Understanding How Puppy Shots Work

If you don’t understand puppy vaccinations then you should create a puppy vaccination schedule. Creating a vaccination schedule for your puppy will help keep them safe.

Puppies don’t have strong immune systems so shots are very important to ensuring that they stay safe. If a puppy vaccination schedule sounds good to you then you probably want to know what shots your puppy is going to need.


All puppies need to have their core vaccinations. Non-core vaccinations are optional and don’t work as well as core vaccinations.


  • Distemper Parvo
  • Measles
  • Parainfluenza
  • Hepatitis Vaccine
  • Rabies


  • Bordetella
  • Coronavirus
  • Leptospirosus
  • Lyme Disease

Puppies need their first vaccinations at 6 to 8 weeks old. Most breeders will vaccinate their puppies at 6 weeks so make sure you get any medical records when you adopt a dog.

Puppies receive their vaccinations every few weeks until they reach about 14 weeks old. Some vaccinations are given at the same time, such as DHLPPC, which stands for distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parainfluenza, parvovirus, and coronavirus.

Consult with your vet to determine what shots and what schedule is best for your puppy.



Parvo attacks the gastrointestinal system and it is spread by dog-to-dog contact. It can lead to bloating, vomiting, loss of appetite, blood in stool, diarrhea, fever, and death.


Measles also known as canine distemper is from the same virus that gives hoomans measle; however, your dog cannot contract measles from you. The symptoms of canine distemper and hooman measles are very similar. The symptoms include high fever, coughing, nasal and eye discharge, diarrhea, and vomiting.


Parainfluenza virus infection is a very contagious viral lung infection, which can cause kennel cough. The symptoms of parainfluenza include coughing, fever, discharge from nose, low energy, and loss of appetite.


Hepatitis is a liver and kidney infection, which is spread by feces, blood, urine, saliva, and nasal discharge of infected animals. Symptoms include fever, depression, coughing, and loss of appetite.


Rabies is a viral disease that invades a dog’s central nervous system that causes anxiety, headaches, excessive drooling, paralysis, and death. The virus is secreted in saliva and is usually transmitted by a bite from an infected animal.

Bordetella (often responsible for kennel cough)

Bordetella is a respiratory disease in dogs that causes severe coughing fits, whooping, vomiting, and possibly seizures and death. Puppies should be vaccinated for Bordetella around 6 weeks of age. This should be followed by a booster between 10 to 12 weeks of age. Afterwards, dogs should receive boosters every 6 to 12 months.


Coronavirus is very contagious and affects dogs’ intestinal tracts. This disease is spread from dog to dog through contact with feces. The symptoms of Coronavirus are depression, fever, loss of appetite, and vomiting.


Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease and can sometimes have no symptoms. If symptoms do appear then they consist of fever, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, weakness, and loss of appetite.

Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is contracted by an infectious tick. The symptoms of Lyme disease includes a limp, high temperature, and loss of appetite. It can also lead to heart and kidney problems if allowed to progress.