Vaccinations are a simple way to protect your canine companion against several diseases and illnesses, some of which may be life-threatening. Here, our vets in La Mesa discuss the importance of vaccines and booster shots for your puppy and offer a sample dog vaccination schedule.

Why are vaccinations important to adult dogs and puppies?

Vaccinations are a key component of preventive healthcare for puppies. They help stimulate the immune system to produce protective antibodies against harmful diseases, providing immunity without your adorable fur baby suffering from the illness.

Due to their developing immune systems, these adorable young family members are particularly vulnerable to infections at this stage of their lives. Therefore, vaccinations and other preventive care, like deworming, are essential to their early care.

Every puppy is unique, and their deworming and vaccination schedule can vary based on breed, location, and health history. Your veterinarian is your best source of guidance for tailoring a schedule to meet your puppy's specific needs.

Core & Lifestyle Vaccines for Puppies

The puppy vaccines recommended by our La Mesa veterinarians include immunizations to help protect against rabies, parvovirus, distemper, hepatitis, canine parainfluenza and bordetella. Your veterinarian may recommend a slightly different schedule but will likely include the same vaccines. These vaccinations can include:

  • Rabies is an extremely serious, fatal virus that affects the nervous system. Rabies is a zoonotic disease, meaning it can be transmitted to humans. The rabies vaccine is legally required in many areas.
  • Parvovirus causes severe gastrointestinal symptoms, including vomiting, diarrhea, and dehydration. It's especially dangerous for young puppies, the elderly, and immunocompromised dogs.
  • Distemper is a highly contagious virus that can be fatal to puppies and affect their respiratory, gastrointestinal, and nervous systems. Therefore, its prevention is crucial.
  • Canine Adenovirus (Hepatitis) can cause liver damage, respiratory issues, and even death. Vaccination can help protect your dog.
  • Canine Parainfluenza is one component of the kennel cough complex. This virus causes coughing and respiratory distress in our canine companions. It's an important vaccination for social puppies in close contact with other dogs.
  • Bordetella is another highly contagious¬†respiratory infection that leads to kennel cough. This virus is encountered in social or group settings.

Puppy Vaccine & Booster Shot Schedule

When you come in for your pet's first examination, you can ask your vet for recommendations on a puppy deworming and vaccination schedule for your furry family member.

Below, we offer a sample puppy vaccination schedule in the form of an easy-to-follow chart:

Puppy Vaccine & Booster Shot Schedule

6 - 8 Weeks

  • DHPP (Distemper, Adenovirus (Hepatitis), Parainfluenza, Parvovirus)

10 - 12 Weeks

  • Booster: DHPP (Distemper, Adenovirus (Hepatitis), Parainfluenza, Parvovirus)
  • Bordetella (Optional)
  • Leptospirosis (Optional)

14 - 16 Weeks

  • Booster: DHPP (Distemper, Adenovirus (Hepatitis), Parainfluenza, Parvovirus)
  • Rabies
  • Booster: Bordetella (Optional)
  • Booster: Leptospirosis (Optional)

Adult Dog Vaccine & Booster Shot Schedule

12 - 16 Months

  • Booster: DHPP (Distemper, Adenovirus (Hepatitis), Parainfluenza, Parvovirus)
  • Rabies
  • Booster: Bordetella (Optional)
  • Booster: Leptospirosis (Optional)

Age Restrictions

Speak to your vet to learn which vaccines are appropriate for your dog. Very young puppies and senior dogs with compromised immune systems are not eligible for all shots.

What is the risk of side effects from puppy or adult dog vaccines?

Dog vaccines are considered very safe, and few dogs experience side effects. Those that do typically experience very mild reactions.

In rare cases, some dogs may have an allergic reaction after getting their shots. This is typically due to a sensitivity to an individual ingredient of a specific vaccine. Different breeds tend to react to some ingredients.

Breeds, including German shepherds, collies, and some sheepdogs, are known to be sensitive to individual vaccines. Your veterinarian will skip any vaccines containing ingredients your dog may be sensitive to.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. Please make an appointment with your vet to accurately diagnose your pet's condition.

Do you need to bring your pup in for their annual vaccinations or booster shots? Contact our La Mesa vets to book an appointment for your furry friend today.