How many vaccinations does my puppy need before going outside?

Updated November 21, 2016

Dogs are susceptible to many serious diseases. However, many of these diseases are preventable through vaccinations/ There are five main vaccinations that puppies need before going outside or being exposed to other dogs.


The five vaccinations are bordetella, parainfluenza, rabies, parvovirus and distemper. Rabies, distemper and parvovirus are considered "core" vaccines, meaning all dogs should get them. Bordetella and parainfluenza are considered "noncore," and veterinarians recommend them only for dogs spend a lot of time in kennels or at dog shows.


Your puppy can receive the parvovirus, distemper, parainfluenza and bordetella vaccines at 6 to 8 weeks pld. There is also a combination vaccine referred to as DA2PP or DHLPP, which is a five-way vaccination and includes all except the rabies vaccination. These vaccinations should be repeated between 9 and 12 weeks and again between 13 and 16 weeks.

Puppies can get the rabies vaccine anywhere between 10 and 14 weeks old.


Parvovirus, distemper and parainfluenza vaccinations are good for one year, and then should be repeated.


Rabies vaccinations vary depending upon the veterinarian; there are rabies vaccinations that are good for one year up to three years. However, some states have laws requiring annual rabies vaccinations.

Special Considerations

Some veterinarians recommend bordetella vaccines once every six months.

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About the Author

Sarah Estlund is a freelance writer based out of Kansas City. Originally from the Hawkeye State, she received her degree in journalism from the University of Iowa. Estlund writes a dating column as well as more than 15 blogs ranging in topic from celebrity, fashion, pets, self-help and alternative medicine. She has a love of animals and shares that passion in her writing.