Vaccines for pets can effectively and safely protect your dog from a variety of illnesses that could have devastating consequences. There are two types of vaccines – those that every dog needs (core) and those that target specific conditions or populations (non-core).  Every dog, including yours, should receive the core vaccines, which prevent some of the most common and easily spread diseases. Your vet may also recommend other vaccines, depending on your lifestyle, if you board your pet and other factors.

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What Vaccines Does My Dog Need?

Every dog should have the following core vaccinations for protection from common, easily transmitted and often fatal illness:

  • Distemper
  • Rabies
  • Parvovirus
  • Adenovirus 1

A single encounter with a wild animal, stray dog or hostile cat could lead to infection for your pup unless he is vaccinated against them. Your veterinarian can let you know how frequently you need each vaccine to be fully protected; some are annual, some are given at longer intervals.

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Other conditions that your dog might need to be protected against can be given at your well vet appointment as needed. Your dog may need to be vaccinated depending on their risk and overall health, your lifestyle (a dog that hikes with you every week needs a Lyme vaccination, one that sits on the couch instead may not) and current illness and disease trends in the area. If you board or show your dog, you may be required to vaccinate for any or all the following as well:

  • Leptospirosis
  • Lyme disease
  • Bordetella/Canine Cough
  • Canine influenza

Your annual well exam is an excellent time to talk about the vaccines your pet needs and to learn more about his overall health and wellness. Your vet can help you determine which vaccines are right for you, in addition to the core 4 every dog needs and ensure that your pet stays healthy and safe all year round.


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