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Dog Vaccinations: A Schedule for Every Life Stage

In this post, our Central Illinois vets share facts about dog vaccinations and explain the difference between core vaccine and non-core vaccines. We also provide a dog vaccination schedule. 

Puppy & Dog Vaccinations

Dog vaccinations play a critical role in helping your pet enjoy a long, happy life. When you vaccinate your pup, you protect him from serious illnesses or potentially fatal diseases that dogs are often susceptible to. 

In this post, we'll tell you which vaccines dogs require and provide a typical dog vaccination schedule. Please ask your veterinarian about the dog vaccinations your pooch will need. 

Core vs. Non-Core Dog Vaccinations

There are two general categories of vaccines for pets: core vaccines and non-core vaccines. 

Core Vaccines

All dogs and puppies need core vaccines. These vaccines include: 

  • Canine rabies vaccine
  • Canine distemper/adenovirus (heptatitis)/parvovirus vaccine (administered as one vaccine named DAP or DHP)

Noncore Vaccines 

Noncore vaccines are lifestyle vaccines. They are considered optional and administered based on a number of factors, including your pet's geographic location and lifestyle. Many noncore vaccines protect against highly contagious or potentially life-threatening diseases. 

These vaccines include: 

  • Canine influenza vaccine (H3N2 and/or H3N8)
  • Lyme vaccine
  • Parainfluenza vaccine (frequently combined with either the Bordetella or the DAP vaccines) 
  • Bordetella Bronchiseptica Vaccine 
  • Leptospirosis vaccine 

To determine which lifestyle vaccines your dog should have, your vet will assess a range of factors, including: 

  • Your dog's overall health
  • Whether your pet attends boarding or grooming facilities, doggy daycare or dog parks 
  • Geographic location and risk of disease in your area 
  • Your dog's lifestyle — do you travel with them, take them on hikes or are they exposed to bodies of water or wilderness regularly?

Vaccination Schedule for Puppies & Adult Dogs

Puppy Vaccination 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 Vaccination Schedule


      • Bordatella
      • 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

Talk to your vet to learn more about which vaccines are appropriate for your dog. Very young puppies and senior dogs with compromised immune systems will not be eligible for all shots.

Are there potential side effects to dog vaccinations? 

After receiving their shots, some dogs may have an allergic reaction, typically due to a sensitivity to a single ingredient of a specific vaccine. Different breeds have a tendency to react to some ingredients. 

Various collies, some sheepdogs and german shepherds are known to be sensitive to individual vaccinations. Your vet will not administer any vaccines that contain ingredients that your dog may be sensitive to. 

The Importance of Vaccinations 

Vaccinations are essential to your dog's preventive healthcare. When you bring your dog in for his or her shots early in life, then regularly as they mature through adulthood, you allow your furry friend the very best opportunity to live a long, healthy life. 

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Is your dog due for vaccinations? Our veterinary professionals at Pekin Veterinary Clinic can recommend the best vaccines for your four-legged friend. Contact us right away.

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Contact (309) 346-1375