A Complete Guide To First-Year Puppy Vaccinations

A Complete Guide To First-Year Puppy Vaccinations: From the moment you take in that warm, little, cute little puppy to your home, you are saddled with that bit of responsibility of giving it the best. It has no other than you, and it depends solely on you for survival. She needs the best puppy food,

Cute puppy: A Complete Guide To First-Year Puppy Vaccinations

gentle training, the right toys, enough attention, a conducive home, and above all, proper veterinary care – including puppy shots for a year. It can be a little bit tedious at first, most notably when you’ve never had to care for a puppy, but after a few weeks, you’ll get used to it.

Which Shots Does My Puppy Need?

Continually visiting the veterinary for months to get the right vaccinations, and then titers or boosters throughout your dog’s life may seem stressful. But “Prevention,” they say, “Is better than cure,” these vaccinations will protect your pets from potentially deadly, dangerous, and severe sickness in the future.

They are tons of vaccines available for different ailments. It is often confusing to pick the vaccines your puppy needs, or the important but optional ones they require. So, in this article, we’ve put together common diseases and the right vaccine to help your pets stay risk-free.

Bordetella Bronchiseptica

Bordetella Bronchiseptica is a highly contagious bacterium that induces severe fits of whooping, vomiting, coughing, and in rare cases, seizures and death. It is the leading cause of Kennel Cough. Injectable and nasal spray vaccines are available to tackle this bacterium.

If you plan on allowing your dogs mingle with other dogs, in the form of boarding, attending group training classes, or using dog daycare services, vaccination to prevent this ailment is needed.

Canine Distemper

Canine Distemper attacks the respiratory gastrointestinal and nervous system of dogs, raccoons, skunks, and other animals. It is highly contagious and is an airborne disease contracted through sneezing and coughing by an infected animal.

Aside from being airborne, your pet can contract this virus from shared food and water bowls. Some of its many symptoms include fever, coughing, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, discharge from the eye and nose, twitching, paralysis, and, most times, death.

Initially, these diseases were called “hard pad” because it causes the footpad of infected animals to thicken and harden.

There is currently no cure for canine distemper. To tackle this virus, supportive care and efforts are put into effect to help prevent secondary infections, control symptoms of vomiting, seizures, and more. Chances of your dog surviving this depend on its immune system strength. Infected dogs can shed the virus for months.

Canine Hepatitis

Canine Hepatitis is a common infection that affects the liver, spleen, lungs, kidneys, and eyes of an infected dog. This highly contagious liver disease is caused by a virus unrelated to the human form of hepatitis. Symptoms of canine hepatitis range from vomiting, jaundice, stomach enlargement, slight fever, pain around the liver, and congestion of the mucous membrane.

This virus currently has no cure, but doctors can treat its symptoms. Often, most dogs overcome the mild form of this virus, but the severe form can lead to death.

Canine Parainfluenza

Canine Parainfluenza is one of many viruses that can lead to Kennel Cough.

Puppy getting vaccined: A Complete Guide To First-Year Puppy Vaccinations


Also known as “Canine Coronavirus” is not the same as the Covid-19 that affects humans. Covid-19 offers little or no threats to the dog. It’s counterpart Canine Coronavirus is a common ailment in dogs. It attacks the gastrointestinal system and can also cause respiratory infections. Loss of appetite, GI symptoms, vomiting, and diarrhea are common symptoms. No drug currently cures this type of coronavirus, but doctors can keep dogs warm, hydrated, and comfortable.


Before starting a heartworm preventive medication on your 12 – 16 weeks puppy, you should contact your vet. There is no known vaccine to cure this condition, but regular medications can help prevent the ailment.

The name says it all. These worms live in the right part of your dog’s heart and its pulmonary arteries (that sends blood to the lung). They can travel through your dog’s body and sometimes invade your liver and kidneys. They grow up to 14 inches long and, if packed together, can injure and block organs.

At first, the Heartworm would cause no apparent symptoms in your dogs, but after a while, in later stages, your dogs may start coughing, become lethargic, lose their appetite, and have difficulty in breathing. An obvious symptom is a tiredness after a mild exercise. Mosquitoes transmit heartworm, therefore, diagnosis is carried out via the blood, not by a fecal exam.

Kennel Cough

Also called “Tracheobronchitis,” Kenner cough is a result of inflammation of the upper airways. It can be caused by bacterial, viral, or other infections, such as canine parainfluenza and Bordetella, and often comes with multiple diseases. Kennel Cough is usually mild, causing bolts harsh dry coughing; other times, it will be severed enough to cause spur retching and gagging and loss of appetite.

In rare cases, Kennel Cough might be deadly and can quickly spread between dogs kept together, which is why it passes quickly through kennels. The use of antibiotics to tackle kennel cough is usually not necessary except in severe, chronic cases. A cough suppressant can make your dog comfortable.


Bacteria cause leptospirosis and some dogs may show no symptoms at all. It is commonly found in water and soil. Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease, which means it can spread from animals to people. Its symptoms include fever, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, severe weakness and lethargy, stiffness, jaundice, infertility, muscle pain, kidney failure (with or without liver failure). Antibiotics are best for tackling Leptospirosis and should be administered early.

Lyme Disease

Unlike the famous “Bull’s-eye” rash that people infected with Lyme disease often have, no telltale symptoms occur in dogs. Borreliosis, another name for Lyme disease is an infectious tick-borne disease caused by a type of bacteria called spirochete. Transmitted by tick, an infected dog starts limping, his lymph nodes swell, his temperature rises, and he stops eating.

The disease can affect his kidney and joints, among other things, or lead to neurological disorders if left untreated. Antibiotics are beneficial if diagnosed early. Relapses can still occur in months or even years.


Parvo is a highly contagious virus that affects all dogs and puppies less than four months old are at more risk of contracting it. It attacks the gastrointestinal system and creates a loss in appetite, vomiting, fever, and often severe bloody diarrhea.

Extreme dehydration due to Parvo can kill a dog within 48 to 72 hours, so immediate veterinary attention is crucial. There is currently no cure to Parvo, but keeping the dog hydrated and controlling symptoms can keep him up till his immune system beats the ailment.


The famous rabies is a viral disease that attacks mammals. It invades the central nervous system causing hallucinations, anxiety, excessive drooling, fear of water, paralysis, and death. Rabies is contracted from the bite of an infected animal. An animal who has contracted this disease should be treated immediately to avoid risking death. Most states require all dogs to have a rabies vaccine. Your vet will know more.

Puppy Vaccinations Schedule

All puppies are conditioned to more than one vaccine in its life. Factors ranging from the state you choose to raise the dog and individual dog risk will play a part in determining the vaccine for your dog.

Below is the generally accepted vaccine for puppies.

Puppy’s Age Recommended Vaccinations Optional Vaccinations

  • 6 — 8 weeks Distemper, parainfluenza Bordetella
  • 10 — 12 weeks DHPP (vaccines for distemper, adenovirus [hepatitis], parainfluenza, and parvovirus) Coronavirus, Leptospirosis, Bordetella, Lyme disease
  • 12 — 24 weeks Rabies none
  • 14 — 16 weeks DHPP Coronavirus, Lyme disease, Leptospirosis
  • 12 — 16 months Rabies, DHPP Coronavirus, Leptospirosis, Bordetella, Lyme disease
  • Every 1 — 2 years DHPP Coronavirus, Leptospirosis, Bordetella, Lyme disease
  • Every 1 — 3 years Rabies (as required by law) none

Cost Of A Puppy Vaccinations

The cost of your puppies vaccination depends solely on several factors, where you live and risk factors surrounding your dog. Often, veterinarians in crowded and expensive urban areas will charge more than a vet in a small town. That is to say; prices differ based on localities; despite this, most vaccines, such as “Core Vaccines” and vaccines for rabies, are necessary.

  • The average cost ranges from $75 – 100. These include the core vaccines which are administered in a series of three: at 6-, 12-, and 16 weeks old puppies.
  • Core vaccines include the DHLPP (Distemper, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Parvo, and Parainfluenza.
  • Your puppy will also need a rabies vaccine; this ranges from $15 – 20.
  • Most animal shelters seldom charge for vaccines, most especially if you purchased the puppy from them.

Initial puppy vaccination costs more during the first year that during adulthood.

Vaccinations For Adult Dogs; Titers and Boosters

Many opinions are raised about having adult dogs vaccine every year. Most doctors believe administering many vaccines to adult dogs pose health threats, others don’t. Discuss with your vet before you proceed.

An adult dog being vaccined: A Complete Guide To First-Year Puppy Vaccinations

Most dog owners prefer titer tests before they administer annual vaccinations. Titer tests measure the dog’s immune level and can determine the vaccination needed by the dog. Rabies is a crucial exception when it comes to titer testing, and you should give your dog a rabies vaccine.

It’s worth it giving your animal vaccines to prevent future issues. The first year of having a puppy is fundamental cause a physical bonding will emerge.