Suggested Vaccination Schedule
for Puppies and Dogs

There are many theories out there about the correct vaccination schedule to follow for giving puppy and dog vaccinations, the actual vaccination frequency, whether we should give them to our dogs at all, etc., and many questions abound. It is true that many pet health care providers do not all agree on what is the ideal vaccination protocol to follow as well.

So, just what should a dog owner do?

Based on my past experience and background as a dog owner and breeder for many, many years I will share a popular vaccination schedule for puppies and dogs below.

One thing to keep in mind, I do NOT recommend vaccinating bitches in heat, while pregnant or lactating, or any dog that is sick or has recently been ill, or any puppy under 5 weeks of age.

While the chatter from those that do not believe in the dog vaccination protocol for some reason grows I must admit that from my point of view I have given vaccinations to my dogs and puppies for years now and have seen nothing negative occur as a result of vaccinating my dogs. But I have witnessed many things go terribly wrong to owners animals that were not vaccinated.


Some practitioners believe that vaccinations throw the animal's vital energies out of balance. Some feel that vaccinating your dog is the worst thing you can do to your pet while others have no problems vaccinating their dog or puppy at all. There needs to be a middle ground, keeping the pets best interest in mind.

I feel that following a proper vaccination schedule is very important and is extra insurance against the possibility of my animals getting sick. I do endorse strictly following a vaccination schedule. If you fail to do so you are putting your pets health at risk.

Cocker Spaniel

Are all vaccines safe each time for every individual pet? No way! If your dog just happens to be allergic to anything already present in the vaccine, then that vaccine or products should not be used with your individual pet.

But just because a few pets have allergic reactions to a particular vaccination does not mean that all pets will have these same problems, or that the entire process of vaccinating your pet should be abolished.

It is my belief that vaccines for pets or humans should not be universally condemned just because a few individuals may have an unexpected adverse response. It is also my belief that the simple process of vaccinating your pet has undoubtedly prevented millions upon millions of disease related deaths even though a few individual animals may have been harmed along the way.

Some people are also allergic to seafood or peanuts, for example, but I have not seen these taken off the grocery store shelves. You just have to be aware and alert to your specific pets individual needs and plan accordingly.

Concerning the types of vaccines available when planning your vaccination schedule, there are two basic types - modified-live vaccines and inactivated ("killed") vaccines.

Modified Live Vaccines (MLV) actually contain a weakened strain of the disease causing agent. Since these are an actual live version of the disease, in a highly weakened state, they are thought to provide the best overall immune response.

Inactivated Vaccines (Killed) actually contain killed disease causing agents. Because of this they have a longer shelf life and are considered much more stable.

Additionally, vaccines are now further divided into two separate classes - "Core" and "Noncore". As the name implies, "Core" vaccines should be given to each dog and "Noncore" vaccines are recommended only for certain dogs, for certain diseases.

"Noncore" vaccinations may not need to be given to each dog based on its geographic location, age, breed, overall health status of the dog, among other things. An example of "Noncore" vaccines could be the Lyme Disease vaccine, leptospirosis, canine parainfluenza , coronavirus, and Bordetella bronchiseptica.

Dr. Jones Ultimate Canine Health Formula - Complete Dog Health Supplement

You will probably hear the term "multivalent vaccines" thrown around when inquiring about shots from your local veterinarian or other pet health care provider when discussing a vaccination schedule and the whole process of vaccinating your pet.

I use this type of shot all the time personally with my dogs and have never had any adverse issues. Basically, multivalent vaccines are those that have more than one antigen combined into one injectable unit. Many people call them "combo shots" and that's exactly what they are.

For example, say you purchased a DHLPPCv combo shot - instead of having to give six different individual shots, this one shot contains all six "vaccines" allowing you to give one single small volume injection for multi coverage. So much easier than attempting to give your dog six separate injections - for you both. These combo vaccines are also a very effective and economical way of protecting your pet from disease.

Suggested Vaccination Schedule for Puppies and Dogs

Dog Vaccination Chart per Drs. Foster and Smith

Keep in mind that vaccines do not stimulate your dogs immunity immediately after they get the shot - it can take several days to a couple of weeks depending on several factors so plan accordingly. Regardless of size, age, breed, weight or gender, all puppies are given the same vaccine dosage.

Many different vaccines may be purchased and administered by pet owners to their own animals - be sure to carefully read and follow the label instructions, be aware of expiration dates, correct storage, etc. It is also important to note that even with proper vaccinations some pets may still get sick with whatever disease they were vaccinated against. Unfortunately, this is just one of those terrible facts.

If you have any questions considering all the possible vaccination options before vaccinating your dog, or how to create a vaccination schedule please discuss them with your veterinarian.

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"Parrots, tortoises and redwoods live a longer life than men do; Men a longer life than dogs do; Dogs a longer life than love does." - Edna St. Vincent Millay