The puppy vaccine series is designed to give the best protection to your new puppy from a wide variety of communicable diseases.  Puppy vaccines are given 3 to 4 weeks apart until the pup reaches 16 weeks of age, with the exception of Rabies vaccine which is given once for a full year of protection.  The key to the protection is NOT the number of vaccines, but the timing of them.  Because of this, some older puppies with obtain full protection from only 2 or 3 vaccines; others require 4 or more if the vaccination is started at a younger age.  Puppies that were born to fully vaccinated mothers usually have good immunity passed from the mother for the first 4 to 8 weeks of life; after that time vaccination is used to enhance the natural immunity before it fades over time.

Typical vaccine protocols begin at 6 and 8 weeks of age, regardless of size or breed of the dog.  The timing of the vaccinations may be altered by several factors, including the general health of the puppy, ongoing illnesses (if any), vaccination status of the mother, housing conditions, etc.

Typically, puppies are started on vaccinations at or near 8 weeks of age.  At our Clinic, starting at 8 weeks of age, a combination of Distemper, Adenovirus (Herpesvirus), and Parvovirus (DAP) is given.  Every three to four weeks after this initial vaccination the puppy is due for a booster of these vaccines, until 16 to 18 weeks of age.  By then, the final vaccination is good for 1 year.  At one year of age the DAP vaccine is boosted to last a year.  Beginning at age 2 the dog is eligible for a 1-year or 3-year distemper combination vaccine.

Rabies vaccination is given once and is initially good for 1 year.  This vaccine is given between 12 and 16 weeks of age.  As an adult, dogs can have either a 1-year or a 3-year rabies vaccine.  At our Clinic adult dogs between the age of 2 and 10 are eligible for the 3-year rabies vaccine.

Lyme disease vaccination is a series of two vaccines three weeks apart.  This series can begin at any age after 9 weeks old.   After the initial series, this vaccine is boosted annually; there is no multiyear product for Lyme disease vaccination.

Leptospirosis vaccination is also a two vaccine series given three weeks apart.  This series can begin after 12 weeks of age.  After the initial series this vaccine is boosted annually; there is no multiyear product for Leptospirosis vaccination.

Bordatella vaccine is given as drops in the nose at any age after 3 weeks of age.   This vaccine is protective after one dose; injectable forms of this vaccine require two doses initially.  Both the nasal drops and the injectable vaccine are boosted annually.  There is no multiyear product for protection against Bordatella, and there are several sources that feel that this vaccine should be boosted every 6 to 9 months.

Canine vaccination recommendations are outlined below.  Not every dog is a candidate for vaccination for every disease listed below.  Remember that these are guidelines only and precise timing of the vaccines should be discussed with the veterinarian.



8 weeks

12 weeks

16 weeks

1 year

2 yr

3 yr

4 yr

5 yr

6 yr

7 yr

8 yr

9 yr

10 yr

11 yr

12 yr

13 yr

14 yr