Vaccinations are essential to immunize your pet dog (puppy) from diseases. Learn about vaccination schedule & shots for dogs.

Dog Vaccinations

When you bring a new puppy home; the most important thing is to get him vaccinated. You can either take him to a veterinarian or give him the required shots easily at home. Vaccinations make the immune system detect and respond to various infections and diseases, before they can cause any form of serious harm to the body. Most of the dog vaccinations are generally administered by subcutaneous (under the skin) or intramuscular (into the muscle) injection and help to fight various lethal and incurable diseases. Thus, it becomes imperative that you vaccinate your pet with necessary vaccination shots and jabs at the proper time. Read this article to know about the various important dog vaccines and their schedule.

Types of Dog Vaccines
Generally there are two types of dog vaccines - Core Vaccines and Non-Core Vaccines.

Core Vaccines (Recommended for all Dogs)

Rabies Vaccine
Since rabies is an incurable disease that can even inflict humans, administering a rabies vaccine to your dog is required by law. A rabies vaccine is given when the dog is between 16-18 weeks of age. An additional jab is given after one year, after which boosters are given every three years.

Distemper Combination Vaccine
This vaccine covers diseases like Distemper Virus, Parvovirus, Adenovirus and Parainfluenza Virus in a single injection. This vaccination should be administered to the puppy after 6-8 weeks of age. A booster should also be given every 3-4 weeks, till the puppies are 16 weeks old.

Non-Core Vaccines (Depend on Risk Factors)

Bordetella Vaccine (Kennel Cough Vaccine)
These vaccines fight against the bacteria called Bordetella Bronchiseptica that causes kennel cough in dogs. It should be generally administered to puppies that come in large contact with other dogs (during grooming or training classes). It can be taken either annually or semi-annually, depending on the requirement and the level of risk the pup is open to.

Lyme Disease Vaccine
Lyme disease is caused by a spirochete called Borrelia Burgdorferri. Ticks carrying the bacteria may spread the disease in dogs through tick-bites and it might lead to various cardiac, kidney and neurological disorders. Two shots of this vaccine should be given three weeks apart and then boostered annually to resist the disease.

You should always ensure that your pet is properly vaccinated, before he mingles with other dogs. See that you take him to a veterinarian for regular health check-ups. Give him all the necessary vaccines at the right time and help him enjoy a long and healthy life.