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Dog Vaccinations

Dog and puppy vaccinations are an essential part of preventive health care, for both puppies and adults. The AVMA Council on Biologic and Therapeutic Agents' Report on Cat and Dog Vaccines has recommended that the core vaccines for dogs include distemper, canine adenovirus-2 (hepatitis and respiratory disease), and canine parvovirus-2

Non-core vaccines include leptospirosis, coronavirus, canine parainfluenza and Bordetella bronchiseptica (both are causes of 'kennel cough'), and Borrelia burgdorferi (causes Lyme Disease). Consult with your vet to select the proper vaccines for your puppy; not all vaccinations listed may be required; it depends on your dog’s lifestyle and overall health, as well as the area in which you live.

Core recommended vaccinations:

  1. Canine distemper – core/annually
  2. Parvovirus – core/annually
  3. Hepatitis– core/annually
  4. Rabies– core/frequency depends on type of vaccine


Non-core vaccinations:

  1. Measles- non-core/infrequent
    Use in high risk environments for canine distemper in puppies 4-10 weeks old
  2. Parainfluenza- noncore
    Only recommended for dogs in kennels, shelters, shows, or large colonies.
  3. Bordetella – non-core
  4. Leptospirosis– non-core
  5. Coronavirus– non-core
    Risk of exposure high in kennels, shelters, shows, breeding facilities
  6. Lyme – non-core/annually


A typical vaccination schedule for the average puppy is shown below.

Puppy Vaccination Schedule
5 weeks

Parvovirus: for puppies at high risk of exposure to parvo, some vets recommend vaccinating at 5 weeks. Check with your veterinarian.
6 & 9 weeks

Combination vaccine* without leptospirosis.
Coronavirus: where coronavirus is a concern.
12 weeks or older

Rabies: Given by your local vet (age at vaccination may vary according to local law).
12 & 15 weeks**
**Some puppies may need additional vaccinations against parvovirus after 15 weeks of age. Consult with your local vet.

Combination vaccine

Leptospirosis: include leptosporosis in the combination vaccine where leptospirosis is a concern, or if traveling to an area where it occurs.

Coronavirus: where coronavirus is a concern.

Lyme: where Lyme disease is a concern or if traveling to an area where it occurs.

Adult (boosters)
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, dogs at low risk of disease exposure may not need to be boostered yearly for most diseases. Consult with your local vet to determine the appropriate vaccination schedule for your dog. Remember, recommendations vary depending on the age, breed, and health status of the dog, the potential of the dog to be exposed to the disease, the type of vaccine, whether the dog is used for breeding, and the geographical area where the dog lives or may visit.

Combination vaccine

Leptospirosis: include leptospirosis in the combination vaccine where leptospirosis is a concern, or if traveling to an area where it occurs.

Coronavirus: where coronavirus is a concern.

Lyme: where Lyme disease is a concern or if traveling to an area where it occurs.

Rabies: Given by your local vet (time interval between vaccinations may vary according to local law).

*A combination vaccine, often called a 5-way vaccine, usually includes adenovirus cough and hepatitis, distemper, parainfluenza, and parvovirus. Some combination vaccines may also include leptospirosis (7-way vaccines) and/or coronavirus. The inclusion of either canine adenovirus-1 or adenovirus-2 in a vaccine will protect against both adenovirus cough and hepatitis; adenovirus-2 is highly preferred.

Bordetella and parainfluenza: For complete canine cough protection, or for dogs that are shown, in field trials, or are boarded, AVMA recommends vaccination every six months with Intra-Trac II ADT.