What Puppy Vaccinations Does My Puppy Need?
Before your puppy is old enough to get their annual vaccinations, they need to start with a puppy vaccinations schedule. Puppies, unlike adult dogs, also need to be dewormed to get rid of parasites usually passed to them through their mother.
We recommend initial puppy shots at 6 to 8 weeks of age. Starting their vaccinations early allows for protection as quickly as possible, as the natural protection they gained from their mother wears off.
Puppies are far more vulnerable to diseases such as distemper and parvo. In fact, parvovirus is one of the most common causes of diarrhea in puppies, with fatality rates especially high in shelters.
Before your puppy has the first rounds of shots, keep them away from dogs you don’t know and areas where strange dogs have been. Parvovirus especially is a threat here, as it can last in the soil for 6 months to a year after being contaminated.
Puppy Vaccinations Schedule
Ideally, puppy vaccinations start at 8 weeks, with two rounds of boosters 4 weeks apart. Their final round of vaccinations contains the rabies vaccine at 16 weeks or 4 months.
6-8 weeks – DHPP, deworm, & Heartworm prevention
10-12 weeks – DHPP, deworm, Bordetella, Leptospirosis & Heartworm prevention
14-16 weeks – Rabies, DHPP, Lepto , deworm and Heartworm Prevention
This puppy vaccinations schedule allows for the perfect amount of boosters for every vaccination, while making sure you’re not giving any vaccinations unnecessarily. After your puppy has completed these shots, they’re protected and will only need their annual adult vaccinations starting a year after puppy #3.
Puppy Packages Pricing
Our comprehensive puppy packages are priced affordably:
- Puppy #1 (6 to 8 weeks) – $35
- Puppy #2 (10 – 14 weeks) – $50
- Puppy #3 (16 – 24 weeks) – $50
What Puppies Need to Be Protected
The most important vaccination for puppies is the DHPP vaccination. Your puppy needs to receive the DHPP vaccination at least twice but preferably 3 times to be considered protected.
Deworm & Heartworm Preventative
Along with their puppy shots, puppies also need deworming and heartworm preventative. Puppies get parasites from their mother, either through their milk or even in utero. Those worms need to be treated with several doses to ensure that all the parasites are killed off.
Bordetella is an extremely contagious disease that causes flu or cold-like symptoms in dogs. It’s usually not deadly, but it can be a threat to vulnerable puppies.
The bordetella vaccination that we give does not need a booster, but we may recommend boostering if you received previous vaccinations from another veterinarian.
Leptospirosis or lepto is a deadly disease. It’s uncommon, but can easily kill puppies, especially if they’re in at-risk areas. This vaccine is not completely effective the first time we give it, so we recommend giving it again one month after the first vaccination. After the first booster, we recommend it yearly.
Puppies must be at least 3 months old to get a rabies vaccination, but we usually recommend giving it to them with their last round of puppy shots (since it doesn’t need to be boostered, and will finish off your puppy’s vaccinations).
Texas law requires puppies receive a Rabies shot by 4 months of age.
Common Questions about Vaccinating Puppies
My puppy is over 2 months. Where should I start with their vaccinations?
If your puppy has already passed two months, then it’s best to figure out what vaccinations you need based off of your current situation and your puppy’s current age.
Most of the time, it’s fine to start with whichever round of puppy shots would normally be given at their age.
For example, for a 3 month old puppy, we would start with the Puppy #2 package (DHPP, deworm, Bordetella, Leptospirosis & Heartworm preventative). Next month, they would get the Puppy #3 package (Rabies, DHPP, Lepto, deworm), then at 5 months they get a final DHPP vaccination or the Puppy #1 package.
If your puppy is 4 months, we can start with the last round of puppy vaccinations, then just work backwards to make sure your puppy gets the right booster shots.
For older puppies, just remember that the priority is the DHPP vaccination and the Rabies vaccination – the first because it’s what puppies die from the most, and the second because it’s required by law.
If you have any questions about your specific situation, feel free to contact us! We’re happy to help you figure out what works best for you. 🙂
My puppy has already had some vaccinations, can I get the rest of their puppy shots with you?
Absolutely! If you can, bring us any paperwork you might have had with your previous vet so we can see where your puppy’s at. We can always tailor your puppy vaccinations schedule for your specific puppy & your unique situation.
Why do puppies need three rounds of booster vaccinations?
When puppies are first born, they have natural protection against diseases due to maternal antibodies. These antibodies from their mother give them immunity for the first several weeks of their life. However, that natural immunity quickly wears off. Also, any vaccinations given to the pup while they still have these maternal antibodies may be ineffective.
That’s why we don’t start vaccinations right away – we’re waiting for those maternal antibodies to wear off.
Unfortunately, the speed at which these antibodies wears off varies from pup to pup. So we’re not exactly sure when your puppy is ready for vaccinations.
The ‘window of susceptibility’ is what we call the period between your puppy’s protection from maternal antibodies, and your puppy’s protection from vaccinations.
Maternal antibodies can wear off at any point from 2 – 4 months. With our puppy vaccinations schedule, we’re trying to make sure your puppy is never vulnerable – that’s our end goal.
I have more questions. Can I contact you about my puppy?
Have questions? Call us at 817-282-1000 or contact us here.
Protect your puppy this weekend at one of our vaccination clinics located across Dallas-Fort Worth! Check our schedule here.