Although the following vaccines and the age stated that they should be given may vary depending on your dogs breed, general condition of health, or your Vet’s personal opinion, the following immunization schedule is the one most commonly followed for most dogs.
Canine Distemper is a serious canine disease that can be avoided with the proper vaccination. The modified live distemper virus vaccine is normally given at around the age of six to eight weeks old. It requires second and third vaccines at a later date, with a yearly dose given after the series of puppy shots are done.
In combination with the canine distemper shot, a vaccine for infectious hepatitis may be given. The schedule for this is the same as for the distemper shot. Also in combination with these two vaccines, one for Kennel Cough will be given, normally at the age of six weeks, but puppies as young as two weeks old can receive the vaccine if necessary. Only a single dose is required with yearly updates, especially if the dog will be boarded at a kennel.
Canine leptospirosis is a type of bacterial infection. Dogs can become infected with this bacteria through skin abrasions or cuts that come on contact with an infected animals urine. Symptoms of canine leptospirosis can include fever, pain in joints and nausea. In more serious cases, the dog may show signs of excessive bleeding and no appetite. The vaccine for this disease is given in combination with the distemper shot and normally two or more vaccines are need for the full benefit.
The rabies vaccine is one of the most important of the vaccinations, especially if your dog spends time outside. The vaccine is given as a modified live virus or an inactive virus. The first vaccine is usually given at about the age of three months. A second dose will be given after the dog has turned a year old, and then normally it is recommended that the animal receive the vaccine each year after. There has recently been some debate on the need of a yearly vaccine, with some experts believing that every three years is sufficient. This will be something that you need to discuss with your Vet. A three year vaccine is available and has become widely used, although some Vets still prefer for the dog to be vaccinated once a year.
The Canine Parvovirus vaccine is another vitally important vaccine to have given to your puppy. This disease has high fatality rates. The first vaccinations for the Parvo Virus are normally given between six and nine weeks of age and are combined with the distemper shot. Additional doses are given at ten to twelve weeks and then again at sixteen to eighteen weeks with a revaccination yearly. Dogs that have frequent exposure to the virus, such as those in a kennel or pet shop, may be given the vaccine slightly more often, due to the highly contagious nature of the disease.