Vaccines are a critical part of maintaining your dog’s health. There are certain vaccines that are needed regardless of your location, while others are used only in specific areas or when an outbreak has occurred. Most vaccines are given when dogs are still under a year old.

Puppy Shots

  • Young dogs must be given a combination shot for distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus and parainfluenza. This shot is given at six to eight weeks, then booster shots four weeks and eight weeks after the initial shot.


  • A rabies shot is a critical vaccine in dogs that should be given at 3 months old. Booster shots should be given every two years afterward for the life of the dog.

Lyme Disease

  • Lyme disease is a concern for dogs infected with ticks. It is mainly in areas heavily populated by deer that carry the tick. A two-shot series with annual boosters can protect your dog.

Bacterial Infections

  • Both leptospirosis and coronavirus are bacterial infections that can cause flu-like symptoms. These vaccinations for dogs are given as part of combination shots if you live in an affected area.


  • In many areas, vaccines for dogs are required for certain health problems. Shots for rabies and distemper are needed for most areas, while Lyme disease is only for specific areas but is often recommended.