Dog Vaccination Schedule: What You Need to Know

If you are going to adopt a dog, it is very important that you make sure your dog gets all the vaccinations they need.

If you aren’t sure when your dog should get vaccinations or what vaccinations they need, this guide is going to help you figure all of that out. It goes over the recommended dog vaccines and other dog immunizations, as well. 

Core and Noncore Dog Immunizations

You want your dog to live a long and happy life, and part of caring for your dog is learning all about the proper dog immunizations. It is important to understand that there are core and noncore dog immunizations that you should get for your dog. 

The core basic dog vaccinations that every puppy and dog will need include the following:

  • Canine rabies vaccination
  • Canine distemper-adenovirus/hepatitis, parvovirus vaccination (given together in 1 vaccination called DHP or DAP)

These are the dog immunizations that are necessary for every puppy and dog of all breeds.

There are some noncore dog immunizations, as well. These are considered to be lifestyle vaccinations. They are recommended dog vaccines, but only optional. They are given based on where you live with your dog and the lifestyle of your dog. Some of these vaccinations include the following:

  • Canine influenza vaccination (H3N8 and/or H3N2)
  • Lyme vaccination
  • Leptospirosis vaccination 
  • Parainfluenza vaccination (usually combined with the DAP or bordetella vaccinations)
  • Bordetella Bronchiseptica vaccination

Your dog’s veterinarian might offer these recommended dog vaccines for your dogs. 

Vaccination Schedule for Puppies 

When it comes to dog immunizations, it is important to make sure your puppies are getting vaccinated when they are supposed to. Usually, the basic dog vaccinations start when a puppy is between 6 to 8 weeks old. 

The general puppy vaccination schedule would look something like this one: 

  • 6 to 8 weeks: DAP (core) and Bordetella and Parainfluenza (noncore)
  • 10 to 12 weeks: DAP (core) and Canine influenza, Lyme, and Leptospirosis (noncore)
  • 14 to 16 weeks: DAP and Rabies vaccination (core) and Canine influenza, Lyme, and Leptospirosis (noncore)

It is important to ensure the puppies are being properly protected by these vaccinations. To do this, these vaccinations should be given to the puppy every 2 to 4 weeks until they are 16 weeks old. Your dog’s veterinarian can help determine proper timing for your puppy. 

Vaccination Schedule for Adult Dogs

Puppies aren’t the only dogs that need vaccinations. There are dog immunizations that adult dogs should get, as well. The adult dogs need or should have the following vaccinations: 

  • Once a year: Rabies Initial Vaccination (core) and Bordetella, Canine influenza, Lyme, and Leptospirosis (noncore)
  • Every 3 years: Rabies and DAP (core) 

If you have specific questions about which basic dog vaccinations or recommended dog vaccines your dog should get, be sure to talk to your dog’s veterinarian. 

Diseases Prevented by Dog Immunizations

There is a range of diseases that can be prevented through dog immunizations. Some of these are prevented with the puppy vaccinations. Other diseases can be prevented through the vaccinations given to adult dogs. Some of the many diseases that can be prevented by dog immunizations include the following:

  • Rabies 
  • Canine distemper 
  • Adenovirus 1 
  • Parvovirus 
  • Kennel cough or CIRDC (canine infectious respiratory disease complex)
  • Canine influenza 
  • Leptospirosis 
  • Lyme disease 

If you make sure your puppies and dogs get all the required dog immunizations and recommended dog vaccines, you can greatly reduce their risk of getting any of these diseases. 

Questions About Dog Immunizations

If, at any time, you have questions about dog immunizations, the first person you should go to is your dog’s veterinarian. They will have the information regarding all the basic dog vaccinations and recommended dog vaccines. 

Your dog’s veterinarian can tell you what vaccinations your dog needs and which ones they should have. If your dog isn’t feeling well, your dog’s veterinarian will tell you if it is safe for your dog to wait a bit until they get a certain vaccination.

If you have questions about how your dog is acting after a vaccination, you can talk to your dog’s veterinarian about this, too. 

Some of the other things that you may want to ask your dog’s veterinarian about dog immunizations include the following:

  • Can my puppy get immunizations earlier than 6 weeks old?
  • Does my puppy get their last puppy shots at 16 weeks old?
  • When is my puppy considered an adult?
  • Is there anything else that I need to know about these dog immunizations?

These are just some of the questions that you might have for the veterinarian. If you think of anything else that you want to ask about dog vaccines, be sure to call your dog’s veterinarian.


When it comes to keeping your puppies and dogs healthy and prolonging their lives, there are many things that you can and should do.

You should always feed your dog high-quality, vet-recommended dog food. You should make sure your puppies and dogs get plenty of exercise. It is also best if you spend quality time with your dog, so they know they are loved.

In addition to doing all of these things, you should make sure your puppies and dogs get all the dog immunizations that are required. You should also talk to your dog’s veterinarian about the recommended dog vaccines, as well. 

What are the basic vaccines for dogs?

If you are going to get a dog or you already have a dog, it is important that they get all the basic dog vaccines. The core vaccinations include DHLPP. This is the distemper/hepatitis/leptospirosis/parvo/parainfluenza immunizations. Dogs also need rabies vaccines, too.

What vaccinations should dogs have?

There are numerous vaccinations that dogs should have. These are called core vaccinations. They help to keep dogs safe from diseases. The main vaccinations that are required for dogs include rabies, hepatitis, parvovirus, and distemper.

How much are core vaccines for puppies?

When you have a dog, there are many things that you may need to pay for. One of these things is the vaccinations for your dog. These generally range from $75-$100 total for the puppies. However, the price can vary depending on which veterinarian you see and whether you are getting recommended vaccinations for your dog, as well.

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Written by Leo Roux

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