Vaccinating puppies and dogs

Your vet can help with a vaccination schedule for your puppy

Recently, a customer contacted 1-800-PetMeds because he could not find information on vaccinating his 6 month old puppy. I would refer you to the Pet Education article on Dog & Cat Vaccination Schedules for additional information on the topic of vaccines. I thought this would be a great venue for discussing dog vaccines and what a recommended schedule should be. I’ll discuss cat vaccines in another post.

Lets begin by understanding what diseases we are trying to prevent:

  • Dogs must be vaccinated against: Rabies (Core vaccine)
  • Most dogs should be vaccinated against: Adenovirus, Distemper, and Parvo (Core vaccines)
  • Some dogs should be vaccinated against: Bordetella, Corona, Leptospirosis, Lyme disease, and Parainfluenza (non-core vaccines)

Your veterinarian is the best source of information in determining which vaccines to use and within what schedule. However, a possible schedule could be:

5 weeks: Parvovirus

6 weeks & 9 weeks: “5-Way” combination. Coronavirus if in a high risk environment such as a kennel, or breeding facility.

12 weeks or older: Rabies (local law dictates age at vaccination)

12 weeks & 15 weeks: “5 way” combination or “7 way” combination (includes Leptospirosis and Coronavirus if these are a concern). Lyme vaccine if this is a concern.

Adult boosters: You should discuss the need for boosters with your veterinarian. Factors such as the potential for exposure to disease as well as the breed, age, and health of the pet are factors that need to be considered. Dogs at low risk of disease exposure may not need annual boosters.

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  1. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJune 4, 2013 at 8:27 am

    Vaccines for puppies are usually give 2 to 3 times at 4 week intervals starting at age 8 weeks.

  2. My real question was, can I buy these shots from your company??? These are for 1st 2nd 3rd first puppy shots 5way or 5 in one? However its worded on your web site.

  3. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJune 6, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    Not sure if available. Check with Eddy from pharmacy department.

  4. i am tryin to get my puppies their shots. i know that they need the 7 in one shot and that i can order it from a website for reasonably cheap. can u let me know where and a price.

  5. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianOctober 1, 2013 at 10:31 pm

    HI Nilsa. Not sure which website but I would NOT recommend the 7 in one vaccination. Too many viral components in a puppy can cause acute and chronic reactions. Only parvo/distemper are needed in my opinion. Try brand proguard from intervet, which I have used for years.

  6. I am interested in the pill that u give your dogs for fleas and it lasts for 30 days.

  7. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianOctober 3, 2013 at 11:37 pm

    You could try program or sentinel from 1800petmeds. Comfortis is another option.

  8. Where can I buy the right medication for my 6 week old puppy. I want to do it my self. Can I go to a store and pick it up?

  9. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianOctober 29, 2013 at 12:05 am

    Vaccinations are available on line. you could get combination parvo/distemper vaccination. 3 doses 3 weeks apart should be adequate.

  10. I have a 3 month old chiweenie, could you give me a list of shots-in order-that she will need?

  11. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianDecember 27, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    I would give only two distemper/parvo virus vaccinations 3 to 4 weeks apart. I prefer the 2 or 3 in one vaccination, as these toy breeds can react to too many vaccinations given at once. A rabies shot should be given separately from these 3 to 4 weeks later at age 5 to 6 months of age.

  12. I have just acquired 2 pit/roc mixed puppies (4 mo. old next wk) and they have not had any of their shots/vaccinations. What is needed, where do I start, and can I order necessary items through PetMed?

  13. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMay 22, 2014 at 6:35 am

    Check with 1800petmeds pharmacist on availability. Vaccinating is possible at home, but I usually recommend having licensed vet do it, who can individualize vaccination schedule for each animal. For example, parvo/distemper are the two main core viruses I vaccinate against, as the other 5 or 7 in one combination vaccinations are WAY too much for young puppies in my opinion and hit their immune system hard.

  14. I cannot find an answer to this question, because all sites want to talk about puppies. I have a 10-year-old lab mix who has never had a distemper vaccine. When I administer it to him, do I need to administer a follow-up in a few weeks as is the case in puppies?

    Thank you.

  15. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianAugust 6, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    ONE modified live distemper vaccination at this age should provide life time immunity.

  16. oK for all of y’all that can’t hear Dr Michael Dyn. NO you can’t give your own shots. Why are y’all getting pets. You need to take a pet to a Dr just like you would a child. If you want a pet you have to spend money on them just like your family. If my dogs hair star falling out I will take them in. Why people will let there pet be in pain. Don’t get a pet if you can’t afford it…….

  17. I have a dog i found it is a stray. Took to the vet and it is a 3 pound Chihuahua and about 7 months old. He gave her shots. However i have got different opinions from different vets on when she needs a follow up shot. We do not know if she ever had puppy shots. Thanks

  18. I have a3 month old puppy never had shots do i start fresh or at the 3 Mon. Shot

  19. I have a six month old brindle pit and shepherd that has only gotten her first vaccine at 3 months do I continue or restart. Not sure what to do?? Thanks

  20. I just rescued a dog. And he has none of his puppy shots, but has his rabies shots. What should I do?

  21. My dog is two yrs old and the only shot she has had is rabies do I need to get her any other shots or is she ok with just the rabie vac she is very healthy

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