Yonge Sheppard Animal Hospital

102 – 280 Sheppard Ave E., Toronto, ON M2N 3B1 | 647-260-8387 | yonge.sheppard.vets@gmail.com

The Essential Vaccine Guide for your New Puppy

Discover the must-know vaccinations every new puppy parent needs to safeguard their fur baby’s well-being. From distemper defenders to parvovirus protectors, this essential vaccine guide is your key to a happy, healthy puppy. Don’t miss out on giving your adorable bundle of joy the best start in life!

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Welcome to the exciting world of puppy vaccinations!  ….huh…not so excited as we Vet-Nerds about the world of canine vaccines.  Let us show you what all the hype is about and how the right vaccine plan will protect your new fur-baby from serious diseases and keep their tail wagging. Let’s explore the essential vaccinations for your new puppy, their importance, and when they should be administered.

Why Vaccinations Matter​

Vaccinations are like a shield of protection for your puppy, defending them against potential health threats. They work by stimulating the immune system to recognize and fight off specific diseases. By getting your puppy vaccinated, you're not only safeguarding their well-being but also contributing to the overall health of the canine community. So, let's dive into the world of vaccinations and unleash the superhero within your pup!

Core Vaccinations

These are vaccinates that are recommended for every pup, no matter their lifestyle. 

1. Distemper

Distemper is a sneaky villain that can attack your puppy’s respiratory, gastrointestinal, and nervous systems. Here in North York, this virus cycles through our racoon population making it an unwelcome threat in our neighbourhood.  Fear not! The distemper vaccine is here to save the day. The initial vaccination is typically given around 6 to 8 weeks of age, with boosters administered every 3 to 4 weeks until your puppy is around 16 weeks old.

2. Parvovirus

Parvovirus is like a stealthy enemy that can wreak havoc on your puppy’s gastrointestinal tract. But don’t worry, the parvovirus vaccine is a powerful weapon against this foe. It’s usually included in a combination vaccine along with other core vaccinations. The initial dose is given at around 6 to 8 weeks of age, followed by boosters every 3 to 4 weeks until your puppy reaches about 16 weeks old. Your veterinarian will guide you on the appropriate booster schedule.

3. Canine Hepatitis

Canine hepatitis is a formidable opponent that targets your puppy’s liver and other vital organs. The canine hepatitis vaccine is your pup’s ultimate guardian against this threat. It’s typically administered as part of a combination vaccine. Similar to other core vaccinations, the initial dose is given at around 6 to 8 weeks of age, with boosters every 3 to 4 weeks until your puppy is around 16 weeks old.

4. Rabies

Rabies is a notorious villain that affects the nervous system and poses a risk to both animals and humans.  This virus is so deadly that Ontario public health has made it a requirement for all pets.   Protecting your puppy from rabies is crucial for their safety and the well-being of your community. The initial rabies vaccine is typically given between 12 and 16 weeks of age.  

Vaccines against Distemper, Canine Hepatitis, Parvovirus and Parainfluenza are typically administered as a combo vaccine, known as DHPP or DA2PP, to reduce the amount of needles pokes for your pup.

Non-Core Vaccinations

In addition to core vaccinations, there are non-core vaccines that are recommended based on factors such as geographical location, lifestyle, and individual risk assessments. While these vaccines may not be universally required, they provide an extra layer of protection for specific diseases. Let’s take a look at a couple of common non-core vaccinations:

1. Bordetella Bronchiseptica

Bordetella bronchiseptica, also known as kennel cough, is a highly contagious respiratory infection that can dampen your puppy’s social life. If your pup loves mingling at dog parks or attending doggy gatherings, considering the Bordetella vaccine is a wise choice. Although typically only associated with mild cold like symptomes in adult dogs, Bordetella is the most common cause of pneumonia in puppies.  The initial vaccination is usually administered at around 8 to 12 weeks of age and does not need to be boostered for a full year. 

2. Leptospirosis

Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection that can be transmitted through contaminated water sources or contact with infected animals. It can cause serious kidney and liver damage in both dogs and humans.  Because of the significant amount of urban wildlife  in our neighbourhood, Leptospirosis poses a significant threat to our canine companions.  Puppies with regular exposure to water or wildlife should be vaccinated against this virus. The initial vaccination is typically given at around 12 weeks of age, followed by a booster after 2 to 4 weeks. Annual boosters are usually recommended thereafter.

Consult with your Veterinarian 🥼🩺

Remember, your veterinarian is the best resource for determining the appropriate vaccination schedule and discussing any specific considerations for your puppy based on their health, lifestyle, and environment. Your veterinarian will provide tailored advice and ensure your pup receives the necessary vaccinations at the right time.

By staying up-to-date with vaccinations and providing your puppy with the necessary boosters, you’re giving them the best chance at a healthy and vibrant life. So, gear up and embrace the power of vaccinations to keep your puppy safe, happy, and ready for endless adventures!

Vaccination Schedule for Puppies