The Basics Behind The DHPP Vaccine

Written by: Milica Brzakovic
The matter of vaccination causes a lot of debate, when it comes to both people and dogs. Are they necessary or do they do more harm than good? This is a text focusing on the DHPP vaccine, one of the most common vaccines among dogs.

Vaccination is something every dog owner has to be prepared for and is a part of taking care of a dog.

However, some dog owners are rather suspicious toward certain vaccines and are not sure if they’re good for their dog.

So – what’s the deal with the DHPP vaccine?

In order to make a decision whether or not your dog needs a vaccination, you have to inform yourself as much as possible before making a decision. Knowing what is what and at what age your dog should get vaccinated is very important if you have a new puppy.

So, today we’re taking a look at the DHPP vaccine. Let’s find out what its purpose is and how often it should be injected in your dog’s body!

What Is The DHPP Vaccine?

This vaccine is the most common combination vaccine and it’s also called the canine distemper vaccine.

The acronym DHPP stands for:

  • Distemper
  • Hepatitis
  • Parvo
  • Parainfluenza

These are the diseases this vaccine protects the body from. The most important components are distemper and parvo.

Distemper is similar to flu in the beginning, with symptoms like runny nose and fever. However, it can result in some serious neurological problems and, unfortunately, in death.

Parvo is a very serious disease that often ends in death. Puppies are especially prone to it. It starts with vomiting and diarrhea, which quickly becomes bloody.

Hepatitis is a very serious condition that attacks the liver, the kidney and the eyes. Finally, parainfluenza is a respiratory disease causing coughing, fever, nasal discharge and respiratory infections. It’s very contagious.

How Do Dogs Contract These Diseases?

Parvo is a virus, so a dog that gets in contact with it runs the risk of contracting it. This is an extremely hardy virus that can survive in grass and elsewhere for years.

When it comes to distemper, it’s airborne just like colds. It can pass on a dog by another dog who is sneezing or if a dog shares a bowl with an infected dog.

Is A DHPP Vaccine Necessary?

Yes, this vaccine is necessary! As you can see, the diseases mentioned above are quite serious and you should do everything that’s in your power so your dog doesn’t get them. Getting your dog vaccinated is one of these things.

The DHPP vaccine is essential for your puppy’s health and shouldn’t be ignored. Even though puppies receive immunity to many sicknesses through their mother’s milk when they’re born, this immunity fades as the puppy becomes older, so getting vaccinated becomes a necessity.

In addition, without this vaccine, your dog probably won’t be able to travel abroad with you. Most countries require a DHPP vaccine for all entering dogs, while in some cases they may require additional non-core vaccines.

Check out the video below and see how vaccines do their job.

At What Age Should A Puppy Get Vaccinated?

The vaccination usually begins when the puppy is 6-10 weeks old – when its immunity fades. Toy breeds usually begin around the 12th week, because of their tiny size. Until the age of 16 weeks a vaccine should be received every three weeks. For the best protection minimum two vaccines are necessary. Depending on the start of the vaccination, 2-4 vaccines can be received.

When it comes to adult boosters, they depend on how high the risk of getting these diseases is. If they’re not that common in your area, they will be given less often than in “risky” areas. Dogs that spend time at boarding facilities and day-care facilities have a bigger chance of getting infected as well.

It’s usually recommended to receive a booster vaccine one year after the puppy shots. After that, vaccinating every 3-5 years is usually sufficient. Of course, consult your vet and decide what’s best for your dog.

Are There Any Side Effects?

Side effects are not unusual when it comes to the DHPP vaccine. What happens is that a live virus is injected in the dog’s body and naturally the body starts fighting the virus.

The most common side effects are:

The best cure for this situation is giving your dog water to drink. In some cases, putting the water in an eyedropper or in your hand may be necessary. If the symptoms don’t get milder after 24 hours be sure to contact your vet.

How Often Should A Dog Have DHPP Vaccine?

When they are still young puppies, the DHPP vaccine is given multiple times. Let’s list out the age when your dog should get the DHPP vaccine.

  • 6-8 weeks – DHPP Shot 1
  • 10-12 weeks – DHPP Shot 2
  • 16-18 weeks – DHPP Shot 3
  • Every Three Years – DHPP Booster

Conclusion On The DHPP Vaccine

As you can see, this vaccine is extremely important for your dog and should be a “no-brainer”. Even if there are certain debates about the frequency of this vaccine, there’s absolutely no debate about the importance the DHPP vaccine has.

If your dog doesn’t get vaccinated, he or she runs the risk of contracting distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza or parvo. Normally, this isn’t something that you want so make sure your dog gets vaccinated as a puppy and consult your vet on how often it should be done later on.

Even though some vaccines are debatable, and maybe even unnecessary, this isn’t one of them!