By Mel Lee-Smith
Published: 06/11/2020, edited: 08/10/2021
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So you’ve welcomed a sweet pupper into your pack. Congrats! You’ve probably got your paws full preparing for a puppy. But we don’t have to tell you all that hard work is well worth the reward of your dog’s love and companionship!
As a pet parent, you already know that routine veterinary care is essential for raising a happy, healthy dog. But you might be feeling a little overwhelmed by the sheer number of vet visits your pup will need to attend in those first few months.
Vaccinations aren’t just required by most city bylaws — they’re vital for preventing disease and ensuring your dog lives a long life full of love and affection. Getting ready to schedule your pup’s first round of vaccinations? Not sure what to expect? Here's what your puppy's shots schedule should look like.
The following information is sourced from the World Small Animal Veterinary Association’s (WSAVA) vaccination guidelines. You’ll find a more detailed overview of these guidelines in our article, Understanding Dog Vaccines and Vaccination Schedules.
Puppy Shots Schedule
3 weeks old
Certain strains of the Bordetella vaccination may be administered to puppies as young as 3 weeks old. This non-core vaccine treats Bordetella bronchiseptica, more commonly known as kennel cough. Although it’s a non-core vaccine, it’s often required for dogs visiting off-leash parks, dog shows, competitions, training classes, and other social settings.
6 to 8 weeks old
Puppies will receive their first dose of the following vaccines between the age of 6 to 8 weeks.
Follow-up doses of the following vaccines are administered at the age of 10 weeks and again every 2 to 4 weeks until the age of 16 weeks.
Parvovirus — second dose
Distemper — second dose
Adenovirus — second dose
Parainfluenza — second dose
Bordetella —second dose
6 months to 12 months
Depending on the dosage and the vaccine, the following boosters will be administered at the age of 6 or 12 months.
Once a year
Once every three years
*Depending on the duration of immunity, the rabies vaccination is administered either once a year or once every three years.
Frequently asked questions
What’s the difference between core and non-core vaccines?
Core vaccinations are mandatory regardless of breed or geographical location. Non-core vaccines are not always mandatory, but may be required for dogs living in certain areas or participating in certain activities.
How do I know which non-core vaccines my puppy needs?
Your trusted veterinarian will advise you on which vaccines your puppy needs.
Your puppy's shots schedule: wrapping up
Figuring out your dog's vaccination schedule can be a little confusing. The above puppy shots schedule is sourced from the WSAVA, but dogs living in different areas may have different needs. Core vaccinations are non-negotiable no matter where you live. At the end of the day, if you have any questions or concerns, it's always best to consult your preferred veterinarian.