Health & Hygiene

Dog Vaccination Guide

dog vaccination guide
Written by Reena Bakir

All new puppies must receive their first vaccinations at the age of six to nine weeks in order to keep them safe from diseases. Afterwards, your puppy must remain up to date with all the necessary shots to stay healthy and protected! While vaccinations will not eliminate the chances of your dog catching all diseases, each set of vaccinations is tailored to targetting against a specific disease! This dog vaccination guide will aid you in understanding why vaccinations are so important, how frequently you should vaccinate your dog and what shots your dogs should take along with the usual costs!

Why Vaccinate?

dog vaccination guide

Vaccinations protect your pup from several different types of diseases and infections, many of which are extremely dangerous and can turn deadly. Puppies are born with the protection of antibodies passed down by their mothers’ milk, however, these antibodies can only protect the dog’s immune system for the first few weeks of their lives.

Not only do vaccinations keep your pets safe, but they also ensure that none of these dangerous diseases can be passed to your or your family, as some of them may be contagious to humans!

What are the necessary vaccinations?

Usual vaccinations will protect against specific diseases which are usually highly dangerous, and at times deadly, to dogs. These diseases include:

  • Canine Distemper: Usually spread by an infected dog’s saliva, urine or direct contact, this dangerous disease can be fatal as it attacks the body’s respiratory and nervous systems. Initial symptoms include sneezing, discharge from eyes and nose, fever and coughing. As the disease progresses, it can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, and weight loss. In its severe stages, the disease can turn fatal.
  • Hepatitis: Infectious Canine Hepatitis is a viral disease which attacks the kidneys, liver, eyes and lungs of a dog and can be spread through contact with bodily fluids of an infected dog. Signs can range from mild symptoms to sudden fatality due to how quickly the illness can develop.
  • Parvovirus: Canine Parvovirus  is a highly deadly disease which usually targets intestines and stomach in dogs. If left untreated, the disease can easily turn fatal especially in younger dogs with a weaker immune system.
  • Leptospirosis: Caused by a bacteria usually found in infected water or an infected dog’s saliva, Leptospirosis mostly affects a dog’s livers and kidneys and can easily turn fatal when not treated due to causing liver and kidney failure in animals.
  • Parainfluenza: While this disease may not be fatal, it is one of the lead causes to Kennel Cough in dogs. The disease is mostly cold-like, distinct with a hacking cough alongside sneezing, gagging and nasal discharge.

How frequently should my dog get vaccinated?

While your pup will usually begin their vaccinations at the age of six to nine weeks, vaccinations aren’t given all at the same time and so you will need to follow through until your dog has received the full course of vaccinations required. Afterwards, you must also follow up with your vet to make sure your dog continues the full course of vaccinations it requires to stay healthy.

The vaccinations your dog will receive will most likely be tailored to your dog’s health and what they need.

Age Necessary Vaccinations Optional Vaccinations
6-8 Weeks Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus (DHPP) Bordatella
10-12 Weeks Distemper, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Parvovirus, Parainfluenza (DHLPP) Coronavirus
12-16 Weeks Distemper, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Parvovirus, Parainfluenza (DHLPP) Rabies Lyme
1 Year Distemper, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Parvovirus, Parainfluenza (DHLPP) Rabies Bordetella, Carnovirus, Lyme Disease, Rattlesnake Vaccine
Every 1 Year Distemper, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Parvovirus, Parainfluenza (DHLPP) Bordetella, Carnovirus, Lyme Disease, Rattlesnake Vaccine

What about the costs?

The first course of vaccinations will usually cost anywhere between £30 – £60, which is much less than the cost you would be paying to treat these diseases.

Remember that vaccinations make sure to protect your pet and to keep them healthy, saving them the pain and trouble of falling ill to these diseased – many of which are not entirely treatable!

About the author

Reena Bakir

Reena Bakir is a passionate student, writer and animal lover who is a regular contributor to Chelsea Dogs.