Dog Vaccines: How Often Should Your Dog Get Shots?

Are you worried about your dog’s vaccination schedule?

Missing a vaccination can be detrimental to your dog’s health. As a dog owner, it is your responsibility to know how often your canine companion will need his shots. Once you find the answer to this question, you can plan accordingly. 

Remember that some shots call not just for a single vaccination, but numerous vaccinations to protect against the targeted disease. Here at Dope Dog, we’re committed to helping your dog stay healthy and comfortable.

Here’s our brief guide for the most highly recommended vaccinations that will improve the health and well-being of your dog.

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How often do dogs need shots?

The frequency of vaccinations depends on the type of immunization. You can divide the shots into ten different categories according to the medical condition that they prevent. 

We will go into detail about these shots to help you understand how you should plan accordingly.

1. Rabies:

Rabies is a fatal disease for dogs, and it does not have any treatment or cure. Because of this, it is essential to vaccinate your dog against rabies.

There are two types of rabies vaccines. These are popularly known as rabies one-year and rabies three-year vaccinations.

If you have a puppy, you can administer this vaccination as early as three months. Various states regulate the exact age, so you will have to look at your local rules and regulations to know about the recommended age for this vaccine.

If you have a dog over 16 weeks of age, you need to administer him/her with a single vaccine. Rabies 1-year vaccinate requires annual booster vaccines. However, if you look at the 3-year vaccination, it requires a booster after one year and a three-year interval afterward. The administering schedule for this vaccine option is the same for puppies as well as adult dogs. 

These vaccines are part of the dog's core vaccination list.

2. Distemper:

Distemper disease affects both the respiratory system and the gastrointestinal tract of the dog. If left untreated, it can also affect the spinal cord and the brain.

Because of its multifaceted effect, it is a good idea to get your dog vaccinated against this disease in advance.

You can administer this vaccine to puppies as young as six weeks of age. The recommended dose is three vaccines between 6 weeks and 16 weeks of age. For adult dogs, two doses are given at a gap of 4 weeks.

Puppies need a booster dose after one year, whereas adult dogs need a booster dose after three years. It is the primary vaccination on the list, and should not be skipped or delayed. 

3. Parvovirus:

Parvovirus infection can lead to severe digestive problems for dogs. The vaccination schedule for puppies includes three doses between the ages of 6 weeks to 16 weeks of age. For adult dogs, the routine consists of two treatments with a four-week gap.

Puppies need a booster dose after one year, whereas adult dogs need a booster dose after three years. It is another vital vaccine that you should not ignore.

Looking for a way to soothe your dog before his vaccine? Our Dope Dog CBD treats and oil can help.

4. Adenovirus, Type 1:

Adenovirus Type 1 is a fatal virus. It can cause hepatitis and other infections. The disease can also affect the respiratory system and the eyes. As a result, it can be detrimental to your dog’s overall health. Because of the damage that it causes, it is a good idea to vaccinate your companion against this virus in advance.

The schedule of this vaccination for puppies is between 6 weeks to 16 weeks of age. There are three doses recommended during this time. The plan for adult dogs is two doses, with four weeks between them. The booster doses have a similar schedule with the earlier vaccines.

It is another core vaccination for your dog. If the dog suffers from infections due to this virus, it can be pretty challenging to treat them. Moreover, you can never be sure that your companion will recover fully. Therefore, you shouldn't skip this vaccine or delay it to ensure that your canine friend does not suffer from the effects of this virus.

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5. Adenovirus, type 2:

Adenovirus, type 2, results in respiratory problems and can cause kennel cough. It also spreads quickly, which means that if your dog gets in contact with others with the infection, then they can quickly get the virus. The risk of obtaining a secondary infection also increases when the dog is infected with the virus. The contagious nature of this virus makes it necessary for you to vaccinate your companion in advance.

You need to administer this vaccine to your puppy in 3 doses. The doses should be administered between 6 weeks to 16 weeks. Adult dogs only need two treatments with a four week gap in between.

The booster dose for the puppies should be one year after the first series. For adult dogs, a booster dose should be three years after the first series. It is also a primary canine vaccine that requires strict adherence to the recommended schedule for optimal results.

6. Parainfluenza:

Parainfluenza can cause lung infections and kennel cough. It is a contagious virus, so if one dog has it, then the chance of it spreading to others is very high. It can lead to acute inflammation, which will make it difficult for your dog to breathe. If your dog has a weak immune system, it can be fatal. With that in mind, it is vital to stick to a rigorous vaccine schedule to ensure that your canine friend is protected from the infection.

If you have a puppy, then he or she will require the administration of this vaccine every four weeks between the ages of 6 weeks and 14 weeks. Puppies are very susceptible to this disease and require regular protection to prevent it.

If you have an adult dog at home, it will just require a single dose of vaccine. Puppies should get a booster dose one year after the last immunization, whereas adult dogs can wait until three years after the previous vaccination.

You need to keep in mind that this might not be a core vaccination for dogs, but it is necessary to protect them against this contagious virus. The infectious nature of the illness makes it more of a necessity rather than an optional vaccine.

7. Kennel Cough:

Kennel cough is a respiratory infection that can stimulate an inflammatory reaction in the lungs. During this reaction, your canine companion might find it difficult to breathe. It is also contagious, so if you did not vaccinate your dog against it, the chances are pretty high that it might suffer from kennel cough.

Once your dog gets kennel cough, it is challenging to treat. That is why the best way out is to vaccinate your dog against it so that the probability of him or her suffering from it decreases drastically.

For a puppy, it is recommended that the vaccination should be administered in 2 doses. For an adult dog, one oral dose or two doses of injections should be administered to complete the vaccine series. In both cases, a booster dose is a must every six months for adequate protection.

It is not necessarily the most important vaccine, but due to the commonality of the condition, it is a necessity to vaccinate your companion against it. Since it is contagious and difficult to treat, it’s the best way to protect your dog against kennel cough.

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8. Lyme disease:

Lyme disease in dogs can get transmitted through ticks, so it can be problematic if you live in an area with a high tick infestation. It can lead to problems like inflammation of joints, fatigue, and other skin-related issues. Since removing a tick infestation is not an easy task, your canine friend can easily get an infection. In addition to that, the treatment regime can be very stressful and challenging. Fortunately, there are vaccines available that can immunize your dog against this disease.

Vaccination against Lyme disease should be administered to puppies in the form of a single dose when they are at least nine weeks old. The second dose should be four weeks later. For adult dogs, two treatments are required with a four-week gap. The booster dose should be given every year to your four-legged friend just before the tick season.

It is not a primary vaccine, but it can help keep your dog safe against ticks carrying the microorganism that causes Lyme disease. If you live in a place with a high prevalence of fleas and Lyme disease, then you should never avoid this vaccine regime for your dogs.

Find out about our Dope Dog CBD treats and oil to help reduce inflammation for your dogs!

9. Leptospirosis:

Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection in dogs that can spread to the bloodstream and affect vital organs like kidneys and digestive tract. Because of this, it is imperative to obtain the proper vaccination against the disease.

The vaccination dose for puppies is recommended when they are at least eight weeks old. The second dose should be administered four weeks later. For adult dogs, two doses are required at a four-week gap. The booster dose is only necessary for dogs living in high-risk areas and should be administered on an annual basis.

It is not a primary vaccine, but if your dog has exposure to rodents or stagnant water, then the chances of this infection increase significantly. In such a case, you cannot ignore this vaccine regime, which is especially crucial for dogs in rural or semi-urban areas.

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10. Canine influenza:

Canine influenza can lead to a whole host of health problems for your dog. Some of these include:

  • Coughing
  • Nasal dischargw
  • Runny eyes
  • Fever
  • Respiratory problems

The disease is treatable, but it takes a toll on Fido's health. It can lead to severe complications if you're not able to detect it in time. The best solution is to vaccinate your four-legged friend against this disease to ensure that you will not have to worry about identifying it in time.

For puppies, it is recommended that the first dose should be given at eight weeks old. The second dose should be at a gap of 4 weeks. For adult dogs, two doses are required. The treatments should be four weeks apart. A booster dose is also necessary for both of them on an annual basis.

It is not a primary vaccine, but it is always a good idea to protect your dog against this disease.

What Are The Side Effects of Vaccines?

These are the ten vaccinations along with the frequency and age to administer to your canine friend. If you go with the recommended schedule, you will be able to deliver the vaccines properly and protect your dog effectively against all these diseases.

Many dog owners are also curious about the potential side effects of vaccinations. With that in mind, we have provided some insights on vaccine adverse effects.

Is there any vaccination risk for dogs?

Yes, there are a few short term side effects that you should keep in mind, such as:

  • Inflammation at the vaccination spot
  • Mild fever
  • Reduction of appetite
  • Mild coughing
  • Discomfort

However, all of these are just short term adverse effects. The vaccinations can protect your dog against a wide variety of diseases, so the side effects should not be much of a concern. Even though we care about our dogs, but it is necessary to adopt a proper vaccination schedule to protect them against various diseases. Plus, the side effects are uncommon, so you shouldn't assume that Fido will get these symptoms after the vaccine.


If you're wondering about how often your dog needs a shot, then you are in the right place. With our guide above, you can plan the shots for your dog according to the doctor's recommendation. Plus, you will know the exact frequency, which means that you will never miss a single vaccine. 

Instead of taking your dog's immunizations for granted, you should take the initiative to ensure that Fido is fully vaccinated and protected from these life-threatening diseases.

If your canine companion runs from the shot, then you can give them Dope Dog CBD treats to keep them calm and relaxed for the vaccination.

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Please note that this article does not intend to provide medical advice. Go to your pet’s veterinarian for an accurate diagnosis and medical information.

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