Puppy Vaccination Schedule

 

A protective response is what the veterinarian is aiming for when vaccinating your puppy, priming the immune system to produce antibodies and neutralize infectious organisms  before they have a chance to induce disease. Ideally, this is achieved through a standard schedule involving vaccines at 8, 12 and 16 weeks of age.

 

Variations to a schedule become necessary when, for instance, a puppy is vaccinated at 8 weeks of age, and is now 16 weeks old i.e. the 12 week booster was skipped. 

A good protective response is unlikely now that the antibody levels have probably fallen to a low level that will not provide protection. Further vaccination will be necessary. 

At your first visit, the veterinarian will recommend the ideal schedule of vaccination for your puppy, depending on age, previous vaccines, and risk assessment.

 

7 - 9 WEEKS OF AGE

  • Full physical examination & consultation

  • Vaccination - DHPP (1st) distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza, parvovirus

  • Consider Bordatella

  • Fecal analysis for parasites

  • Year-round Flea, Parasite, and Heartworm prevention   

 

12 WEEKS OF AGE

  • Full physical examination & consultation

  • Vaccination - DHPP  (2nd)

  • Vaccination - Leptospirosis 1st and Lyme 1st if in risk group

  • Consider Bordatella if not yet given

  • Year-round Flea, Parasite, and Heartworm prevention   

 

16 WEEKS OF AGE

  • Full physical examination & consultation

  • Vaccination - DHPP (3rd)

  • Vaccination - Rabies

  • Booster Leptospirosis and Lyme as necessary

  • Consider Bordatella if not yet given

  • Repeat fecal analysis for parasites

  • Year-round Flea, Parasite, and Heartworm prevention   

 

6 MONTHS OF AGE

  • Ovariohysterectomy (spay) - female dogs

  • Castration (neuter) - male dogs

  • 6 months of age is a good time to spay or neuter since all adult teeth should be in by this time, which means baby teeth, if retained, should  be  extracted.

   

YEARLY

  • Full physical examination & consultation

  • Vaccination - DHPP

  • Vaccination - Rabies, unless 3-year vaccine

  • Vaccination for at risk dogs- Bordetella/Leptospirosis/Lyme disease

  • Fecal analysis for parasites

  • Year-round Flea, Parasite, and Heartworm prevention

  • Wellness blood testing including heartworm and tickborne disease screening   

 

MICROCHIP

Microchip pet identification may be done at any time, although many people choose to have this done at the time of the spay or neuter since it saves the pet a bit of discomfort.

STRATEGIC DEWORMING

Why deworm regularly?  Some of the most prevalent intestinal worms such as roundworm and hookworm may affect humans ("zoonoses"), especially children and people with suppressed immune systems.  Which treatment is most appropriate for your pet(s)? Together we will decide which preventive program is best for your pet. 

HEARTWORM

All dogs should be tested for HEARTWORM (a blood test) between April 15 & June 1st and be started on a preventive program for year round protection.  All dogs should have a blood test done BEFORE starting the medication except for dogs born after Oct. 31 just prior to the present mosquito season.  Dogs less than six months of age on May 1st of the current year, do not require a blood test prior to starting the heartworm preventive program since they were not.

LEPTOSPIROSIS

Leptospirosis is an extremely dangerous disease that is transmitted to dogs by contact with the urine of wildlife,livestock or other dogs. All dogs are at risk, although some are at lower risk than others. Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease, meaning that it can be transmitted to humans, and can be fatal in both dogs and humans. Unless they are an extremely low risk dog, all dogs should be vaccinated against Leptospirosis. 

LYME DISEASE

Lyme disease is becoming significantly more common in southern Ontario. Dogs that go for walks in areas where ticks exist and can bite the dog, should be vaccinated for Lyme Disease. This disease is transmitted by ticks and can affect dogs, cats and people along with many other animals. After the initial vaccine, a booster vaccine is required 3 weeks later, then once per year.  

A NOTE ABOUT PARVO VIRUS

Parvo virus is a serious disease that causes vomiting and diarrhea, and affects primarily young dogs (6 weeks to 6 months of age) although any age can be affected.  The highest risk breeds include the Rottweiller, Doberman Pinscher, German Shepherd, and Labrador Retriever.  It is a hardy virus that is contracted through exposure to infected dogs or infected stool.  Your puppy's core vaccines help protect against this deadly virus.  It is important to keep your puppy safe from this virus until he/she is fully vaccinated; i.e. do not visit parks or areas where a lot of dogs go to relieve themselves until your puppy is fully vaccinated.