8 Common Dog Vaccinations You Should Know About

Giving dog a vaccine

Curious about dog vaccinations your veterinarian may suggest? Here’s a list of the 8 most common vaccines

I don’t know many dogs who actually enjoy going to the vet and getting a shot. While some of us don’t mind getting a vaccine, I don’t know anyone who loves it. But dog vaccinations are an important part of maintaining your pup’s physical health and wellbeing and these are the ones your vet is most likely to suggest:


You’ve probably heard about rabies before, right? I’ll bet you never heard anything positive about it. In fact, prevention is the only “treatment” possible for the rabies virus. If your dog contracts rabies, it’s 100% fatal. Yikes. This is a prime example why vaccines are so important. There are two different types of rabies vaccines your dog can get. The first is a one-year dose. It can be administered as early as 3 months old, but be sure to check with your veterinarian, as each state regulates the age a puppy can get her first vaccine. The second type is a three-year dose. Check to find out how old your dog must be to get the first dose. After the initial dose, it’s recommended your dose get a booster in one year. Following that, your four-legged friend can move to a three-year schedule of rabies vaccinations.


You might read distemper, and think “getting rid of  a bad temper,” when in fact this far from the truth. Distemper is caused by an airborne virus, and can even cause brain damage. This is not a sickness you want to take your chances on, which is why this is considered one of the core dog vaccinations. Three doses are given between six and sixteen weeks old. After the initial doses, a puppy will need to return to their puppy doctor for a booster in one year. After that a booster is necessary every three years throughout your pup’s life.


It’s no fun to be sick, especially as a dog. It’s tough for us to communicate to you humans that we don’t feel well. If your dog gets sick with the canine parvovirus, she may experience severe vomiting and even – shudder – bloody diarrhea. Also, if the illness is left untreated, your dog could even die from infection. It’s found in dog feces and can be transmitted by dog or human who touches it and spread to food and water bowls. If your pooch likes to chow down on poop at the dog park, this is a really good reason to get the vaccine. That’s why the parvovirus dog vaccine is required by veterinarians. The same vaccine schedule is followed as the distemper vaccine.

Adenovirus (canine hepatitis)

Did you know that canine hepatitis can be spread through coughs and sneezes? Yikes. In fact, this disease can develop into severe liver damage and possibly even death. Let’s just say, I’m going to start wearing a mask when I go out in public. Considered a core vaccination, the Adenovirus is given to puppies in three doses. This usually happens between six and sixteen weeks old. After the initial doses, a puppy will need to return to their puppy doctor for a booster in one year. After that a booster is necessary every three years.

Bordetella bronchiseptica (kennel cough)

The Bordetella bronchiseptica vaccine is also known as the kennel cough vaccination. It isn’t considered one of the core vaccinations, though if you plan on boarding your dog, bringing her to a dog show, or allowing her to go to doggy day care or a dog park, it might be required by some of those places. This vaccine can be administered in two ways. If your veterinarian gives oral or intranasal product, it can be completed in one dose. However, if your pet vet prefers to vaccinate with an injection, it may take two doses. This vaccine is given every six months or annually, depending on the need and the vet’s orders.

Lyme disease

Do you live in an area where ticks are a problem? If so, your doctor will likely suggest or even require your dog to get a Lyme disease vaccination. While this dog vaccination is one of the non-core options, it’s highly recommended if Lyme disease is a problem near where you live. If you’re bringing your dog to the veterinarian as a puppy, she’ll get the first dose at twelve weeks, with the second dose coming four weeks later. Additionally, this vaccine may be recommended for your dog annually if your pup is a high risk for exposure.


Wondering if your pet needs a Leptospirosis vaccine? Does she commonly come into contact with rodents or standing water? If so, those conditions can lead to a Leptospirosis exposure. This vaccine is a non-core option you may choose to add to your pet’s regular vaccination schedule. The first time she would receive it is at twelve weeks old, with a second dose happening four weeks later. After the initial dosing, she would get the shot annually if she were considered high risk.

Canine influenza

The canine influenza vaccine is one of the non-core vaccinations available for your dog. If your dog spends time with other dogs at the dog park or doggy daycare, it’s one you’ll want to get. If you choose to add it to your pup’s regular vaccination schedule, you can expect her to get it every year at her annual appointment. Are you bringing a new puppy to the veterinarian for her first shots? Well, the vaccine should be given sometime between six-to-eight weeks old, and a second dose will be required about two-to-four weeks later.

Has your pal gotten any other dog vaccinations? If so, let us know what kind in the comments sections!

Side note: Do you run a business in the pet industry? Would you like to drive more traffic and sales to your site through a search-optimized pet blog? Get in touch with my office-mates at Lantern Content Marketing!

About Napa 'ze Dog

My name is Napa and I'm the Lantern Content Marketing Adventure Company office dog. They create content for business blogs, so I do my part by blogging about pet stuff. My favorite topic is poop! Since you asked, I'm an F2B Miniature Goldendoodle. Everything else you want to know about me is right over here!

2 comments on “8 Common Dog Vaccinations You Should Know About

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