Puppy Vaccination Schedule Chart (Printable)

Medically Reviewed Evidence Based

If you want your puppy to stay healthy, you need to stick to the puppy vaccination schedule. Find out why and when your dog should get vaccinated.

puppy vaccination schedule

Dog vaccination is a constant debate and unfortunately many people are against it. However, vets agree that all puppies should receive vaccinations in order to stay healthy.

Although debatable, according to many studies, every dog should be vaccinated not only for the sake of their health, but also the health of other dogs and the people around them.

Dogs are vaccinated for the same reason humans are, to help prevent diseases. Vaccination reduces the spread of many potentially deadly diseases and is often much more affordable than paying for the treatment of a sick dog.

Some of the diseases dogs can get, as a result of not being vaccinated, can be transferred to people. Therefore, if you are getting a puppy, consult with a vet when your puppy should be vaccinated and how to take care of them.

Shot Schedule For Puppies:

Puppy’s Age Recommended Vaccinations Optional Vaccinations
6 to 8 weeks DHPP (vaccines for distemper, adenovirus [hepatitis], parainfluenza and parvovirus) Bordetella, Measles
8 to 12 weeks DHPP Coronavirus, Leptospirosis, Bordetella, Lyme disease
From 12 weeks Rabies None
14 to 16 weeks DHPP Coronavirus, Lyme disease, Leptospirosis
12 to 16 months Rabies, DHPP Coronavirus, Leptospirosis, Bordetella, Lyme disease
Every year None Coronavirus, Leptospirosis, Bordetella, Lyme disease
Every 3 years (after first year booster) DHPP None
Every 1 to 3 years Rabies (as required by law) None
Bonus: Download a free puppy vaccination schedule pdf ready for printing that will remind you when you should vaccinate your dog.

The chart shows a schedule when your puppy should be vaccinated and which vaccines they should get. Recommended vaccines are core vaccines, which your dog must get, whereas optional vaccines are known as non-core.

Depending on the area you live, the environment and lifestyle, your vet will determine which vaccines your dog needs. If you want your dog to be healthy, it is best to stick to the schedule.

Basics Of Vaccination

Before we start getting into the details of the vaccines your puppy should get, you need to know that there are two types of vaccines: core vaccines and non-core vaccines. (1)

Core vaccines are the essential ones, which every dog should get on time i.e. according to the strict schedule recommended by vets and law.

On the other hand, non-core vaccines are optional, but that doesn’t mean your dog shouldn’t get them.

Depending on the place you live, where your dog walks, and if your dog travels abroad, your vet will inform you which non-core vaccines are recommended for your dog.

In the chart core vaccines are the recommended ones, and non-core are optional.

Why You Should Vaccinate Your Dog

Vaccinating your dog against some infectious diseases helps to keep both your dog and your family healthy. Most of the diseases are potentially fatal, and to prevent them there’s only one option – vaccination. Some of them cannot be treated and cured.

It is often much more economical to vaccinate your dog than to pay for the intensive treatment if he was to catch one of the diseases and become very ill. Many of these diseases require hospitalisation and a lot of medication- with no guarantee that your dog will survive the disease!

If you think that there is a low risk of your puppy getting infected with these diseases or you think that some dogs get better on their own, know that even though some dogs have survived, it doesn’t mean yours will too.

People are often worried about the side-effects, but the veterinarian will discuss the possibility of any side effects and how you how to help your dog if it has any reaction to the vaccination. Don’t skip the shots, stick to the schedule and your dog will be part of your family for a long time.

Don’t panic if your dog experiences loss of appetite or depression, because it may be due to many things, and not some disease or a reaction to vaccination. Watch out for other symptoms and consult with your vet.

Schedule: When To Vaccinate Your Puppy

As seen in the chart, there is a strict schedule of puppy vaccination, which you should follow. When you get the puppy, check if it has received any vaccines and inform your vet. Whether you are buying or adopting a dog, you should be informed about their medical history.

6 – 8 weeks

Core vaccines: DHPP- Distemper(D), Adenovirus (H), Parvovirus (P) Parainfluenza(P). Non-core vaccines: Bordetella, Measles

Vaccines can begin as early as 6 weeks of age. The core vaccines (DHPP) are administered every 2 – 4 weeks until the puppy is at least 16 weeks of age.

This means that you will have regular visits to your vet clinic with your puppy in the first few months.

Some non- core vaccines can be started at this age too if the puppy is classed as a “high risk” of infection, if it lives with lots of other dogs or other dogs it comes into contact with have one of the infections. Bordetella vaccine can be administered to prevent kennel cough infection and measles vaccine can be given to help prevent distemper infection.

8 – 12 weeks

Core vaccines: DHPP Non-core vaccines: Coronavirus, Leptospirosis, Bordetella, Lyme disease

Between 10 to 12 weeks your puppy must get the DHPP vaccine, which will protect it from diseases which are actually initials of this vaccine – (D) distemper, (H) hepatitis, (P) parvo and (P) parainfluenza.

Depending on your environment, some other vaccines may be recommended to prevent further illnesses. Other illnesses that your vet may suggest vaccinating against are Coronavirus, Leptospirosis, Bordetella, and Lyme disease.

12 – 16 weeks

Core vaccines: Rabies, DHPP Non-core vaccines: Coronavirus, Leptospirosis, Lyme disease

Rabies affects both humans and animals, and leads to death. Dogs can get the disease if an infected dog or wild animal bites them, or if infected saliva comes in contact with a wound. The best prevention is vaccination, so be responsible and stick to the schedule.

12 – 16 months

Core vaccines: Rabies, DHPP Non-core vaccines: Coronavirus, Leptospirosis, Bordetella, Lyme disease

Your dog will need to get a booster of DHPP and a vaccine against rabies. The vaccines aren’t effective if your puppy gets only one and you forget about the booster.

The DHPP is then given to dogs every 1 to 3 years.

Vaccine against rabies is given every 1 to 3 years, depending on where you live and as required by law.

Vaccination against Coronavirus, Leptospirosis, Bordetella, and Lyme disease require a vaccine to be given every year.

This complete guide shows you the importance of dog vaccination, so don’t risk your dog’s life, but prevent various diseases.

Overview of Diseases

Canine distemper

Canine distemper is a serious and very contagious disease, which your puppy can get if in direct contact with another infected dog, or by sharing food or water bowls. The most common symptoms are discharges from the eyes and nose, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, coughing, twitching, seizures or death. There is no cure for distemper. Treatment consists of intensive supportive care to control the symptoms.

Canine Adenovirus/Hepatitis

Canine hepatitis causes a severe infection of the liver. The symptoms can include loss of appetite, fever, vomiting, diarrhoea, coughing and a sore tummy. There is no cure and treatment consists of intensive nursing and medication to control the symptoms. (2)

Canine Parvovirus

Parvovirus is another often fatal disease, and its most common symptom is vomiting and bloody diarrhea. The puppy becomes very weak and dehydrated quickly. There is no cure and treatment consists of intensive supportive care. Those puppies that survive the Parvovirus are at high risk of developing serious chronic disorders. (3)

Parainfluenza virus

Parainfluenza virus is one of the main causes of kennel cough infection. It is highly contagious and can be easily spread through the air. It is a respiratory infection, and the symptoms are sneezing and coughing. In most dogs it causes a mild infection, but in puppies and older dogs it can cause a more serious infection.

Measles

Measles is a human disease caused by a virus similar to the one which causes distemper infection in dogs. Sometimes a special measles vaccine is administered to puppies between 6 and 12 wks of age, to help protect them against canine distemper virus. A study has shown that dogs infected with measles virus developed both measles and distemper antibody. (4)

Bordetella

Bordetella bronchiseptica is a bacteria which causes kennel cough infection. (5) It is easily spread from dog to dog, through the air. This vaccine is highly recommended for dogs who socialize with other dogs, go to the park, doggy day care, dog kennels, or if you have more than one dog at home.

Leptospira

Leptospirosis is a serious infection caused by a bacteria. It is spread from the urine of infected dogs or wild animals, and can be found in water and soil. It is a zoonotic disease, which means it can spread from animals to people. Symptoms can include: fever, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, severe weakness, stiffness, jaundice (yellow tinge to the gums and skin), kidney failure or liver failure. Treatment consists of antibiotics and intensive care.

Rabies

Rabies is a zoonotic disease meaning it can be transferred from dogs to humans. It is a fatal disease and causes death. Dogs can get the disease if another infected dog or wild animal bites them, or if infected saliva comes in contact with a wound. (6)

The symptoms include aggression, and your happy bundle of joy may become easily irritable, which usually leads to attacking people, and other animals. After aggression, your dog will start to hide and will become disoriented. Other symptoms are loss of appetite, weakness, and seizures. If your dog was bitten by another dog or some other animal, take them to vet and check for any diseases.

Also, as it may happen that you aren’t around when this happens, watch your dog to see if they are licking and biting one site. Check for any wounds and consult with a vet. Unfortunately, there is no cure for rabies, and it can be diagnosed only after the dog’s death, as the brain tissue needs to be examined.

The symptoms may show that your dog has rabies, but an accurate test can only be completed after their death. Therefore, all dogs who are assumed to have rabies are euthanized.

The best prevention is vaccination, so be responsible and stick to the schedule. Also, supervise your dog when taking them to the park and walk them on a leash.

Canine Coronavirus

This virus can cause a variety of signs from nasal discharge and coughing through to vomiting and diarrhoea. It usually causes a mild disease and most dogs can be nursed better if they are kept hydrated, warm and comfortable.

Lyme disease

Lyme disease is caused by a bacteria called borrelia, and transmitted via ticks. (7) It can affect both humans and animals. In dogs, the most common symptoms are lameness, fever, lethargy, and enlarged lymph nodes. If left untreated it can lead to kidney, liver or heart disease and neurological problems. If diagnosed quickly, it can be treated effectively with a course of antibiotics.

Bonus: Download a free puppy vaccination schedule pdf ready for printing that will remind you when you should vaccinate your dog.

Hope you found this article interesting. If so, feel free to spread the word!

This article has been medically reviewed by Dr Margarita Boyd, BVSc MRCVS.

Margarita graduated from the University of Liverpool, earning a Bachelor in Veterinary Science with distinction. She worked in small animal and equine practice for a few years, before choosing to focus solely on companion animals. She has developed a special interest in internal medicine and ophthalmology.

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9 comments

  • April

    How do you get your dog to stop jumping? Our dog Sadie gets too excited and jumps anytime anyone goes near her. My daughter is scared to go around her because of the jumping.

  • Abbey

    Nice one

  • Dog Lover

    Great Site!

  • B.G

    This site is really cool! It really helped with my Boy scout requirements to get my Dog Care merit badge.

  • Pius osilama

    How to make bark and aggressive

  • Lorrie LeDoux

    My son in law gave his puppy vaccine shot the wrong way. He didn’t mix together both of the vials he gave his puppy only the clear part of the shot what can happen to the puppy

  • Shaunta Whitesides

    Perfectly pent articles, Really enjoyed reading.

  • Pam Bland

    Is it safe then to board a puppy that is only 6 months old? If the second rabies has to be waited for, then its seems like it wouldn’t be safe to board till after they are a year old? Can that be right? It seems we boarded our last dog at about 7 months, but we would have followed vet’s directions, but…. it was over 12 years ago…we still have an excellent veterinary clinic and vet nearby to rely upon, but a second opinion on this might help. We wish to plan a trip to Germany next spring to see family, so we would adjust the time of the trip if a pup was too young to board. Thanks!

  • Besharp

    How vulnerable is a litter from inbreeding (Boerboel)Siblings