Puppy Preventative Care Schedule

The Importance of Puppy Vaccinations

The first thing to know is that there is no “one size fits all” puppy vaccination schedule. Factors such as lifestyle and your dog’s individual risk factors will come into play. Our team will help tailor this to each individual puppy and help you determine the right schedule, factoring in lifestyle vaccines that are appropriate, in addition to the core vaccines that keep them protected against diseases that are mostly preventable.

Visits Schedule

Initial Visit Age: 6 – 8 Weeks

  • Physical Exam
  • DHPP Vaccine (CORE)
  • Intestinal Parasite Screening
  • Dewormer
  • Heartworm/flea prevention (if appropriate by weight)

Second Visit Age: 9 – 11 Weeks

  • Physical Exam
  • DHPP Vaccine (CORE)
  • Bordetella (Intranasal)
  • Canine Influenza Vaccine
  • Intestinal Parasite Screening
  • Dewormer
  • Heartworm/flea prevention

Third Visit Age: 12- 15 Weeks

  • Physical Exam
  • DHLPP Vaccine (includes 1st Leptosporosis Vaccine – CORE)
  • Canine Influenza Vaccine (annual)
  • Intestinal Parasite Screening
  • Heartworm/flea prevention
  • Lyme Vaccine (1st)

Fourth Visit Age: 15+ Weeks

  • Physical Exam
  • DHLPP Vaccine (CORE – annual)
  • Intestinal Parasite Screening
  • Rabies Vaccine (CORE – annual)
  • Heartworm/flea prevention
  • Lyme Vaccine (annual)
  • 6 months heartworm/flea prevention (if appropriate by weight)

*Schedule spay/neuter at last visit if appropriate.

*A patient needs at least two (2) DHLPP vaccines 2-3 weeks apart ending at 15+ weeks of age.

So, What do all these Acronyms and Vaccines Mean? Don’t Worry! We’ve Got You Covered.


This vaccine helps prevent Distemper (D), Hepatitis (H), Parainfluenza (P), and Parvovirus (P)

  • Distemper is a contagious virus attacking the respiratory, GI and nervous systems of puppies and dogs.
  • This can also be found in wildlife and is transmitted through airborne exposure and by shared food/water bowls.
  • Clinical signs of distemper include ocular and nasal discharge, lethargy, hardened foot pads, coughing, seizures and death.
  • Unfortunately, there is no cure for distemper. Treatment is often supportive care with poor prognosis; however, distemper is preventable through vaccination.


  • Hepatitis is caused by the canine adenovirus-1 and causes upper respiratory symptoms in addition to liver disease.
  • Clinical signs of hepatitis include cloudiness of corneas (blue eye), respiratory symptoms, decreased appetite and fever.
  • Hepatitis is spread by consumption of urine, feces or saliva from infected animals but hepatitis is preventable by vaccination.


  • Parainfluenza is a highly contagious respiratory virus, one of the most common causes of infectious tracheobronchitis.
  • Parainfluenza symptoms include loss of appetite, fever, cough and nasal discharge. This illness is transmitted through airborne exposure.


  • Parvovirus is a highly contagious, potentially fatal virus that attacks the patient's white blood cells and GI tract.
  • Clinical signs of parvovirus are loss of appetite, vomiting, lethargy, bloody diarrhea, fever.
  • Parvovirus is spread by direct contact, contaminated feces, environments or people and lives in the environment for several years.


  • Rabies is a deadly virus that affects the nervous system of mammals.
  • Rabies is transmitted by saliva and can be spread by wildlife such as bats, skunks, foxes and raccoons.
  • A rabies vaccination is required by law, in part because it is a *zoonotic disease.


  • Leptospirosis is caused by infection with Leptospira bacteria, which are found worldwide in soil and water.
  • Leptospirosis causes acute kidney failure and/or liver failure. Clinical signs include fever, muscle tenderness, increased thirst, dehydration, vomiting and can be fatal.
  • This illness is transmitted through infected urine-contaminated soil, water, food or bedding and is a *zoonotic disease.

Canine Influenza

  • Canine influenza caused by a virus.
  • Did you know 80% of dogs exposed to the canine influenza virus develop a flu-like illness? Clinical signs range from mild to severe; persistent coughing, sneezing, nasal discharge, lethargy and fever.
  • Canine influenza is highly contagious and is transmitted through direct contact, coughing, barking and sneezing, contaminated objects like water bowls and people handling.
  • This vaccination is bivalent (covers both common strains of canine influenza- H3N2 & H3N8) and cannot be transmitted to people.

Bordetella (Kennel Cough)

  • This is administered through the pet's nose and helps prevent kennel cough caused by the bacteria Bordetella bronchiseptica, the most common bacterial component of kennel cough or infectious rhinotracheitis.
  • Bordetella can be administered intranasally to initiate IgA immunity with no need for a booster.
  • Bordetella is highly contagious and clinical signs include coughing (hacking dry cough), possible nasal discharge and decreased appetite.


  • This vaccine helps prevent Lyme disease caused by bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi.
  • Symptoms of Lyme disease include lameness, lethargy, fever and enlarged lymph nodes.
  • Infection from Lyme disease can be difficult to clear and symptoms may return at a later date.
  • Lyme disease is transmitted through the deer tick, typically after attachment for 2-3 days.

Zoonotic Definition

  • A zoonotic disease is an infectious disease which can be transmitted between species from animals to humans or humans to animals.

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