DAPP Vaccine for Dogs: What It Is & Its Cost

Four minutes
May 28, 2024

Vaccinating your puppy at an early age can help protect them from many potentially life-threatening illnesses. Vets have a list of core vaccines, such as the rabies vaccine, recommended for every puppy. The DAPP — shorthand for “distemper, adenovirus, parainfluenza, and parvovirus” — is a vaccine that provides protection against many viruses your puppy or adult dog may come into contact with.

Let’s explore what the DAPP dog vaccine protects against, when your dog should get it, and how much it costs. 

With the Preventive Care add-on, MetLife Pet Insurance can help cover the cost of DAPP vaccines.

Our Preventive Care Plan Add-On Can Cover Vaccines

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What Is the DAPP Vaccine?

The DAPP vaccine, also known as the DHPP vaccine or the DA2PP dog vaccine, is designed to protect against five highly contagious viruses: distemper, hepatitis, kennel cough, dog flu, and parvovirus.1 Vaccines teach your puppy’s immune system to create antibodies for these viruses, so when they come into contact with them later, they’re prepared to fight them off effectively.

Vets recommend you avoid bringing your puppy to dog parks or other public places until they’re fully vaccinated. This way they don’t come into contact with these contagious viruses until their immune systems are prepared to fight back.

Here’s a breakdown of the five viruses the DHPP dog vaccine protects against and why they’re considered dangerous.

Canine distemper

Distemper affects the respiratory, gastrointestinal, and nervous systems. It’s often spread through sneezing or coughing, but it can also be transmitted on surfaces. Early symptoms of distemper in dogs include nose and eye discharge, coughing, and fever. As it progresses to the nervous system, it can cause twitching, seizures, and partial or complete paralysis. Treatment includes supportive care, but there’s no definitive cure. Many cases of distemper lead to irreparable damage to nervous systems and can possibly be fatal.2 But the distemper vaccine, which is part of the dog DAPP vaccine, can help protect your pup.

Canine adenovirus type 1

Infectious canine hepatitis (caused by canine adenovirus) is a virus that causes inflammation of the liver. The virus is transmitted through an infected dog’s urine, nose discharge, or eye discharge. Some dogs develop cloudy eyes or respiratory symptoms similar to kennel cough. In severe cases, dogs may experience jaundice, diarrhea, vomiting, and swelling around their head and neck. There’s no specific cure — rather, a vet may provide supportive care and try to treat any secondary infections. Severe cases may be fatal.3

Canine adenovirus type 2

The second adenovirus is one of many causes of kennel cough. This respiratory disease can be caused by a handful of viruses, including Bordetella bronchiseptica. Kennel cough is generally prevalent in tight spaces with many dogs, hence the name. It’s spread through the air as well as on surfaces. Symptoms include a dry cough, runny nose, and sometimes a low fever. Generally, cases resolve on their own, but if symptoms persist, you may need to take your dog to the veterinarian to rule out other causes.

Canine influenza

Dog flu is similar to the human flu and has similar symptoms. Dogs with the flu may sneeze, cough, have a runny nose, a low appetite, and a high fever. While most dogs will kick the flu naturally, some cases may develop pneumonia — which is why getting the canine influenza vaccine may help protect your dog from a more serious illness.

Canine parvovirus

Parvo is a dangerous disease that attacks the gastrointestinal tract of puppies. The virus is usually transmitted through infected poop, but anything can become contaminated. It’s a stubborn virus that can live on surfaces for months and up to a year outdoors. There’s no cure, but your vet will likely recommend antibiotics and supportive care to combat dehydration as the virus runs its course. It should be noted that many cases of parvo could be fatal, but it can help be prevented by ensuring your pet is up-to-date on their parvo vaccine.

DAPP Vaccine Schedule

The DAPP vaccine is recommended for puppies and unvaccinated adult dogs. For puppies, it’s administered as a series of shots throughout their first 16 weeks, and then as a booster throughout a dog’s adult life.1

Puppies should get their first vaccination dose when they’re 6 – 8 weeks old, then a dose every 2 – 4 weeks until they reach 16 weeks. Adult dogs should get a booster dose 1 year after the initial vaccination series, then every 1 – 3 years.1

DAPP Vaccine Side Effects

The DAPP vaccine, like any other vaccine, may have some side effects. However, it’s important for pet parents to know the difference between common side effects and an allergic reaction. If your pet is having an allergic reaction, it may be considered a medical emergency.4

Common side effects may include:4

  • Localized swelling at the site of the shot
  • Mild fever
  • Lethargy
  • Low appetite for a few days

Signs of an allergic reaction may include:4

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swelling of the face or throat
  • Hives
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Collapse

DAPP Vaccine Cost

The DAPP vaccine typically costs between $75 and $100 for three doses — depending on your location and veterinarian — so if your adult dog needs a single booster, it’ll likely be less. As a core vaccine, this cost is both necessary and well worth the investment.

Whether your vet calls it the DAPP vaccine or the DHPP vaccine for dogs, it provides the same protection. Prioritize getting your puppy the vaccine when they’re young to help protect them from these potentially fatal diseases, and keep your adult dog up-to-date so they can have continued protection.

MetLife Pet’s Preventive Care Add-On Can Help Cover Vaccinations

While our dog insurance policy can help cover the related medical costs of injuries and illnesses, our optional Preventive Care plan can be added to your policy for routine cost coverage. Pet health expenses — such as routine teeth cleanings, parasite prevention and treatment, as well as vaccinations like the DAPP vaccine for dogs — can be covered up to 90% under this add-on.

Enroll in a MetLife Pet Insurance policy with a Preventive Care add-on for coverage that can help with unexpected vet bills and the ones you’re already paying for routine care. See why pet insurance may be worth it for you, and get a free quote today!

Our Preventive Care Add-On Can Help You With Vaccine Costs

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**As with any insurance policy, coverage may vary. Review our coverage and exclusions.

1 “DHPP Vaccination for Dogs (5-in-1 Vaccine): What To Know,” PetMD,

2 “Canine distemper,” American Veterinary Medical Association

3 “Infectious Hepatitis (Adenovirus) in Dogs,” VCA Animal Hospitals

4 “Vaccinations,” American Veterinary Medical Association

Coverage issued by Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886. Availability is subject to regulatory approval. Coverage subject to restrictions, exclusions and limitations and application is subject to underwriting. See policy or contact MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC (“MetLife Pet”) for details. MetLife Pet is the policy administrator. It may operate under an alternate or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), and MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois).

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