Dog and Puppy Vaccination Schedule: When to Get What Shots (2023)

Well U

  • Featured
  • Pet Care
  • Financial Health
  • Videos


Well U


  • Featured
  • Pet Care
  • Financial Health
  • Videos

Learn more about dog and puppy vaccinations with a comprehensive timeline that shows what shots your dog needs, when to get them, and why it's important.

Posted December 07, 2022

Dog and Puppy Vaccination Schedule: When to Get What Shots (1) Dog and Puppy Vaccination Schedule: When to Get What Shots (2)

Dog and Puppy Vaccination Schedule: When to Get What Shots (3)

Are you the proud owner of a new dog or puppy, or considering adding a new bundle of fur to your family? There's a lot to think about and get done as a new dog parent, and vaccinations should be at the top of your list. Vaccinations are necessary to protect your dog and your community from diseases that are both serious and preventable.1

Below you'll find a basic guide to vaccinations, including both an adult dog vaccination schedule and a schedule for puppy vaccines, as well as their estimated costs. Common dog vaccinations include:

(Video) Vaccinations for Dogs: Puppies and Adults

  • Canine distemper vaccine
  • Adenovirus vaccine
  • Parvovirus vaccine
  • Rabies vaccine
  • Lyme vaccine
  • Bordetella vaccine
  • Parainfluenza and canine influenza vaccine
  • Leptospirosis vaccine

What are Dog Vaccinations?

Dog and puppy vaccinations are a series of shots your pooch will need throughout their lifetime to stay healthy and prevent the spread of disease. When your dog or puppy is vaccinated, they'll receive a vaccine containing antigens that stimulate your dog's immune system by simulating an organism that causes disease.1 This trains your pup's immune system to recognize the organism so that if they're ever exposed to it in real life, it will be better able to fight it off.1

Puppy Vaccination Guide

Newborn and nursing puppies receive antibodies from their mother that protect them from common dog illnesses.1 But after they're weaned onto solid food, those antibodies fade. Puppies should begin building immunity through a series of vaccinations as soon as they're old enough to leave their mother.1

Dog and Puppy Vaccination Schedule: When to Get What Shots (4)

If you get your puppy from a reputable breeder, typically, they'll take care of the first round of shots, and you'll be responsible for boosters. The same usually goes for adopting from a shelter. Otherwise, you'll need to get your pup's first round of shots taken care of as soon as possible after you bring them home, and before allowing them to be around other dogs.2

What Shots Do Puppies Need?

Dog and puppy vaccinations fall into two categories containing specific vaccinations. These two categories are as follows:

  • Core puppy vaccines
  • Non-core dog and puppy vaccines

Core Puppy Vaccines

The shots that are considered essential for your puppy's health, all of which your veterinarian may refer to as “core" vaccines3 include:

  • Canine distemper vaccine - Canine distemper is caused by a virus that severely attacks the respiratory, nervous and gastrointestinal (GI) systems. It's highly contagious and potentially fatal, affecting animals like raccoons and skunks as well as dogs, and can be passed between species through sneezing or coughing. It can also be transmitted between dogs who share water and food bowls or other equipment.4
  • Adenovirus vaccine - Otherwise known as canine hepatitis, this highly contagious virus attacks a dog's liver, kidneys, eyes, lungs and spleen. This viral infection is unrelated to types of hepatitis that affect humans.4
  • Parvovirus vaccine - The parvo vaccine for puppies protects against a dangerous and highly contagious virus that attacks the GI system, causing appetite loss, vomiting, severe diarrhea and severe dehydration. This virus is dangerous for any dog, but especially so for puppies under four months of age.4
  • Rabies vaccine - Rabies vaccines for dogs are required by law in the U.S. All dogs should be vaccinated for rabies at approximately 14 weeks of age, and then again at one year of age. Depending on your local regulations, re-vaccination should happen every one to three years.4 The best time to get your dog vaccinated for rabies is when they are young.

Dog and Puppy Vaccination Schedule: When to Get What Shots (5)

The first three vaccines are usually combined in a single vaccine cocktail that's commonly referred to as DAP or DHP. Some vets offer a DAPP or DHPP shot, which also includes antigens for parainfluenza,3 and some offer a DHLPP shot that also includes leptospirosis,4 even though neither of these are considered core vaccines.

Core vaccines are required for all dogs and puppies. A core combination vaccine should be given at 8, 10 and 12 weeks of age, and then repeated annually. Some veterinarians may switch to a three-year vaccination schedule after a dog reaches two years of age.

Non-core Dog and Puppy Vaccines

Non-core puppy vaccinations are those that are considered optional. Your vet may recommend them based on your puppy's level of risk, determined by factors like age, activities, and geographic location.

For example, if you live in an area where deer ticks are common, your vet may recommend that you vaccinate your pup for lyme disease. Or if your pup will spend a lot of time around other dogs, whether at a dog park, doggie daycare or a boarding kennel, it's strongly advised to have them vaccinated for bordetella, a virus that causes kennel cough.4

In addition to those two vaccines, non-core vaccinations also include both parainfluenza and canine influenza,5 as well as leptospirosis, a zoonotic bacterial disease that can be transmitted from dogs to people.4

In summary, non-core dog and puppy vaccines are optional and include:

  • Lyme vaccine - Lyme disease is a tick-borne illness that affects dogs as well as humans. While humans develop a tell-tale rash that helps to identify this disease, it's much harder to diagnose in dogs, and even if treated quickly, relapses can impact your dog's health for months or even years. It's important to get the lyme disease vaccine for dogs if you live in an area where this illness is prevalent.4
  • Bordetella vaccine - Bordetella is a highly infectious bacterial infection that is the primary cause of kennel cough, a cold- or flu-like illness that causes coughing and vomiting. Although rare, it can also result in seizures and death. Proof of the bordetella vaccine for dogs is usually required if you plan to board your dog or puppy, place it in daycare or attend group training classes.4
  • Parainfluenza and canine influenza vaccines - Vaccinating your dog or puppy for these viruses will help protect them from catching or spreading other forms of kennel cough. Though usually less severe than bordetella, these respiratory illnesses can become serious and even deadly in rare cases. These vaccines are advisable if your dog will be around other dogs whose vaccination history you don't know, and may be required if you want to board your pup.4
  • Leptospirosis vaccine - Lepto is a bacterial infection that can be spread from dogs to humans. While dogs infected with leptospirosis may not show any symptoms, symptoms can be quite severe, including fever, abdominal pain, appetite loss, infertility, jaundice and kidney failure. Because of the risk of spreading to humans, it's important to include this vaccine if your vet advises it.4

Puppy Vaccination Schedule

Dog and Puppy Vaccination Schedule: When to Get What Shots (6)

A typical puppy vaccination schedule is laid out below.5 You'll need to talk to your vet to determine your puppy's risk of exposure to illnesses that aren't included in the core vaccination schedule, and which, if any, non-core vaccines they should receive.

6-8 Weeks of Age:

  • Core vaccines: DAP
  • Non-core vaccines: bordetella; parainfluenza

10-12 Weeks of Age:

  • Core vaccines: DAP
  • Non-core vaccines: leptospirosis; lyme; canine influenza

14-16 Weeks of Age:

  • Core vaccines: DAP; rabies (if not required by law to be given earlier)
  • Non-core vaccines: leptospirosis; lyme; canine influenza

How Much are Puppy Shots?

Vaccination costs tend to vary according to region, as well as from one vet to the next. But on average, you can expect to pay somewhere between $75 to $100 for the core DAP, DAPP or DHLPP vaccine cocktail at each puppy wellness visit, plus an additional $15 to $20 for the rabies vaccination.4

Adult Dog Vaccination Guide

Both the core and non-core vaccinations are the same for full-grown dogs as they are for puppies. Adult dogs require booster shots to be administered every one to three years to maintain their immunity to the diseases they were inoculated against as puppies.2

Typically, at a year old your vet will provide a booster of both the DAP (or DHPP) and rabies vaccinations, as well as any non-core vaccinations you and your vet determine your dog should have.5

The core vaccines, both DAP/DHPP and rabies, have both one-year and three-year options available.5 Typically, after the first year, your dog will receive the DAP shot once every three years. The frequency of the rabies shot varies by state, with many states requiring an annual booster shot for this disease.6 Otherwise, your dog will only need to get the rabies booster once every three years, as well. Your vet can tell you about the laws in your state regarding rabies vaccinations.

As for non-core vaccines, again, your vet will make recommendations based on your location, lifestyle and other factors that determine your pet's risk of exposure. These shots are given once a year, although the Bordetella vaccine may be given every six months, especially if you regularly board your dog or leave them in doggie daycare.

Adult Dog Vaccination Schedule

Here's an at-a-glance schedule for when your adult dog should be vaccinated. Keep in mind that the frequency of rabies vaccinations will depend on your state's laws and regulations.

One year of age:

  • Rabies vaccination
  • Non-core vaccination boosters as recommended by your vet

Every one to three years:

  • Rabies vaccination
  • Non-core vaccination boosters as recommended by your vet

Deworming Vaccine for Dogs and Puppies

(Video) Understanding dog vaccinations - Purina

Dog and Puppy Vaccination Schedule: When to Get What Shots (7)

Intestinal parasites are frequent among puppies and dogs. A dewormer can provide dogs protection from potential diseases caused by these parasites.

Deworming with an oral prescription dewormer, such as pyrantel pamoate or fenbendazole, should take place every two weeks starting at three weeks of age. Once a puppy reaches six months of age, he or she can instead start taking a monthly heartworm preventative that also contains a dewormer for intestinal worms.

Titer Testing for Dogs

If you have concerns about over-vaccinating your pet, you can ask your vet about doing a titer test. This will measure the antibodies present in your dog's blood to see whether or not a certain vaccine is needed.4 However, you can't opt out of the rabies booster, regardless of whether your dog's blood still carries antibodies against it.

Further, the potential consequences of not sticking to your vet's recommended rabies vaccination schedule may be too grave to risk. Not only is rabies both painful and fatal in almost every case, as well as highly contagious, but even if your dog never gets this disease, if they bite someone and aren't legally up to date on their rabies shot, they can be taken away and put into quarantine or even euthanized.6

With that said, as far as the other vaccinations are concerned, titer testing can reduce the overall amount of vaccinations your dog receives during their lifetime, along with the potential side effects that come with them.

How Long are Dog Vaccines Effective?

Both the core and non-core vaccines are considered effective for one year.1 While some DAP and rabies vaccines are labeled as being effective for up to three years, keep in mind that the contents of those vaccines may be no different from those that are labeled as one-year. The difference in labeling is determined primarily by whether or not the manufacturer tested the vaccine's efficacy for up to three years.6

Dog Vaccination Side Effects

While severe adverse reactions don't occur often,1 potential side effects might be another reason to consider titer testing prior to your dog's adult booster shots. Vaccination side effects may include:1

Dog and Puppy Vaccination Schedule: When to Get What Shots (8)

  • Pain or swelling at the injection site
  • Hives or swelling of the face or paws
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Appetite loss
  • Sluggishness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Anaphylactic shock, which may include seizures and/or collapse

It's best to get your dog their vaccinations at a time when you can closely monitor them for a day or two afterward, and call your vet at any sign of a serious adverse reaction.

Cost of Dog Vaccinations

Dog and Puppy Vaccination Schedule: When to Get What Shots (9)

Costs of dog vaccinations will vary, but typically you can expect to pay between $15 and $70 each for core booster shots, and anywhere from $50 to $120 each for non-core vaccinations.7

This doesn't include the cost of an office visit and routine exam, which is likely to run between $30 and $60.7 Altogether, including the costs of parasite control medications and other routine care, an annual vet visit to get your pup up to date on their shots could cost between $100 and $400.7

(Video) Everything you need to know about Puppy (and Adult Dog) Vaccination

CareCredit Financing for Dog and Puppy Vaccinations

If those estimates sound daunting, keep in mind that you can use the CareCredit credit card to pay for dog or puppy vaccinations as well as wellness pet exams, medications, services and products at participating veterinary practices nationwide.* Use the Acceptance Locator or download the CareCredit Mobile App to find a nearby practice that accepts the CareCredit credit card.

Dog and Puppy Vaccination Schedule: When to Get What Shots (10)

Related Tags

Pet CarePet Vaccines (Schedule)DogsPuppies

Dog and Puppy Vaccination Schedule: When to Get What Shots (11) Dog and Puppy Vaccination Schedule: When to Get What Shots (12)

Related Content

View All Pet Care View All

Dog and Puppy Vaccination Schedule: When to Get What Shots (17)ARTICLE

Posted November 21, 2022

6 Tips for Bringing a New Dog or Puppy Home

As a pet lover, there's nothing more exciting than bringing home a new dog or puppy. Here's a list of tips to help you prepare for your new furry friend.

Read more

Dog and Puppy Vaccination Schedule: When to Get What Shots (20)VIDEO

Posted December 9, 2022

Dog Food, Diet, Supplements and Healthy Treats with Dr. Moffatt

In an interview with CareCredit, Dr. Andrew Moffatt discusses dog food, treats and supplements to support your pet's healthy diet. Read edited excerpts from his interview and watch the video below.

Watch now

(Video) Can I walk my puppy before vaccinations? | Dog School | Dogs Trust

Dog and Puppy Vaccination Schedule: When to Get What Shots (23)ARTICLE

Posted July 28, 2021

Pet Insurance and Credit Card Benefits

Vet bills can add up quickly. Learn how the CareCredit credit card and Pets Best pet insurance together offer benefits that help you give your pet optimal care.

Read more

View All Pet Care

The information, opinions and recommendations expressed in the article are for informational purposes only. Information has been obtained from sources generally believed to be reliable. However, because of the possibility of human or mechanical error by our sources, or any other, Synchrony and any of its affiliates, including CareCredit, (collectively, “Synchrony”) does not provide any warranty as to the accuracy, adequacy, or completeness of any information for its intended purpose or any results obtained from the use of such information. The data presented in the article was current as of the time of writing. Please consult with your individual advisors with respect to any information presented. © Synchrony Bank.

* Subject to credit approval.


1 “Dog Vaccinations." Belton Veterinary Clinic,, accessed Nov. 17, 2021

2 "Puppy Socialization and the Risk of Disease." Gary Kane, May 12, 2015,,, accessed Feb. 7, 2022

3 “Basic Vaccine Schedule for Dogs." June 19, 2019, PetMD,, accessed Nov. 17, 2021

4 “Your Complete Guide to First-Year Puppy Vaccinations." Sept. 1, 2021, American Kennel Club,, accessed Nov. 17, 2021

5 “Dog Vaccinations: A Schedule for Every Lifestage." Monica Tarantino, DVM, Jan. 21, 2016, PetMD,, accessed Nov. 17, 2021

6 “Does My Dog Need a Rabies Vaccine Every Year?" Liz Bales, VMD. June 12, 2019, PetMD,, accessed Nov. 17, 2021

7 “How Much Do Dog Vaccinations Cost?" Patty Khuly, VMD, MBA. Spend On Pets,, accessed Nov. 17, 2021


At what point is a puppy fully vaccinated? ›

At what point is a puppy fully vaccinated?

What is the sequence of puppy shots? ›

What is the sequence of puppy shots?

How many shots do puppies need before going outside? ›

How many shots do puppies need before going outside?

How many series of shots do dogs need? ›

How many series of shots do dogs need?


1. What Is the Recommended Rabies Vaccination Schedule for Puppies?
(Healthcare for Pets)
2. What Vaccines a Dog Needs
(Michelson Found Animals)
3. 7 in 1 Vaccine/9 in 1 Vaccine in Dog/ DHPPiL#VaccinationDog#Shorts#DoctorPets
(Doctor Pets)
4. Puppy | Dogs |Vaccination Schedule | #Shorts
(Dr Rahul Pets Care)
5. Dog Vaccine Schedule
(Dog Paw Blog)
6. Taking Puppy Outside Before Vaccinations
(How To Train A Dream Dog)


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Greg O'Connell

Last Updated: 09/15/2023

Views: 6163

Rating: 4.1 / 5 (62 voted)

Reviews: 85% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Greg O'Connell

Birthday: 1992-01-10

Address: Suite 517 2436 Jefferey Pass, Shanitaside, UT 27519

Phone: +2614651609714

Job: Education Developer

Hobby: Cooking, Gambling, Pottery, Shooting, Baseball, Singing, Snowboarding

Introduction: My name is Greg O'Connell, I am a delightful, colorful, talented, kind, lively, modern, tender person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.