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Did you know? August is National Immunization Awareness Month! 

The health of our fur babies is top priority and that includes properly vaccinating our dogs so that they live their best life. This may not be news to you, but whatever phase in pet parenting you’re in, do you know how often you should vaccinate your dog?

Vaccinations are most effective when they are on schedule, but let’s first establish the difference between core vaccines and non-core vaccines.

Core vaccines are simply the musts of vaccinations. They’re required for all dogs and puppies and include “Canine distemper/adenovirus (hepatitis)/parvovirus vaccine (given as one vaccine called DAP or DHP)” and “Canine rabies vaccine” [Source]. 

Non-core vaccines are not required but are necessary depending on the living conditions and lifestyle of your dog. According to PetMD, they include the following vaccinations:

  • Bordetella Bronchiseptica vaccine
  • Parainfluenza vaccine (often combined with either the Bordetella or the DAP vaccines)
  • Leptospirosis vaccine
  • Lyme vaccine
  • Canine influenza vaccine (H3N2 and/or H3N8)

How often do these vaccinations need to occur?

Vaccinations have different frequencies for puppies and adult dogs, so be sure to review the following closely!

Puppy Vaccination Frequency

  • At 6-8 weeks...
    • First vaccination for DAP (Distemper, Adenovirus/Hepatitis, Parvovirus)
    • Bordetella
    • Parainfluenza (which is commonly included with the DAP vaccination)
  • At 10-12 weeks...
    • Second vaccination for DAP (Distemper, Adenovirus/Hepatitis, Parvovirus)
    • Leptospirosis
    • Lyme
    • Canine influenza
  • At 14-16 weeks…
    • Rabies vaccine - This may be needed sooner depending on the laws of state or country.
    • Leptospirosis
    • Lyme
    • Canine influenza
  • At 16+ weeks…
    • Third and final vaccination for DAP (Distemper, Adenovirus/Hepatitis, Parvovirus)

Adult Dog Vaccination Frequency

  • Annually (once a year)
    • Initial rabies
    • Leptospirosis
    • Lyme
    • Canine influenza
    • Bordetella (sometimes has a more frequent schedule - consult your local veterinarian for more information for your fur baby)
  • Every 3 years
    • After the final vaccination during the puppy schedule, DAP (Distemper, Adenovirus/Hepatitis, Parvovirus)
    • Rabies (frequency changes to every 3 years after the initial vaccination)

Now that you have this information, go forth and give your fur baby the right health treatment! If you haven’t picked a veterinarian for your doggo, check out this post for How To Pick the Right Vet For Your Dog.

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