The first four-in-one combination vaccine (Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza and Parvovirus) is normally given as soon as the puppy is weaned, which occurs between 6-8 weeks of age. The puppy then needs to be boostered with the same vaccine every 3-4 weeks until a minimum of 16-weeks of age (but ideally 18-weeks of age), which provides protection for one year. Thereafter, this vaccine is boostered every 3 years.
*NOTE: To be sure that your dog has been properly protected from the above diseases, we recommend that the series not be completed before the age of 16 weeks. Your dog should be receiving its last Distemper/Parvo combination vaccine at the age of 16 weeks or older to maximize protection.
The first RABIES vaccine should be given between 12 and 16 weeks of age and is good for one year. The second Rabies vaccine (if administered within 12 months of first vaccine), will provide protection for the next 3 years (in New York state).
Most puppies will also receive two BORDETELLA vaccines: the initial vaccine and then a booster 2 to 4 weeks later. This respiratory disease, also known as “kennel cough”, is passed from dog to dog. Your puppy does not need to be in a kennel to get kennel cough. Depending on your pets exposure, a booster may be required either every 6 months or once yearly.
We also recommend all dogs in our area be vaccinated against LYME disease. The first vaccine may be given as early as 9-weeks of age, but is usually given later. A booster is given 2 to 4 weeks later, then once yearly.
Another vaccination that is quite important is LEPTOSPIROSIS, an extremely contagious bacterial disease that spreads through contact with nasal secretions, urine or saliva of infected animals. Potential reservoirs for the bacteria are squirrels, raccoons, opossum, and rodents. Vaccinations are given as a series which you can begin as early as 6-weeks of age, followed by a booster given 2 to 4 weeks later, then once yearly. Many times, especially with small-breed dogs, the initial vaccine is started at 12-weeks of age. This disease is considered Zoonotic, which means it can be contagious to humans.