There are so many important things to remember when bringing home a puppy. You have to set up food and water bowls and a place to sleep. They needs lots of toys and grooming supplies. You need to go through and puppy-proof by hiding cords and keeping important items out of their reach. And you need to schedule an appointment with the vet to start their dog vaccination schedule at GreenTree Animal Hospital in Libertyville, IL. This can feel totally overwhelming. Just remember, it’s all worth it to have a lifelong companion by your side.

dog vaccinations in libertyville, ilYou should schedule your first vet appointment within a few days of bringing home your new little fur ball. At the first appointment, the vet will go over everything you need to know about puppy care. This will include discussing the dog vaccination schedule. Each situation is unique and depends on a few factors like your puppy’s age, breed, where they came from (breeder, shelter, etc.), litter size, and where in the country your puppy came from. From there, your veterinarian will give a personalized recommendation for the dog vaccination schedule.

Shots are important because they prevent diseases. Some of these diseases are treatable if they are contracted and some are not. Vaccines are split into two categories, core and non-core. Core vaccines are necessary for all dogs to get due to the risk of exposure, severity of the disease, or the transmissibility to humans. Non-core vaccines are optional because of the risk of exposure is not as severe. Your vet may recommend a non-core vaccine as a necessary one due to your geographic region. Some parts of the country need additional protection.

In your puppy’s first year, the dog vaccination schedule is pretty intense. Every three to four weeks you’ll need to take them in for a new round of shots and boosters. Here’s a quick run down of what the first year looks like:


6-8 Weeks

The vaccines your puppy will likely get in this time frame are their first Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus,  and Bordetella shots. Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, and Parvovirus are conveniently combined into one vaccine, so your pet will not need to receive such a large number of shots all at once. 

9-12 Weeks

By 9-12 weeks, your puppy will need to return for their second Distemper and Bordetella vaccines, and their first Leptospirosis vaccine, which is included in the Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, and Parvovirus vaccine (DHLPP). 

12-16 Weeks

By 16 weeks, your puppy should be ready for their third Distemper booster, as well as their second Leptospirosis booster. The Rabies vaccine also needs to be given at this time. Rabies is required by the state and most rental properties. 

18-20 Weeks

If your veterinarian recommends it, your puppy can receive their first Lyme vaccine booster at this time, along with their first Influenza vaccine. We often recommend the Lyme vaccine for dogs that spend a lot of time outdoors (hunting, camping, and walking through wooded areas). The Influenza vaccine should be given to dogs that are likely to spend time around other dogs, such as in boarding, grooming, daycare, training, or other social settings. 

What’s Next?

So, your puppy made it through all of these vaccines and now it’s been almost a year since you’ve been to GreenTree Animal Hospital in Libertyville, IL. What can you expect at your check up? Will they need more shots? There’s a new movement gaining popularity to not vaccinate yearly. Similar to the movement to not vaccinate human children, their argument is that it exposes your dog to the disease and can be detrimental to their health. However, according to studies done, there is no evidence that an annual booster dog vaccination does any harm to dogs.

If you aren’t wanting to do a booster unless it’s necessary, you’ll have to have your vet do a blood test to determine what antibodies your dog has. If they aren’t sufficient, you’ll need to get the booster.

Your dog may be considered low-risk enough that you can get on a three year booster schedule but that is for your vet to determine. If you regularly take your dog to doggie day care or board your pup, you should be getting yearly boosters. Specifically, for bacterial diseases like kennel cough.

Overall, you should discuss with your vet what the best option for you and your dog is. They will take into account your dog’s age, lifestyle, and overall wellness in their decision. You may also feel more comfortable vaccinating yearly, especially if your dog is around a lot of other dogs or around other critters that could carry disease. It’s not a necessity, but it’s often highly recommended at GreenTree Animal Hospital in Libertyville, IL.