Victoria's Animal Sanctuary

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Vaccination is a preventive process of immunization against infectious diseases of fatal nature, not only in humans but also in animals. The material injected for purpose of vaccination, known as a vaccine, consists of live attenuated micro-organisms. Once a vaccine is injected, the body takes it as a threat and induces an immune response against live attenuated organisms. Antibodies are formed that stay in one’s body either a lifetime or for a shorter period.

Proper vaccination of your pet is vital for both your pet and family because some diseases are transmitted from animals to humans, so by vaccination, this chain is cut off. So, it is important to learn about vaccination and preventative things that are necessary when you own a dog.

Core and Non-core dog’s vaccines

Core vaccines are those vital vaccines that should be administered to all canines due to universal risk of transmission not only to other dogs but also to human beings, risk of exposure, and severity of diseases

The American Animal Hospital Association’s Canine Task Force approved the list of dog vaccinations to be the core that is:

  • Canine Parvovirus
  • Canine Distemper
  • Hepatitis
  • Rabies

Non-core – vaccines include

  • Bordet Ella
  • Canine Influenza (dog flu)
  • Leptospirosis
  • Lyme vaccine

Some vaccines are not considered to be core but are important for dogs that had contact with these lethal infectious diseases. For example, Rabies is considered to be an essential vaccine in most of the states by law.

Similarly, the administration of the vaccine depends on the following factors:

  • Age
  • Medical history
  • Environment
  • Travel habits
  • Lifestyle

Vaccination schedule for puppy

If you own a younger dog (puppy), a series of vaccination is important as his innate immunity will fade away after some time. So, the schedule of administration of these vaccines is

At 6-10 weeks: DHPP (distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus, parainfluenza.) and Kennel Cough

At 11-14 weeks: DHPP, Leptospirosis, Canine Influenza, and Lyme disease

At 15-16 weeks: DHPP, Leptospirosis, Canine Influenza, Lyme disease, and Rabies

(Canine influenza and Lyme disease vaccines, should be administered according to the lifestyle of the puppy.)

Some vaccines such as against parvovirus are also administered after the age of 15 weeks but upon veterinarian consultation. Canine parvovirus infection (“parvo”), Leptospirosis, Canine adenovirus-2, Canine enteric coronavirus, Heartworm disease, and Intestinal worm vaccination can be done depending upon disease prevalence in that area.

Vaccination schedule for an adult dog

If you get a dog of adult age group, it is understood that all core puppy vaccines have been administered and your veterinarian will switch towards adult dog vaccines. These vaccines are booster doses of previous vaccines and involve DHPP vaccine, Rabies, and Leptospirosis vaccine as well as some adult vaccines such as  Canine Influenza, Lyme vaccines, Kennel Cough (Bordet Ella), Canine parvovirus infection (“parvo”), Leptospirosis, Canine adenovirus-2, Canine enteric coronavirus, Heartworm disease, and Intestinal worm,  if lifestyle and disease are prevalent in that area. While administrating these vaccines you should have an idea about the time for which these vaccines are effective so:

  • DHPP for 3 years
  • Rabies for 3 years
  • Leptospirosis for 1 year
  • Canine Influenza for1 year
  • Lyme Disease for 1 year
  • Bordet Ella (Kennel Cough) for 6 months

So, make sure re-administration of these vaccines after administration of booster doses.


Vaccination is very essential for your pet dog as well as for your family, as many of the diseases can be transmitted from your pet to you and your family. So, after owning any dog whether a puppy or an adult dog, follow some vaccination schedules. If you own a puppy, then follow the vaccination plan as per its age, and if you own an adult dose then get your pet immunized with booster doses of vaccine. The aim is to prevent your pet from lethal diseases.