Core Vaccines in Dogs

Core Vaccines in Dogs - Conditions Treated, Procedure, Efficacy, Recovery, Cost, Considerations, Prevention

What are Core Vaccines?

Vaccinations are a critical part of your dog’s preventative medical treatment. These important medications help build your dog’s immunity to a number of critical diseases and conditions. Vaccinations are lumped into two categories, core and non-core. Core vaccinations are considered the fundamental vaccines that are common across breeds and regions of the United States. Not only is it a good idea for your dog’s health to get them vaccinated, but core vaccinations are often required before your dog can be boarded, groomed, licensed or otherwise interact with people in most states. 

Core Vaccines Procedure in Dogs

Administering core vaccinations to your dog is a non-invasive and relatively painless procedure. Vaccines must be given by a licensed veterinary professional, generally during a routine office well visit. Your vet will use this opportunity to weigh and thoroughly examine your dog to confirm they are not suffering from underlying conditions. 

Core vaccinations are first administered to young puppies, in line with a select schedule recommended by the American Veterinary Medical Association and other professional organizations. For your dog’s first set of vaccinations, you will often need booster shots several months in a row. When taking very young puppies to the vet for their first visit, you should be sure to keep them separated from other dogs since they do not yet have the appropriate immunity to fight off any infections. Your vet will give your dog a quick injection with a sterile needle containing the vaccine in order to administer the vaccination.

Efficacy of Core Vaccines in Dogs

When administered with the appropriate protocol to dogs in good health, vaccines are an excellent way to prevent the spread of infectious canine disease. Many diseases have been nearly eliminated due to treatment by vaccines, including rabies. 

Core Vaccines Recovery in Dogs

Little to no recovery time is needed after your dog has received their core vaccines. Your pet may have some soreness or stiffness at the site of injection. If your pet appears to be bothered, a warm compress or ice pack may help relieve the discomfort. For some vaccinations, you will need follow-up shots according to your vet’s protocol. You will also need to get yearly or bi-yearly booster shots for the course of your dog’s life.

As an alternative to booster shots, you may be able to have your dog titered. This involves your vet taking a small blood sample and sending it off to a specialized laboratory to determine which antibodies are present and in what amounts. If sufficient antibodies are present, your dog will not need to receive booster vaccines. Some vaccines, such as rabies, are mandated by states and titer results may not be accepted in their place.

Cost of Core Vaccines in Dogs

Vaccinations are generally inexpensive, although you will have to pay an office visit fee for your first visit with your animal. Shots can range between $15 to $50 depending on region, size of dog, and type of vaccine administered.

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Dog Core Vaccines Considerations

There are some side effects to vaccines. A vaccination is a weakened form of the underlying illness. In some dogs or young puppies, this may induce a very mild case of the underlying infection or illness. Watery nose or a light cough are common symptoms. Overall, the benefits of vaccinations far outweigh the typical downsides.

Core Vaccines Prevention in Dogs

Core vaccines are important preventative medicine. They help keep your dog healthy and are incredibly important if you take your dog to local parks or otherwise allow them to interact with wildlife or other domestic pets. In addition, vaccinating dogs prevents the spread of certain diseases, such as rabies, that cross species to infect humans.

Core Vaccines Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals


American Pit Bull Terrier




4 Months


1 found this helpful


1 found this helpful

My pet has the following symptoms:
Noisy Breathing While Asleep
Needs vaccinations and needs medication for diarrhea

Aug. 30, 2017

1 Recommendations

At four months of age, Jimmie should be just around fully vaccinated. You should make an appointment with a Veterinarian for the vaccines; the Veterinarian will also perform a physical examination and will prescribe antibiotics if required based on their findings. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Aug. 30, 2017

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