What vaccinations do puppies need?

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What vaccinations do puppies need?
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Keeping a puppy healthy and happy requires making sure he receives the standard vaccinations against prevalent dog diseases. The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) rigorously researches canine vaccines and publishes guidelines for veterinarians and dog owners. Consult your veterinarian as soon as you acquire your puppy to begin her vaccination program.

Rabies Vaccinations

In most communities, puppies must receive a rabies vaccine before they are a year old. Depending upon individual state laws, additional rabies shots are required annually or once every three years.

First Shots

A series of vaccines must be administered, beginning at six weeks of age and repeating every three weeks for a total of three doses. These early vaccine series include parvovirus, distemper, coronavirus, parainfluenza and adenovirus.


Your veterinarian may recommend additional vaccinations based upon special circumstances. Regional disease outbreaks may prompt optional vaccinations for leptospirosis, hepatitis or Lyme disease.


Before leaving your puppy at a boarding kennel, vaccinate him against the threat of bordetella. Commonly known as "kennel cough," this respiratory disease is common where large numbers of dogs are kept in a confined space.


If a puppy is currently ill, a veterinarian may not be willing to vaccinate him, due to an increased risk of side effects related to a weakened immune system.

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