Dogs should be vaccinated to protect them from serious and potentially life-threatening diseases, such as rabies, distemper, parvovirus, and others. Vaccination helps to build immunity and reduce the spread of disease in the dog population, keeping both individual dogs and communities healthy. Regular vaccinations are also a requirement for many dog activities, such as boarding and participating in dog shows, and crossing the border.
Your puppy or kitten typically should get its first vaccine at 6-8 weeks of age and boosted ever 3-4 weeks until 16 weeks of age. Vaccinations are then boosted yearly to ensure a strong immune response
There are two groups of vaccines: Core and non-core.
Core vaccines are recommended for all dogs and cats, while the non-core vaccines can be elected for based on your pet’s lifestyle and risk of exposure.
Dog Core Vaccines
Rabies – This is a fatal disease of the brain and nervous system that can affect all mammals and is present in the wildlife population including foxes, squirrels, and bats.
Distemper – Canine distemper virus is an often fatal disease that can start with non-specific respiratory signs such as nasal discharge, fever, and fatigue but can progress to severe debilitating neurologic disease. (included in the DA2PP combo vaccine)
Parvovirus – Canine parvovirus is one of the most important diseases to protect your puppy against. Parvo is a very contagious disease that causes severe lethargy, vomiting, and bloody diarrhea. Severe dehydration and septic shock can cause death in dogs. (included in the DA2PP combo vaccine
Adenovirus – Adenovirus can cause a viral upper respiratory infection and canine hepatitis (included in the DA2PP combo vaccine)
Parainfluenza – Canine parainfluenza virus is a very contagious respiratory virus that causes fever, lethargy, cough, and runny nose. (Included in the DA2PP combo vaccine)
Bordetella bronchiseptica – Bordetella is a bacterial infection that is one of the components of the respiratory disease “kennel cough”. This is not an essential vaccine but is recommended for dogs that go to kennels, day care/ boarding, dog parks or anywhere they will be in close contact with other dogs.