First Six Months Puppy Vaccines

Posted on: 2 March 2017

Bringing a new puppy home can be an exciting time, but it also comes with a lot of responsibility. Your puppy is depending on you, and you're responsible for keeping your new pup healthy. That's why one of the responsibilities that comes along with a puppy, is vaccinations. Vaccines help prevent illnesses that affect dogs and can help your pup live a long, healthy life. There are different vaccines for different diseases, and your new pet will need to get vaccines at certain stages of life. Here are some of the first vaccines you can expect your puppy to get during the first six months. 

Six-to-Eight Weeks of Age 

When your new pet is six-to-eight weeks of age, it's recommended that your puppy receive vaccinations for distemper and parainfluenza. Canine distemper is a serious, contagious viral disease with no known cure. Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea and at later stages seizures. Canine parainfluenza virus, or CPIV is another highly contagious disease that affects dogs. Dogs that come from shelters, rescue centers and breeding kennels are particularly at risk for CPIV. However, even routine activities, such as visiting a groomer, can put your pup at risk for contracting this virus. Once your pup is vaccinated against CPIV, it's recommended that it be part of your dog's annual vaccinations. 

12 to 24 Weeks of Age

At around 12 to 24 weeks of age it's recommended that your puppy receive a rabies vaccination. Rabies is a serious disease where the virus specifically attacks the dog's central nervous system and brain. The primary way the rabies virus is transmitted to dogs is through a bite from an infected animal such as a fox, raccoon, or skunk. The virus is in the saliva of the infected animal and is transmitted when your dog is bitten. Symptoms include behavioral changes such as aggression and attack behavior. 

Optional Vaccines

Your veterinarian may recommend optional vaccines for parvovirus and bordetella. Parvo is a common virus that attacks the gastrointestinal system. If a dog has a healthy immune system, they can overcome the virus. Parvo can cause severe dehydration, so it's crucial that dogs be kept hydrated while fighting off the virus. Bordetella is a virus that spreads easily between dogs and causes what is known as kennel cough. If you plan to board your pup at any time, it's a good idea to add the bordetella vaccine to protect your puppy.

For more information about the vaccines your new puppy should get, check out and talk to a veterinarian.