Puppy vaccinations are very important in keeping your dog healthy, safe and protected throughout her lifetime against several common dog diseases which can be fatal to your puppy or dog. 

What Are Puppy Vaccinations Protecting Against?

These puppy vaccinations are protecting against some common dog diseases such as:

* Distemper

* Hepatitis

* Parvovirus

* Rabies

The first three diseases (Distemper, Hepatitis & Parvovirus) are included in one injection that is given to your puppy at 8, 12 and 16 weeks of age.

The Rabies vaccine is given as a separate injection at 16 weeks of age.

There are other optional vaccinations for your puppy that are recommended in certain situations depending on where you live.  Some optional vaccinations may include:

* Lyme

* Bordetella

* Leptospirosis

These are diseases that could be a risk to your dog depending on where you live and depending on your dog’s lifestyle which means if they are outdoors a lot and walking down a sidewalk or walking through wooded or long grassy areas.

When Should My Puppy
Be Vaccinated?

There are some common fatal diseases that your puppy can contract unless protected by receiving vaccinations which provide protection against these diseases.

These vaccinations need to be given as a series of injections in order for them to be fully effective.

At 6 to 8 weeks of age is when puppies should begin their immunization injections as well as heartworm and flea preventative treatments. 

Generally, these puppy vaccinations are given at 8, 12 and 16 weeks of age but this could vary slightly depending on your veterinarian’s recommendations. 

Why Does Your Puppy Need
More Than One Vaccination?

* A nursing puppy receives a temporary form of immunity from its mother’s milk. 

* Colostrum is the milk that the puppy’s mother produces for the first few days after the birth of her puppies.  Colostrum has high levels of maternal antibodies that can provide protection against diseases that the mother has been exposed to either naturally or by vaccination.

* These temporary maternal antibodies will protect your puppy for the first few weeks of your puppy’s life but eventually this protection diminishes and then your puppy will need its own vaccination injections for lifetime protection.

* When the mother’s antibodies are still in your puppy then the vaccinations are not able to work in your pup because the mother’s antibodies neutralize the vaccine so that is why your puppy needs to wait until 6 to 8 weeks of age before receiving the immunization injections.

There are many things that determine when your puppy will respond to vaccinations such as:

* the level of immunity of the mother at the time of birth

* how many antibodies your puppy absorbed when nursing

* the overall health of your puppy

Since it cannot be determined exactly when the temporary immunity from the mother has worn off, your puppy is then given a series of vaccinations. 

The reason is that the aim is for two out of the series of three vaccinations will be given when your puppy has lost its temporary immunity received from the mother but before it has been exposed to a disease. 

One vaccination injection does not give your puppy enough protection long-term against these diseases.

When Can My Puppy Safely
Be Around Other Dogs?

* Your puppy also should not be around other puppies or dogs until about 10 days after she has had her second round of immunization injections. 

* You should also avoid free standing water such as puddles as they could contain bacteria that your puppy may not be immune to until 10 days after her second set of vaccination shots.

Extra Info About The
Rabies Vaccination

* The Rabies vaccination given at the correct time is effective enough to protect for a lifetime against this disease as it is not affected by the maternal antibody that your puppy may have.

* The Rabies vaccination is also generally a requirement if you plan on travelling to another country with your puppy and they will require proof that your puppy or dog has had the required vaccinations.  

* Your vet will be able to provide you with this paperwork about the vaccinations that your puppy has had. 

* Make sure you always check on the vaccination requirements before travelling with your puppy or dog to another country.


As puppy vaccinations are a vital part of keeping your new puppy safe and healthy for a lifetime, it is very important to make sure you find a vet for your new puppy when you first bring her home.  It is also very important to get your puppy checked out by a vet soon after you bring your new puppy home and get a schedule set up for her vaccinations.