House training, socializing and medical care

Puppy Vaccination Guide

Puppy Vaccination Guide

What are vaccinations?

Taking care of a puppy does not only include feeding it healthy food, playing with it, or buying it new toys. Getting your puppy vaccinated and being aware of your puppy’s vaccination schedule is also extremely important. Vaccinations provide the required immunity to puppies in order to fight off infectious diseases. Vaccines for puppies contain antigens that resemble the disease-causing bacteria or virus but do not cause the disease.  

Why do puppies need vaccines?

You need to immunise your puppy to give its body the power to fight diseases. Puppy vaccinations help in building your fur baby's immunity to prevent itself from contracting diseases later in life. Vaccinations stimulate the body to recognise disease-causing germs or viruses. So, if your dog contracts the disease it is vaccinated against, its immune system will recognise and fight the foreign body to reduce its ill effects. 

Puppy vaccination charts

Puppy vaccinations should be given to your pet when they are six to eight weeks old. It is also advisable to keep in touch with your dog’s vet regarding the vaccination schedule that is tailored to fit your dog. Take a look at the table issued by the WSAVA Organisation below that provides detailed information about your puppy’s vaccination schedule: 

Vaccination Puppy’s age 
Canine Parvovirus-2, Canine Distemper Virus, Recombinant Canine Distemper Virus, Canine Adenovirus-2, CPV-2, Canine Adenovirus-1Administer at 6-8 weeks of age, then to be given every 2-4 weeks until the dog turns 16 weeks or older
RabiesOne dose at 12 weeks of age. If the first shot is given before 12 weeks, then the puppy should be revaccinated again at 12 weeks.
Parainfluenza VirusAdminister at 6-8 weeks of age, then to be given every 2-4 weeks until the dog turns 16 weeks or older
Bordetella bronchiseptica, B. bronchiseptica + CPiV intranasal, B. bronchiseptica +CPiV (MLV) +CAV-2 (MLV) intranasalFirst single dose to be administered at as early as 3 weeks of age
B. bronchisepticaCan be given at 8 weeks of age
Bordetella bronchiseptica, Bordetella bronchisepticaFirst dose to be administered at 6–8 weeks of age and one dose at 10-12 weeks of age
Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme borreliosis; killed whole bacterin, parenteral), Borrelia burgdorferi  (rLyme borreliosis) (recombinant-Outer surface protein A [OspA], parenteral)First dose when your dog turns 12 weeks or older. Second dose is given 2-4 weeks later
Leptospira interrogansFirst dose when your dog turns 8 weeks or older. Second dose is given 2-4 weeks later

Canine influenza virus

Canine Coronavirus

Two doses 2-4 weeks apart with the first dose at >6 weeks of age.
Vaccinations for puppies at shelter homes 

  CDV + CAV-2 + CPV-2

  rCDV + CAV-2 + CPV-2 with or without CPiV Parenteral      

To be administered immediately upon admission in the shelter at 4 weeks of age. To be repeated every 2 weeks until the dog is 20 weeks old and still at the shelter
Bordetella bronchiseptica, B. bronchiseptica +   CPiV, B. bronchiseptica +CPiV, B.  bronchisepticaTo be administered as early as 3 weeks of age. If the first dose is given at the 6th week, then an additional dose to be given after 6 weeks
Bordetella bronchisepticaOne dose at the time of admission at 6-8 weeks of age and 2nd dose 2 weeks later
RabiesSingle dose to be administered at the time of discharge from the facility

Boosters are given to adult dogs, and they are usually administered every year. If you are unsure whether your dog requires a booster shot, you can also get a titer test to determine the same. This test checks your dog’s immunity levels and can help you determine whether your dog needs any vaccination or what type of vaccination must be administered. The test does not apply to the rabies vaccine. You will have to administer a rabies shot to your dog as per the normal puppy vaccination schedule assigned by the vet. 

Tips on how you can prepare your puppy for their vaccination appointment

  • Stay calm:

    As a puppy owner, your little furry friend relies on you and looks up to you. So, if you start panicking or stressing out before the vaccination appointment, your puppy may also reflect the same negative behaviour. So, you should remain calm and talk to your pup in a soft tone to ensure it stays relaxed.

  • Arrange for comfortable transport:

    You may have to get your puppy accustomed to vehicular rides before the scheduled date of vaccination. Make sure you add a carrier in your vehicle for the puppy to remain comfortable throughout the ride to the vet.

  • Give treats:

    Avoid feeding your puppy a heavy meal before the vaccination. You may provide your puppy with treats to encourage calm and good behaviour on the way as well.

  • Other tips:

    You may also use calming synthetic pheromones to make sure your puppy is relaxed throughout the way. Talk to the vet to know more about how you can ease your puppy before a vaccination. The vet will issue proper guidelines for the same.

Nursing your young dog post vaccination

  • Provide a place to relax:

    Provide your puppy with a cosy and warm place to rest. You can also allow them to choose their own preferred place where they feel comfortable to rest.

  • Feed your pup:

    Give your puppy access to water and its favourite food but do not worry if it does not feel as hungry as it generally does.

  • Give space:

    Avoid cuddling or even patting your puppy's head. It might prefer being alone for a while and that's completely normal.

  • Check in on your pup:

    Keep checking on your puppy multiple times a day but avoid disturbing it.

    Vaccines for puppies also cause some short-term side effects like they do in humans. Here are some of the commonly noted symptoms post vaccinations:

  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Small, red, raised, itchy bumps all over its body
  • Persistent vomiting or diarrhoea
  • Collapse or fainting
  • Severe coughing

FAQs on puppy vaccinations

What vaccinations will a puppy need?

Your puppy should receive the following core vaccines:

Canine Parvovirus, Canine Distemper, Canine Adenovirus and Rabies. Your puppy’s vet may add additional vaccines like Parainfluenza and Leptospirosis. 

 When should I get my puppy vaccinated?

Do puppies need 3 vaccinations?

How many vaccinations does a puppy require?

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