Vet Blog

A Guide to Puppy Vaccinations

March 25, 2020

Puppy vaccinations are the best way to ensure that your dog gets a healthy start in life.

Puppies are vulnerable to infectious diseases and need vaccinations to build a healthy immune system. One of the most important things to do for your new puppy is to schedule a full course of immunizations. Vaccinations can seem complicated, but the veterinarians at Animal Care Center of Castle Pines are here to help!

Which Vaccinations Does My Puppy Need?

Talk to your vet about which vaccinations your puppy needs. Some vaccines are optional, depending on your puppy's breed and lifestyle, but core vaccinations are absolutely necessary for all dogs! Core vaccinations include parvo, distemper, and rabies shots, as well as canine influenza and canine hepatitis. We also recommend immunizing your puppy against Lyme disease, bordetella, and leptospirosis.

What Diseases Will Puppy Vaccinations Prevent?

  • Distemper and parvo are serious and often fatal viruses, and there is no known cure.
  • Bordetella, aka "kennel cough" is a very resistant, extremely contagious airborne bacteria.
  • Canine hepatitis is a liver disease that most dogs can recover from, but it can be deadly in its most severe form.
  • Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection that attacks the entire body.
  • There is no known cure for rabies, and this vaccination is especially important for puppies who might come into contact with wild animals.

When Do Puppy Vaccinations Start?

Vaccinations begin when your puppy is six to eight weeks of age, and are administered in several rounds over the next few months. Side effects from vaccinations are extremely rare, and the health benefits usually outweigh any risks. Keep a close eye on your puppy after immunization treatments. If your puppy has a bad reaction to any shots, call your vet immediately.

Can My New Puppy Play with Other Dogs?

Keep your puppy safe until you've completed the entire immunization schedule. Deadly viruses like Parvo can be transmitted through the saliva, feces, or vomit of an infected dog or through contaminated bowls, beds, and surfaces. Avoid unknown dogs and public places like sidewalks, parks, pet shops, and doggy daycare until your puppy has received all of their core vaccinations.

8 Weeks: Initial Vaccinations

  • Bordetella

After the initial round of immunizations, you may allow your puppy to interact with other healthy puppies and dogs as long as you know they also have been vaccinated. You should still avoid bringing your puppy to any public place.

12 Weeks: Second Round of Vaccinations

  • DA2P booster
  • Leptospirosis

Your puppy can go more places now, but you should still avoid daycare centers and dog parks.

16 Weeks: Third Round of Vaccinations

  • DA2P booster
  • Leptospirosis booster
  • Rabies

One week after this visit, it will be safe for your puppy to socialize with other dogs. Vaccinations are over for now, but your puppy will still need booster shots about once every year. Your vet will help you schedule appointments to ensure that your healthy puppy grows into a healthy dog.

Contact Us

Animal Care Center of Castle Pines is here to help if you have concerns about puppy vaccinations. As a certified member of the AAHA, you can depend on us for expert care and advice. We are committed to providing the highest quality health care for your new puppy! Contact us with any questions, or schedule an appointment today.