Is your dog up-to-date on his or her vaccines? As a pet owner, it’s important to monitor your dog’s vaccine schedule. Dogs get most of their vaccines as puppies, but require boosters throughout their life. So, remember to check if he or she needs any boosters. Speak with your vet about the best vaccination schedule for your dog.
Here’s more information about what most dog experts recommend regarding your dog's vaccines.
Vaccinations are an important step to helping your puppy grow up happy, healthy, and safe. The American Veterinary Medical Association explains that vaccinations prevent many pet illnesses, including diseases like rabies or distemper.1 When you vaccinate your dog, it can also help you avoid paying a lot of money to treat preventable diseases later in life. Many local or state ordinances also require household pets to be vaccinated.
Your vet is the best person to help you figure out which vaccines your dog should get. According to the ASPCA, core vaccines (vaccines that are essential) for dogs include:2
- Canine parvovirus
- Canine hepatitis
Non-core vaccines are given depending on the dog’s exposure risk. These can include things like3:
- Bordetella bronchiseptica (often required for things like doggy daycare or group training classes)
- Borrelia burgdorferi
- Leptospira bacteria
Most puppies get their first dose of vaccines at the age of six to eight weeks. The dogs then receive more doses every few weeks until the puppy is 16 weeks old. As an adult, your dog might get some vaccine boosters once a year, while others may only be needed every three years. The AKC recommends3 the following schedule for certain vaccines:
- 6-8 weeks — Distemper, parvovirus; optional Bordetella
- 10-12 weeks — DHPP (covers distemper, adenovirus, parainfluenza, parvovirus); optional Influenza, Leptospirosis, Bordetella, Lyme disease
- 16-18 weeks — DHPP, rabies; optional Influenza, Leptospirosis, Bordetella, Lyme disease
- 12-16 months — DHPP, rabies; optional Coronavirus, Leptospirosis, Bordetella, Lyme disease
- Every 1-2 years — DHPP; optional Influenza, Leptospirosis, Coronavirus, Bordetella, Lyme disease
- Every 1-3 years — rabies
This is just a recommended timeline, so ask your vet what’s best for your dog. Remember, in addition to vaccines, your dog also needs to take a heartworm preventive.
The average cost of core vaccines is $75-100 per vaccine. Rabies vaccinations cost about $15-20. If you adopt, most animal shelters will give a dog any vaccines they need for free before you take your new pet home. You can also cut costs by adding wellness care to your pet insurance coverage. This could help cover some of the costs of necessary vaccines.4
Keep track of when your dog receives what vaccine so you know when it’s time for a booster. When you adopt or purchase a puppy or adult dog, ask for a copy of the dog’s vaccination records. Having a copy of your dog’s records on hand will allow you to provide your vet with accurate information. This is important for making the best decisions possible for your dog’s medical care.
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