To keep our dogs healthy and protected from foreign diseases, it’s important we administer our dog’s vaccination schedule properly. While some of the vaccinations for dogs are mandatory, there are other optional vaccines that you could choose for your pet. The height of discomfort throughout the vaccination process could stress your dogs but it is suggested to get these shots for their wellness.

Oscar Daisy will guide you through the processes in vaccination of dogs: the types of vaccines, the health requirements, schedules and the side effects, in this post.


Vaccines are medical preparations provided to stimulate the immune levels and to eliminate chances for severe illness. They contain antigens, which mimic the disease-causing organisms but do not harm the health system. Usually, the pups gain maternal immunity that shields them from the infections for the first few weeks since birth. It is transferred from the mother to the pup while they are still in the uterus through the placenta. But the level differs for every puppy. Hence, vaccinating your pooch with the right vaccines at the right age will avoid developing fatal diseases.

Vaccine types:

There are two types: the core and the non-core vaccines for dogs. The non-core vaccines are generally optional and can be prescribed to the dogs after consulting the veterinarian. According to the health and immunity of your dog, your vet will suggest the right vaccination program that concerns wellbeing.

a) Core dog vaccines:

These vaccines are highly suggested for dogs to avoid the risk of the transmission of diseases from both animals and human beings. The core-vaccines are as follows:

  1. Canine hepatitis
  2. Distemper
  3. Canine parvovirus
  4. Rabies
  5. Parvovirus

According to the country norms for pets, it is essential to provide anti-rabies vaccines, starting from their early period of birth. A follow-up booster must be given annually to avoid serious health issues.

b) Non-core vaccines:

These vaccines are not necessarily required for dogs. If your surrounding could pose severe infections and diseases, you can consult with a vet and fix your dog’s vaccination schedule. Before administrating it to your dog, your vet will surely evaluate the dog’s age factor, breed, size, medical history, and lifestyle. Some of the most common non-core vaccines for dogs are:

  1. Lyme vaccine
  2. Bordetella
  3. Leptospirosis
  4. Canine Influenza H3N8
  5. Canine Parainfluenza
  6. Deworming

Combination Vaccines:

During your routine visits with your pooch for vaccination, you can spot the vet provide a mix of vaccines in a single shot as a combination vaccine. They are mostly made of core vaccines or, a mixture of both core and other optional vaccines. They are commonly abbreviated as distemper vaccines. According to The Spruce Pets , they are:

D = Distemper

P or Pi = Parainfluenza

PV = Parvovirus

L = Leptospirosis

H or A2 = Adenovirus type 2 (also protects immunity against hepatitis)

C = Coronavirus

You can find the abbreviated combination vaccine names in your pet’s certificate. One exception is the rabies vaccine – it must be administered separately.

Vaccination Schedule:

The frequency and the timings for getting vaccinated will be determined by the veterinarian for your dog after careful evaluation of the pet’s medical history. For puppies, according to Indian Trail Animal Hospital the below-attached table can be followed. Please note that there could be elimination or addition of core and non-core vaccine administered to the pup, depending upon the need.

For adult dogs, vaccinations are encouraged either annually or once in three years.


Effect of Vaccine in dogs:

Vaccines require ten to fourteen days to produce a reasonable level of protection to the dogs. The predicted time for the vaccines to fight against the infections are as follows:

  1. Rabies – 3 years
  2. DHPP – 3 years
  3. Canine Influenza – 1 year
  4. Lyme Disease – 1 year
  5. Leptospirosis – 1 year
  6. Bordetella – 1 year

It is necessary to provide booster vaccinations after the predicted time frame to maintain the level of protection and to stop the decline of immunity in your pooch.

Side-effects of dog vaccination:

After vaccination, your puppy requires a 24-hour complete rest. This period will also help you determine if there are any mild after-effects like pain and discomfort. Lost appetite, diarrhea, inflammation, itching, or fever – if you find these side-effects, please take them to the vet immediately.


The dosage of vaccines is the same for all the dogs, regardless of the size and breed. It does not mean that giving smaller dosage for pups will reduce the effect of the vaccine. Sometimes, a dog might not require a booster vaccination as their immunity is naturally balanced due to the previous dosage. Hence, it is not required to over-vaccinate the dogs.

The necessity of vaccination:

Many dog parents think that vaccines for dogs kill the natural immunity system in them and that it could cause harm to them. But this misbelief has led many dogs to contract serious health issues like rabies, parvovirus, and canine influenza, which could pose danger for their humans as well. You might find it unnecessary but keeping your dog healthy and safe should be your utmost priority. And properly following your dog’s vaccination schedule is the first step you can take to ensure that. Consult your vet for advice if you find yourself confused.

Please note: This is a generic article for informative purposes only. Consult your veterinarian to understand better about vaccination schedules and procedures for dogs.