What does it mean when we ask if your dog/puppy has had all of its vaccines?
Puppies are initially protected by antibodies passed to them by their mother. Over time these antibodies diminish in their ability to prevent disease. Therefore, we vaccinate puppies at a time when their mother’s protection is decreasing and their own immune system is strong enough to start producing antibodies of its own. In general, the best time to start vaccinations is at 8 weeks of age. Puppies require a series of boosters a month apart after its initial vaccine to adequately develop immunity. We often find that some breeders do vaccines at a very early age, such as 5 to 6 weeks old. We recommend a follow up booster two weeks after those are given to begin the puppy’s complete series of vaccinations.
The recommended schedule for puppy vaccines are as follows:
- 8 Weeks of age– 1st DHPPC (distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza, parvovirus, coronavirus)
- 12 Weeks of age– 2nd DHLPP +/- Lyme (distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza, parvovirus, leptospirosis) Lyme is an optional vaccination that can be added at this time Rabies (1st rabies is good for one year)
- 16 Weeks of age– 3rd DHLPP +/- Lyme booster
- 20 Weeks of age– 4th DHLPP (rottweilers only)
Dogs over 16 weeks of age that have never been vaccinated still need a Rabies and 2 DHLPP vaccines a month apart.
Please be mindful when someone/breeder says that a puppy/dog “has had it’s puppy shots,” that may NOT mean that it’s adequately vaccinated against all the diseases it needs protected from. It may have only had ONE at a very young age and it still may be susceptible to very serious illnesses.
We do require all vaccines before admission to the hospital for a spay/neuter, since this is protection for your pet as well as other that may be hospitalized that day.