Distemper Vaccine Cost: What To Expect

Three Minutes
Aug 31, 2022

The canine distemper vaccine is typically included in your dog’s annual vaccination regimen. Although important, the price of all those shots can quickly add up. Worried about the distemper vaccine cost? We’ll break down what to expect and what you should know about this crucial vaccination.

The Average Cost of a Distemper Vaccine

How much does a distemper vaccine cost? That depends on how old your pup is and where they go for their shot.

The distemper vaccine is considered a “core” vaccine, along with hepatitis, rabies, parvo, and parainfluenza.3 The vaccine for distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus, kennel cough, and dog flu can be received in the form of the DAPP vaccine. These core vaccines are administered in batches early in a dog’s life, between 6 weeks and 1 year old. Because the vaccines are given in batches, you’ll be paying for multiple at once. With that in mind, the average cost of a distemper vaccine will range from $75 – $100.3 If you go to a vet clinic in an urban area, expect to pay closer to the upper end.

There are some exceptions. Many animal shelters will charge significantly less for necessary vaccinations. You could pay as little as $20.3 Some might not even charge you at all. If you adopt from a shelter, it’s also possible that your dog was already vaccinated.

Keep in mind that these core vaccines are annual, meaning they’ll need to be “renewed” every year to keep your dog’s immune system strong. However, the price goes down as your pup reaches adulthood.     

Is a distemper vaccine necessary?

Keeping your dog vaccinated is an important part of keeping them healthy. Even if your dog spends most of their life indoors, they’ll still be at risk of canine distemper. It’s primarily transmitted from other dogs, but it can also be carried inside on inanimate objects like shoes, leashes, and toys.4 That’s why most vets recommend it as one of the first shots a puppy should receive.

Without vaccination, the distemper virus can attack your dog’s skin, nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, respiratory system, and even their brain. If not treated and diagnosed quickly, the infection can turn fatal. Plus, you could pay anywhere from $500 to $2,000 for treatment.5 Dog insurance could help cover some or all of that cost, but keeping your dog vaccinated is still the best option for both their health and your wallet.    

Will Pet Insurance Cover the Distemper Vaccine Cost?

Vaccines are important, but they can quickly become an expensive annual cost. Most standard pet insurance policies don’t cover the cost of vaccines. As “routine care,” they’re considered outside the purview of accident and illness coverage. However, you might be able to get reimbursed if you have wellness coverage.2

MetLife Pet Insurance offers an optional wellness add-on for all our plans.1,6 For an additional monthly fee, you can be reimbursed for preventive care including annual vaccinations.2 Plus, MetLife has no vaccination requirements for opening a policy. That means that, even if your pup has missed a few vaccines, they can still be insured.

Curious about how much you could save with pet insurance? Get a free quote from MetLife today.

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Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances.

1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.

2 Provided all terms of the policy are met. Application is subject to underwriting review and approval. Like most insurance policies, insurance policies issued by IAIC and MetGen contain certain deductibles, co-insurance, exclusions, exceptions, reductions, limitations, and terms for keeping them in force. For costs, complete details of coverage and exclusions, and a listing of approved states, please contact MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC.

3 “Your Complete Guide to First-Year Puppy Vaccinations,” American Kennel Club

4 “Indoor Dogs and Infectious Diseases,” VCA Animal Hospital

5 “Distemper in Dogs,” PetCoach

6 Can be purchased at an additional cost.

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