Vaccination Info

Vaccinations are an important part of you puppy’s preventive health care plan.  When given properly, they will protect him from several serious, even fatal diseases.  It is recommended that your puppy’s first vaccinations be given between six to eight weeks of age and continue every three to four weeks until they are fourteen to sixteen weeks old.  (There may be additional vaccines recommended for certain breeds or puppies with high risk factors).\

Core Vaccines (recommended for all dogs)

Rabies vaccine is required by law because rabies is a fatal disease that can be transmitted to humans and has no cure.  The vaccine is given between 12 and 16 weeks of age and then boostered in one year, after which time additional boosters are given every three years.

Distemper combination vaccine includes Distemper virus, Parvovirus, Adenovirus, and Parinfluenza virus.  This vaccine should be given every 3-4 weeks, beginning at 6-8 weeks of age and continuing until at least 16 weeks of age.  A short description of each of these diseases follows:


Canine Distemper Virus (CDV) is a highly contagious virus which affects the respiratory and nervous systems, causing fever, coughing, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and eventually death.


Canine Parvovirus is highly contagious and causes severe vomiting and diarrhea, often leading to death.  It affects dogs of all ages, puppies most severely.  Symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, excessive thirst, weight loss, listlessness and loss of appetite.


Canine Parainfluenza and Adenovirus cause highly contagious respiratory diseases leading to a dry hacking cough.  It is very serious in young puppies and can lead to a more severe pneumonia.

Non Core Vaccines (based on risk assessment of dog)

Lyme disease (Borrelia burgdorferii) vaccine is recommended because ticks carrying the organism are found in this region of the country.  The vaccine is initially given as two doses 3 weeks apart and then boostered yearly.  Lyme disease is caused by spirochete called Borrelia burgdorferii and is spread by the bite of ticks carrying the bacteria.  Symptoms include sudden onset of severe pain and lameness, fever, loss of appetite and depression.  Lyme infections can lead to crippling joint, cardiac, kidney and neurological disease.

Bordetella (kennel cough) vaccine is strongly recommended especially if a puppy will have exposure to many dogs such as at training classes, shows, or the groomers.  The vaccine is required at boarding kennels in our area.  It is an annual to semiannual vaccine depending on the product used and the puppy’s degree of risk.

Your puppy should have limited contact with other animals until he has finished his series of vaccines.  Any animals your puppy will socialize with should be healthy and up to date on their vaccines to reduce his risk of becoming sick before he is fully vaccinated.