When To Vaccinate Your New Puppy

Protecting your puppy from illness through vaccination is important. Your new dog may need to avoid certain places, people and other pups until they have received the shots needed to prevent sickness. When your furry friend needs to get these shots can depend on your location, lifestyle and the risk factors of their breed. Discover the best time to vaccinate your puppy and why vaccinations are necessary.

Puppy At Vets

Typical Round Of Puppy Vaccinations

New pups should obtain a series of several shots in their first few months of life. These vaccines give their system the boost it needs until they are able build their own lifelong immune protection. These protecting vaccines are necessary in the early stages of life because antibodies from their mother can disrupt the response of their immune system in the future. According to the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), during their first six to sixteen weeks puppies should be vaccinated with booster shots administered every two to four weeks. The last shot should occur before sixteen weeks with some dogs (common among black and tan breeds) requiring another booster at week twenty.

What Vaccines Will My Puppy Get?

Although all puppies should be given the same core vaccines, there are others that may be needed, too. Talk to your veterinarian about the factors of your pup’s specific situation to help determine which shots your puppy should get and when. The core vaccines include the canine parvovirus, canine distemper, rabies virus, parainfluenza virus and adenovirus. Additional non-core shots your particular dog may need, referred to as optional shots, could include leptospirosis, Lyme disease and Bordetella.

Factors That Determine Vaccine Schedule

The schedule of shots best for your puppy is based on multiple factors such as:

  • Age
  • Vaccination status and health of their mother
  • Duration of nursing
  • Number of other puppies in their litter
  • Sanitation level in which they were raised
  • Previous vaccines administered
  • Lifestyle (indoor/outdoor, grooming, interacting with other animals, etc.)
  • Where in the country they were born and currently living

Continuing With Booster Shots

Although your puppy should finish their initial series of vaccines by the time they are twenty weeks old, it may not necessarily be the last of their shots. To maintain health as they age, booster shots your pet may require are based on factors like their lifestyle, where they live and diseases common to that area. Titer testing (a common blood test) allows your veterinarian to measure antibody levels in your dog to determine if and which boosters are needed.

Ensure a good start to the overall well-being of your pet. Work closely with the veterinarian to create a vaccination plan specifically tailored to the individual needs of your puppy. Starting at around six weeks of age the responsibility of providing your pet with the protection needed for a healthy life starts early.