I’ve been researching puppy vaccines (shots) the past couple days, so that I am ready for our new little puppy! The information I am sharing is specific to California, so it may vary where you live.

Get your puppy vaccinatedWhy Should You Vaccinate Your Dog

First of all, why are puppy vaccines important? The same reason that they are important to human babies. The shots will help keep your dog safe from some potentially dangerous diseases. Parvo, rabies, distemper and others can be deadly, so its a good idea to get the vaccines. If you plan to board your dog, or take them to doggy daycare, then vaccines will be required.

When to Vaccinate

Puppies in California should follow the approximate schedule below. Obviously listen to your vet’s advice. Their time frame may vary from this below.

  • 6-8 Weeks old – Distemper, Parvo, Adenovirus (Hepatitis), Parainfluenza (DAPP or sometimes called DHPP)
  • 10-12 Weeks old – DAPP (optional – Bordetella, Coronovirus)
  • 13-16 Weeks old – DAPP,  (optional – Coronovirus, Leptospirosis, Lyme, Canine Influenza)
  • 2 weeks after 3rd set – Rabies (if not given with 3rd set) – (optional – Coronovirus, Leptospirosis, Lyme, Canine Influenza – if not given with 3rd set).
  • Rabies should be given before the dog is 4 months old!

Side Effects?

Not all dogs get side effects, and some get them way worse than others. Just watch out for these things and contact your vet if your dog gets any of them.

  • Fever
  • Sluggishness
  • Facial swelling or hives
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of apetite
  • Collapse
  • Lameness
  • Seizures
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Pain, swelling, redness, scabs around injection site.

More Ideas and Tips

Its a good idea to schedule the puppy vaccines on a day when you can watch them. And make the appointment early in the morning, before too many sick animals go to the vet. Germs linger and your puppy is susceptible to all illnesses until they have had all their shots. Do not put the puppy on the floor, instead carry him!