Original Question: I'm going to get a puppy so I'm wondering which vaccinations are required and when should it be vaccinated? - Vivek
I am not sure exactly what information you are looking for, but I’ll give you the basics on vaccination protocols for new puppies. The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) publishes canine vaccination guidelines, which are updated periodically after a thorough review of the best current scientific evidence on vaccinations. These guidelines are used by most veterinarians across North America to guide recommendations and vaccination schedules.
It is recommended that puppies receive a series of “core” vaccines for important diseases at 8, 12, and 16 weeks of age. This includes distemper, hepatitis and parvovirus, all combined in one vaccine (one injection). Parainfluenza is often included in combination with these vaccinations as well (but is not considered a “core” vaccine). You may hear this vaccine called DHPP, DHP or DAP for short.
Rabies is typically given as a single injection (no boosters) at 12 or 16 weeks of age, and it is the other core vaccination. Rabies vaccination of dogs and cats is required by law in almost every municipality in Ontario under the Health Protection and Promotion Act.
There are several other vaccinations that can be added to the basic DHP and Rabies protocol, including leptospirosis, canine cough (kennel cough), and lyme (borelia) disease. These are typically considered “non-core,” meaning they are recommended for dogs at a high risk of infection due to their lifestyle or environment. Depending on the formulation, these may require a booster vaccination.
You should anticipate at least 3-4 visits to your veterinarian with your new puppy in the first year. Core vaccinations should be boostered one year after completing the initial puppy vaccines. Your veterinarian will be able to guide you further, and can determine if your pet may need some additional protection beyond the core vaccine set. I encourage you to have a look at our videos on vaccination for more information on this topic.
Dr. Kim Hester
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