

What do all the initials mean?

D = distemper
P = parainfluenza (sometimes pie)
L = Leptospirosis
C = coronavirus
PV = Parvovirus (sometimes abbreviated as just P)
H or A2 = adenovirus type 2; Also protects against hepatitis (caused by adenovirus type 1)

Puppy Vaccination Schedule

Veterinarians generally recommend the following vaccination schedule for new puppies:

Puppy vaccinations schedule
Puppy vaccinations schedule

6-7 weeks: Bordetella, DHPP,
9-10 weeks: Bordetella, leptospirosis, DHPP,
12-13 weeks: canine influenza, leptospirosis, Lyme disease, DHPP,
15-17 weeks: Canine Influenza, Rabies, Lyme Disease, DHPP,
DHPP – distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus, parainfluenza.

It is important for you to stay up to date with the vaccination schedule for your little one. Your puppy deserves every chance to be happy and healthy for the rest of his life and vaccinations play an important part in this.

The extent to which each vaccination is effective is as follows:

DHPP – 3 years
Rabies – 3 years
Leptospirosis – 1 year
Canine Influenza – 1 Year
Lyme disease – 1 year
Bordetella (kennel cough) – 1 year

Dog and Puppy Vaccination Table Schedule

VaccineBoosterPrimary Dose PuppyPrimary Dose AdultRecommendation
Parainfluenza  Annual3 doses,
2-3-4 months
2 dose, 3-4 wk. apartHighly for all ages  
Adenovirus – 2  Annual3 doses,
2-3-4 months
2 dose, 3-4 wk. apartHighly for all ages  
DistemperAnnual  3 doses,
2-3-4 months
2 dose, 3-4 wk.  ApartHighly for all ages
Bordetella bronchisepticaAnnual  3 doses,
6-9-12 weeks
2-3 doses 3 wk. apartFor dogs housed in Kennels,
Pounds, etc.
ParvovirusAnnual  3 doses,
2-3-4 months
1 doseHighly for all ages.  
Lyme disease: Borrelia burgdorferi  Annual  2 doses: 
maybe at 12 and 15 wks.  
2-3 doses 3 wks. apart  Optional,
has a regional prevalence  
Corona Virus COVID-19Annual  Begin at 6 weeks & every 3 wks. Until 12 wks. of age2-3 doses, 3 wks. apart  Incidence not known – Routine vaccination to be justified.
RabiesAnnual  3 months of age  1 dose  3 months in endemic/high
exposure area
Giardia  6 months  8th and 11th wk.  2 doses, 3-4 wk. apart  Optional
LeptospirosisAnnual8th and 11th wk.2 doses, 3-4 wk. apartusually in combination
with distemper and ICH
Canine Vaccination Table Schedule

Dog or puppy vaccination cost

How much vaccinations cost for your puppy depends on several factors. Veterinarians in congested and expensive urban areas will charge more than a small town or rural vet. In other words, there are significant price differences by location. It is important for pet parents to get their dogs vaccinated on time without incurring costs. Essentials such as rabies and “core vaccines”.

The average cost of vaccination can be around $70-110. These will include all three main vaccines, which are administered in three doses: at 6-, 12- and 16-week-olds.
Core vaccines include DHLPP (distemper, parainfluenza hepatitis, parvo and leptospirosis). The cost of a rabies vaccination is generally around $15-20.

Animal shelters often charge less for vaccines. Some animal shelters charge $20 and even freebies. The cost of initial puppy vaccinations is higher than during adulthood vaccinations.

Risks and side effects associated with dog vaccinations

The benefits of vaccination are considered to be high and the risks low. Adverse reactions to canine vaccines are rare. However, as with any vaccination and medication protocol, there can be some side effects of puppy vaccinations and dog vaccinations. We recommend that your puppy or dog be monitored after vaccination.

Symptoms of any reaction to dog vaccinations may include:



Loss of appetite

Swelling and/or hives in the face or toes



Swelling or pain around the injection site

Difficulty breathing, collapse, and seizures (anaphylactic shock)

Note: If you suspect a more serious reaction to a dog or puppy vaccine with facial swelling, vomiting or lethargy, you should contact your veterinarian immediately.

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