The American Animal Hospital Association recommends that all puppies get core vaccinations. Core vaccines consist of DA2PP, Bordatella, and Rabies.
- DA2PP stands for distemper, adenovirus, parvovirus and parainfluenza. These are the diseases that young puppies can easily contract and die from. The DA2PP vaccine needs a total of 3 initial doses, every 3-4 weeks between 6-16 weeks of age. Puppies greater than 16 weeks of age can receive one initial dose. The vaccine is than boostered at one year and then every 3 years thereafter.
- Bordetella is the virus that causes kennel cough. Injectable bordetella vaccine needs 2 initial doses, one at 8 weeks and one at 12 weeks of age. Puppies greater than 16 weeks of age also need 2 initial doses, 2-4 weeks apart. Intranasal and oral bordetella vaccine only require a single initial dose. The vaccine is then boostered every 6 months or every year depending on the dog’s lifestyle. Dogs who frequent doggie daycare, dog parks, and boarding facilities should get boostered every 6 months.
- Rabies is required by law. Rabies vaccine is administered as a single initial dose no earlier than 12 weeks of age. It is boostered at one year and then yearly or every 3 years depending on the vaccine. Rabies vaccinations are extremely important because rabies can be transmitted amongst different species including humans. Animals who do not have a rabies vaccine history and bite humans or other animals may be euthanized.
The non-core vaccines consist of Lyme, Lepto, and Canine Influenza. These vaccines should be administered based on the dog’s lifestyle.
- Lyme vaccine is used to prevent Lyme disease which is a tick borne disease. Dog’s who travel to or live in areas where ticks are prevalent should be vaccinated against Lyme. Lyme vaccines should not be given before 12 weeks of age. Lyme vaccination requires 2 initial doses 2-4 weeks apart. It is then boostered annually.
- Lepto vaccine is used to prevent leptospirosis. Leptospirosis is a bacterial organism transmitted through the urine of infected mammals. Dogs who frequent the outdoors may be at risk of stepping in urine and contracting the disease. Lepto vaccine should not be given before 12 weeks of age. Lepto vaccination requires 2 initial doses 2-4 weeks apart. It is then boostered annually.
- Canine influenza vaccine should be administered to dogs who frequent settings where there are a large volume of other dogs such as animal shelters and boarding facilities. Canine influenza vaccine should not be given before 6 weeks of age. This vaccination requires 2 initial doses 2-4 weeks apart. It is then boostered annually.
Fecal testing and deworming
- As a general recommendation it is a good idea to have at least two negative fecals in the first year of life. Most fecal tests will screen for various eggs, parasites and giardia. Puppies should also be dewormed at a minimum the 3 times they receive their initial DA2PP vaccines. Common dewormers that are used include Strongid and Drontal.
Heartworm, flea, and tick prevention
- Heartworm, flea, and tick prevention is very important due to the deadly diseases and consequences that can result from their infestation. Puppies can be started on heartworm, flea, and tick preventative according to manufacturer guidelines. Puppies should receive their first heartworm test at 6 months of age and yearly thereafter. Although some owners choose to put their dogs on these preventatives only during the warmer months, it is recommended that they are on them year round due to the unpredictability of the climate and the prevalence of insects throughout the year.