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puppy vaccination

Key Takeaways

  • Vaccinations help your puppy’s immunity to fight against infections.
  • All puppies must get core vaccinations.
  • Your vet can create a custom vaccination plan for your puppy based on its age, breed, current health, and needs.
  • Flexible payment plans can help you manage your puppy’s vaccination and treatment costs.

If it’s your first time as a dog owner, you may have several questions on your mind concerning your puppy’s care and well-being.

One of the most important things to do in the initial week after getting a puppy home is to get it vaccinated. Just like human babies, they need immunity boosters, which help them grow into healthy and happy dogs.

We have covered all the details you need regarding puppy vaccinations in the first year—let’s begin!

Which Shots Will My Puppy Need?

Vaccinations for puppies start as early as four to six weeks. It’s best to talk to your vet to determine the best vaccination timings for your puppy.

Core and non-core are the two categories of vaccinations.

Core vaccines are recommended for all pets, no matter their lifestyle, age, and breed. DAPP vaccine, also known as DHPP, and rabies are a part of this category. 

Veterinarians can recommend non-core vaccines for your puppy based on its breed, medical history, age, and lifestyle. 

Get Affordable Chiropractic Care for Your Dog with the Ease of Payment Plans

Here’s a detailed overview of the vaccinations to schedule within the first year for your puppy.

1. Bordetella - Also known as kennel cough, this is a highly contagious respiratory disease that causes coughing, whooping, vomiting, and even seizures or death in some rare cases. It most commonly spreads through other dogs, such as in dog parks, daycares, and kennels. 

Although it’s a treatable disease, it can bring on several uncomfortable symptoms like fever, sneezing, and lethargy. Bordetella vaccine cost can vary between $19 and $45 on average.

2. Distemper - It’s a virus that affects the nervous system of dogs and causes bodily malfunction like seizures, muscle twitches, head tilt, paralysis, and convulsions. The disease can spread through shared water and food bowls and equipment.

Distemper symptoms include discharges from the eyes and nose, coughing, fever, diarrhea, vomiting, paralysis, and often death. The disease also causes the footpad to thicken and harden. It’s a risk for all dogs, but unvaccinated puppies (four months or younger) are especially susceptible. Moreover, there’s no cure for the disease.  

3. Rabies - This viral infection invades a specific part of the brain, causing anxiety, hallucinations, headaches, fear of water, excessive drooling, and death. Communicable through a bite or rabid animal, a puppy at twelve weeks old must get a rabies vaccination. Thinking how often do dogs need rabies shots? Ideally, once every three years.

4. Hepatitis - Canine hepatitis viral infection is highly contagious, affecting the liver, kidneys, lungs, spleen, and eyes. It can spread through the urine, saliva, and feces of a dog already affected.

Hepatitis type 1 is treatable and curable if caught while still acute. But type 2 is not.

5. Lyme disease - Spirochete bacteria causes this tick-borne disease, which does not show any symptoms in dogs. Once infected, your pet may start limping and stop eating.

This disease can affect the heart, joints, kidneys, and other organs. It can even lead to neurological disorders when left untreated. Consult your vet about when to start tick preventatives for your puppy.

Puppy Vaccination Schedule for the First Year

Puppy’s AgeRecommended Optional 
6 — 8 weeksDistemper, parvovirusBordetella
10 — 12 weeksDHPP (vaccines for hepatitis, parvovirus, distemper, and parainfluenza)Lyme disease per lifestyle, or as recommended by a veterinarian, Influenza, Leptospirosis, and Bordetella 
16 — 18 weeksDHPP, rabiesInfluenza, Lyme disease, Leptospirosis, Bordetella per lifestyle
12 — 16 monthsDHPP, rabiesCoronavirus, Leptospirosis, Bordetella, Lyme disease
Every 1 — 2 yearsDHPPLyme disease per lifestyle, Coronavirus, Leptospirosis, Bordetella, and Influenza
Every 1 — 3 yearsRabies (as required by law)none

How Much Do Puppy Shots Cost?

The dog vaccinations cost varies based on location and type of vaccine. Urban vets generally charge more than rural ones. You can look up low-cost clinics providing rabies vaccinations sponsored by your local municipal administration. 

  • Core vaccines like DHLPP (distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parvo, and parainfluenza) average around $75-$100 for the series administered at 6, 12, and 16 weeks. Rabies shots are usually an additional $15-$25.
  • Animal shelters often offer lower-cost vaccines, sometimes as low as $20 or even free.
  • In the first year, you can expect to pay $100-$350 in the U.S., depending on state and vaccine type. After the first year, annual costs are around $80-$250.
  • Specific vaccines like DHPP or Da2PP cost $20-$60. Non-core vaccines like leptospirosis range from $21-$24, rabies around $25, Bordetella between $19-$45, and Lyme $20-$40.

Or, look for providers working with Denefits to leverage flexible payment plans, making vaccination and treatment for your puppy accessible and affordable. Several veterinary offices have already partnered with Denefits to offer payment flexibility to pet parents like you. There’s a high approval rate and no credit checks. Essentially, you don’t have to fear rejection.

Estimated Puppy Vaccination Schedule for the First Year

Low ($)Medium ($$)High ($$$)
Lyme disease$40$120$200

Are There Any Side Effects of Vaccines?

It’s normal to expect some symptoms after vaccinations since they are small doses of antigens that protect against dangerous viruses.

It’s not just puppies. Adult dogs also experience the following symptoms after a flu shot.

  • Lethargy
  • Mild fever, discomfort, swelling
  • Sneezing, nasal discharge, coughing

Are Vaccinations Worth It?

Veterinary scientists perform risk assessments to test the efficacy and safety of the vaccinations. As of yet, there is no evidence suggesting that vaccines are anything but beneficial for puppies and dogs.

It’s worth vaccinating your pets to keep them safe from life-threatening illnesses. Moreover, most states require core vaccinations for legal pet ownership. Groomers, daycares, and even housing facilities ask for proof that your puppy has received all the necessary vaccinations before allowing their entry.

If you want to learn more about Denefits, request a callback!