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Puppy Vaccine Schedule - What Shots Puppies Need & When

Puppy vaccinations are considered to be a safe and effective way to safeguard your young dog's health during their vulnerable first year of life. Read on to find out why puppy vaccinations are essential, and when your puppy should get their shots.

The Importance of Puppy Vaccinations

Vaccinations are a key component of preventive healthcare for puppies. They help stimulate the immune system to produce protective antibodies against harmful diseases, providing immunity without your adorable fur baby having to suffer from the actual illness.

These adorable young family members are particularly vulnerable to infections at this stage of their lives due to their developing immune systems, making vaccinations an essential part of their early care.

Core & Lifestyle Vaccines for Puppies

The puppy vaccines recommended by our Greensboro veterinarians include immunizations to help protect against rabies, parvovirus, distemper, hepatitis, canine parainfluenza and bordetella. Your veterinarian may recommend a slightly different schedule but will likely include the same vaccines.

  • Rabies is an extremely serious, fatal virus that affects the nervous system. Rabies is a zoonotic disease, meaning it can be transmitted to humans. Most regions legally require rabies vaccination.
  • Parvovirus causes severe gastrointestinal symptoms, including vomiting, diarrhea, and dehydration. It's especially dangerous for young puppies as well as elderly and immunocompromised dogs.
  • Distemper is a highly contagious virus that affects a puppy's respiratory, gastrointestinal, and nervous systems. Distemper can be fatal, making its prevention crucial.
  • Canine Adenovirus (Hepatitis) can cause liver damage, respiratory issues, and even death. Vaccination helps protect against its effects.
  • Canine Parainfluenza is one component of the kennel cough complex. This virus causes coughing and respiratory distress in our canine companions. It's an important vaccination for social puppies that are in close contact with other dogs.
  • Bordetella is another highly contagious respiratory infection that leads to kennel cough. This virus is encountered in social or group settings.

Every puppy is unique, and their vaccination needs can vary based on factors such as breed, location, and health history. Your veterinarian is your best source of guidance for tailoring a vaccination schedule to meet your puppy's specific needs.

Vaccine Schedule for Puppies

Your vet can help you determine the best puppy deworming and vaccination schedule for your furry family member when you come in for your pet's first examination, but below you will find the typical vaccination schedule recommended for puppies and adult dogs. Follow the link to find out more about puppy's shots and your adult dog's booster vaccines at Guilford-Jamestown Veterinary Hospital

By following the recommended vaccination schedule for puppies, we believe that you are giving your four-legged family member their very best chance at a long and healthy life. 

Puppy Vaccine Schedule

6 - 8 Weeks

  • *DHPP Shot 1
  • Bordatella
  • Leptospira
  • Lyme
  • Influenza Virus-H3N8
  • Influenza Virus-H3N2

10 - 12 Weeks

  • Influenza Virus-H3N8
  • Influenza Virus-H3N2
  • DHPP Shot 2
  • Leptospira
  • Lyme
  • Rabies

14 - 16 Weeks

  • DHPP Shot 3

Adult Dog Vaccine Schedule


  • Bordetella
  • Leptospira
  • Lyme
  • Rabies
  • Influenza Virus-H3N8
  • Influenza Virus-H3N2

Every 3 Years

  • DHPP Booster
  • Rabies

*DHPP: this vaccine protects against Distemper, Adenovirus, Parainfluenza, and Parvovirus.

Age Restrictions

Speak to your vet to find out more about which vaccines are appropriate for your dog. Very young puppies and senior dogs with compromised immune systems are not eligible for all shots.

Side Effects from Puppy Vaccinations

Dog vaccines are considered very safe and few dogs experience side effects. Those that do typically experience very mild reactions.

That said, in rare cases some dogs may have an allergic reaction to getting their shots. This is typically due to a sensitivity to an individual ingredient of a specific vaccine. Different breeds tend to react to some ingredients.

Breeds including German shepherds, collies, and some sheepdogs are known to be sensitive to individual vaccines. Your veterinarian will skip any vaccines that contain ingredients that your dog may be sensitive to.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. Please make an appointment with your vet to accurately diagnose your pet's condition.

Is it time for your puppy to get their shots? Contact our Greensboro vets to book a vaccination appointment for your new fur baby today.

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