Domesticated animals—and even their kindred in the wild—are not necessarily perfectly adapted to the world we live in.

Although most animals who are born into this world are strong enough to live their lives at their utmost, getting sick is not necessarily altogether removed in that overall picture.

Despite being sheltered, domesticated pets, like dogs—especially puppies—remain vulnerable to disease caused by certain micro-organisms, particularly when not vaccinated.

Unlike animals which were not vaccinated at any point in their lives, vaccinated pets are said to be relatively healthier in that they offset the chances of acquiring diseases.

The First Puppy Vaccinations

At around 5 to 8 weeks old, a puppy is already ready to take its first vaccine shot. If the tiny pooch came directly from one of your pets, you would know for sure that your pet has not been vaccinated yet.

But if you are adopting a new puppy from someone else, it is always wise to ask for its medical records in order to ascertain what further vaccinations your new pet will be needing.

It is worth noting that, in their first year alone, a puppy must take multiple shots of different vaccines in order for it to be fully bolstered against common pet diseases, a number of which are contagious.

Why Not Vaccinate Early?

Vaccines are said to be effective only when a puppy has started to wean. This means that when the whelp is still dependent on its mother’s milk, the vaccine is still ineffective. It is just a waste, essentially.

Hard-to-miss Vaccines

For the most part, it is your chosen veterinarian who will inform you about vaccines for your pet and which ones are applicable, considering the dog’s place of stay and how many other pets are there at home.

Given that certain diseases are very serious in nature among dogs, chances are good that your vet will suggest—or rather mandate—you to give the following shots to your pet: distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus, and rabies.

Puppy Vaccination Chart

Most puppy vaccinations begin the day they start getting their shot up until their 14 weeks of age. That’s getting vaccine shots every 2 to 4 weeks since the first.

Not all vaccines administered are the same, however. Some vaccines can be carried out as a combo such as the DHLPPC—literally, distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parainfluenza, parvo, and corona—while others are conducted one vaccine at a time.

If for some reason, you are adopting a pet of at least 16 weeks of age and are unsure whether or not it has been vaccinated yet, or if whether its shots are up-to-date or not, your vet is likely to suggest going over the pet’s vaccination from the start. This is to ensure that the animal gets it complete set of vaccine shots and not miss on any of them.

To give you an idea as to the schedule of shots you ought to give to your pet, refer to the list below:


First vaccination: 6 to 8 weeks
Second vaccination: 9 to 11 weeks
Third vaccination: 12 to 14 weeks
Fourth vaccination: 16 to 17 weeks
Booster shots: 12 months


First vaccination: 14 weeks
Booster shots: 6 months


First vaccination: 16 weeks (varies by state)
Booster shots: 12-36 months


First vaccination: 14 weeks
Second vaccination: 17 weeks
Booster shots: 12 months


First vaccination: 14 weeks
Second vaccination: 17 weeks
Booster shots: 12 months

Read also: Little Chihuahua Born With Backward Legs Becomes A Feisty Little Pooch Who Loves To Play

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When And Why You Should Vax Your Pet