A Simple Dog Vaccination Guide

dog vaccination and veterinarianWhether you’ve just gotten a new puppy or you’re a veteran dog owner, you need to put vaccinations at the top of your list of disease prevention tactics.  But what to vaccinate for and when can be a confusing maze of often conflicting information.  The American Animal Hospital Association is the highly respected accreditation agency for progressive veterinary care facilities.  AAHA vaccination guidelines are posted on www.aahanet.org, but can be a challenge to interpret from the tables provided.


Following is The Dog Health Adviser’s recommended vaccination schedule which is in general agreement with AAHA recommendations:

1.  DA2PP (combination of Distemper/Adenovirus2(Hepatitis)/Parainfluenza/Parvovirus)

(a) Puppies less than 4 months old - at 6, 9, 12, and 16 weeks.  When given a booster at 1 year usually provides up to 7 years protection

(b) Dogs over 4 months old - 2 vaccinations 4 weeks apart.  When given a booster at 1 year usually provides up to 7 years protection

2.  Rabies - given at age 3 months and older.  Local laws covering revaccination requirements vary, but when given a booster at 1 year, vaccination will provide protection for at least 3 years.

3.  Vaccinations which are available but only recommended for use in environments where there is a high risk of exposure such as unusual disease levels, or exposure to dogs of unknown disease status at shows or boarding kennels:

     Kennel Cough


     Lyme Disease

Many veterinarians will strongly recommend more frequent booster vaccinations for DA2PP as a way to encourage routine health exams and increase clinic income.  The DogHealth Adviser believes that responsible, observant owners are the best judge of their companion’s health.  Conscientious attention to diet, exercise, dental hygiene, and good grooming practices are the preventive paths to health.  Routine wellness visits and booster vaccinations outside the recommended schedule are usually unnecessary.


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