dog vaccination schedule


We must adhere to the vaccination schedule established by the veterinarian, as this will prevent a large number of serious diseases. Often we are not sure whether vaccination is necessary or not, because it depends on each dog's circumstances and what vaccinations are mandatory in the area we live in.

If you have doubts about vaccinating your dog, keep reading the DOG57 article in which we will review everything you need to know about the vaccination schedule for dogs.

What is the vaccine

The vaccine that a vet gives our dog is used to generate immunity against certain diseases. Vaccination consists of subcutaneous or intranasal inoculation of a biological preparation containing, depending on the disease to be prevented, an attenuated microorganism, part of a virus, dead microbes, microbial toxins, or surface proteins.

Upon contact with the dog's immune system, a defensive reaction is produced that generates specific antibodies against a particular disease. Thus, if a dog is exposed to it, its immune system will be able to detect it quickly and will have its means to combat it. With proper vaccination, our dog acquires immunity to the disease without having to suffer and overcome it. However, this boost to the immune system is temporary, so periodic revaccination is necessary.

 Vaccines will be effective if the dog is in good health, has got rid of worms, and has a mature enough immune system.

We must know what vaccinations dogs are required to have and how often to give them to keep them healthy because some of the diseases they prevent are fatal. In addition, there are zoonotic diseases, such as rabies, that is, they are transmitted from animals to humans. Vaccination against them is usually mandatory in almost all regions.

As we can see, vaccination is very important for the health of our companion and our own, regardless of a legal obligations, which is why at DOG57 we recommend not to skip annual vaccinations, because treatment is much more expensive.

At what age should a dog get its first vaccination?

Puppies are born with an immature immune system, which makes them more susceptible to serious infectious diseases. Therefore, vaccines are necessary to protect them, but for them to work and generate immunity, they must be given at the right time.

Puppies are born protected by the mother's antibodies, which they acquire first of all by ingesting colostrum, the first fluid that comes out of the dog's mammary glands after birth and before milk. These antibodies protect during the first weeks of life, but also neutralize the effect of vaccines for up to several months. The result is that there is a so-called sensitivity window, which means that the puppies will gradually see a decrease in the protection offered by the mother's antibodies, but still not be able to be properly protected by the vaccines.

By assessing each puppy's condition, it is the vet who decides when to give the first vaccination. The general recommendation is to start the vaccination schedule at 6-8 weeks of age, with revaccination several times every 3-4 weeks, as more than one dose is required to achieve maximum protection and it is also essential to ensure that the vaccine does not interfere with the mother's antibodies.

A new vaccine against tuberculosis and parvovirus has recently been marketed suitable for vaccination at four weeks of age, as the mother's antibodies do not interfere with it. It's another option your vet can consider for dogs at higher risk. Keep in mind that until they complete their vaccination schedule, you should avoid contact with dogs whose secretion is unknown or whether or not they have been vaccinated, as there is a risk of serious illnesses such as those mentioned.

Mandatory and optional vaccinations for dogs

The only vaccine that is obligatory by law in almost all independent societies is the rabies vaccine. Veterinarians distinguish from others what they consider essential or essential, and are recommended for all dogs, protecting them from serious and common illnesses, and elective illnesses that are only recommended developing for dogs at greater risk of related illnesses. lifestyles.
Essential vaccines protect against:
Basket the dogs
infectious hepatitis
rabies in dogs
Optional or nonessential vaccines protect against:
canine parainfluenza
Lyme disease
Kennel cough caused by Bordetella
Corona Virus

Polyvalent Vaccine for Dogs

As we can see, there are many vaccines out there to immunize dogs. Fortunately, you don't have to put them in one by one, but there are so-called polyvalent vaccines, which are those that, in one hole, provide protection against three, four, five, and up to eight pathogens. According to this figure, the vaccine can be polyvalent:

Trivalent: hepatitis, hepatitis, leptospirosis.

Tetravalent: Offers the same protection as trivalent, adding parvovirus.

Pentavalent: tuberculosis, hepatitis, shelter cough, parvovirus, and parainfluenza.

Hexavalent: It is the same pentavalent, but instead of an analog of influenza, it includes two strains against leptospirosis.

Eighth: Tuberculosis, hepatitis, kennel cough, parvovirus, parainfluenza, coronavirus, and two strains against leptospirosis.

Vaccination calendar

Although this is the decision of every veterinarian, below, for example, we show you the standard schedule of basic vaccinations for dogs taking into account adjustments depending on the vaccinations the professional deals with, as well as the conditions of each dog:

At 6-8 weeks of age: The first vaccine should always provide protection, at a minimum, against tuberculosis and parvovirus.

From 9 to 12 weeks: Reminder of the first vaccination, protection can be extended to other diseases.

From 12 weeks: Rabbis vaccination.

After 16 weeks: the last dose of the initial vaccination.

Between 6-12 months: First annual revaccination.

Yearly: Reminders for rabies vaccination, as is usually required by law, and revaccination against leptospirosis recommended.

Every 3 years: Although usually repeated once a year, some vaccines maintain immunity for up to three years, such as parvovirus, tuberculosis, or hepatitis.

This model schedule can serve as an essential guide for any other country, as basic dog vaccinations are common all over the world.

How often to vaccinate a dog?

As we have seen, a single dose of the vaccine does not usually protect a dog its entire life. That is why it is necessary to re-vaccinate. Revaccination is nothing more than the vaccination of booster doses repeated after several weeks, months, or years, depending on the vaccine and the age of the dog.

As we can see if we have revised the suggested vaccination schedule in the previous section, puppies require revaccination every 3-4 weeks until they are four months old. This is mainly due to the continued presence of maternal antibodies. It is also for this reason that it is recommended to re-vaccinate again one year before. Since then, it is sufficient to repeat the vaccination every year or every three years.

On the other hand, if we adopt an adult dog that we do not know whether it has been vaccinated or not, the recommendation is to give the basic vaccinations, repeat vaccination after 2-4 weeks, and re-vaccinate after a year. Vaccines for adult dogs are the same as those for puppies, but, as we can see, the schedule of administration changes. This will be the basic protocol for basic vaccines. Non-essential medicines require one or two doses, usually 2-4 weeks apart, and thereafter, revaccination every 6-12 months. 

Side effects of dog vaccinations

Rarely, adverse reactions, if they occur, are usually mild, such as lethargy, low-grade fever, or loss of appetite after vaccination. Some dogs have a small swelling at the injection site. These effects usually only last for a short time and pose no health risk.

In rare cases, serious allergic reactions occur, appearing in the form of vomiting, diarrhea, and difficulty breathing. These reactions can be fatal if not treated promptly. Fortunately, anaphylactic reactions to canine vaccines are very rare.

At DOG57 we advocate responsible animal ownership and remind you that modern vaccination is the best protection for our dogs and family.

Is it necessary to vaccinate dogs every year?

We have seen that some vaccinations need to be given annually to keep the dog protected, but to what age is the dog vaccinated? If we adhere to legal standards, the rabies vaccine will be required throughout its life, so the dog must be revaccinated every year, regardless of its age.

Alternatively, veterinary standards speak of immune aging from 8 to 10 years, which means that a dog's immune system may not respond adequately to vaccination, which may particularly affect vaccinations that he has not received before. In any case, it will be the veterinarian who decides whether or not to vaccinate against any diseases, weighing the advantages and disadvantages in each case.

This article is informational only, at we do not have the authority to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any kind of diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the vet in case he is under any type of condition or discomfort.

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