• Puppy shots are an important part of preventive health care. They protect your puppy from contagious and deadly diseases. They also protect people from diseases that can be passed from dogs to humans.

    Core Vaccines

    Core vaccines are those crucial to the puppy's health. These vaccines protect against distemper, adenovirus, parvovirus, and rabies. Some organizations also consider hepatitis and parainfluenza as core vaccines.

    Non-core Vaccines

    Non-core vaccines are those considered optional, depending on the puppy's lifestyle. These include Bordetella (kennel cough), Lyme disease and leptospirosis. Some organizations also include measles, coronavirus and giardia vaccines.

    City Ordinances

    Some shots are required by city ordinance. For example, The Colony, Texas, requires the rabies shot by 4 months old, followed by a booster at one year and then every one or three years, depending on the type of shot.


    According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, there is no standard schedule for puppy shots. However, most vets give puppy shots based on manufacturer recommendation. The initial set of puppy shots typically begins when the puppy is between 5 and 8 weeks old. It includes three or four sets of shots given every three to four weeks until the puppy is about 18 weeks old.


    The cost of puppy shots varies by veterinary facility. At Legacy Veterinary Hospital in Frisco, Texas, the initial puppy shots cost between $150 and $200 in 2009. Most vets also recommend other services that can significantly increase the cost, such as a general exam, parasite screening and treatment, and heartworm screening and preventative.

    Source: Vaccinating Your Dog

    American Veterinary Medical Association: Vaccination FAQ

    "The Colony Animal Control Ordinance"

    Resource: Vaccination Recommendations for Puppies (puppy shots)

    American Animal Hospital Association

    Legacy Veterinary Hospital

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