Puppy Shots: The Guide on Caring for Your First Puppy!

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My First Puppy! Understanding How Puppy Shots WorkBringing an adorable, soft bundle of joy into your home is a wonderful thing, but when you get a puppy for the first time you should know that they are depending on your right away. You are their fur parent, and they will rely on you every day for their needs. That includes getting their puppy shots and protecting them against potential diseases.

All this may sound a little intimidating, but shielding your dog with vaccines given by a veterinarian can help protect them throughout life and help your little fur baby grow into a happy adult dog.

Throughout this article, we are going to provide you with relevant information regarding puppy vaccinations and the importance of protecting them against diseases.

The Importance of Puppy Vaccination and Following Puppy Vaccination Schedule

Man's hand holding a puppy giving puppy vaccination

If you are unsure what puppy vaccines your dog should receive, then you may be interested in creating a puppy vaccination schedule. This can be done by consulting your local veterinarian.

So, why do puppies need a vaccination schedule?

Why Does My Dog Need To Follow A Puppy Shots Schedule

Creating a puppy vaccination schedule ensures that your furry friend doesn’t miss out on their core dog vaccinations at a young age.

As they are only babies, their immune system is still growing and arming itself against the diseases of the world. Creating a puppy shots schedule will help keep them safe and arm them against dangerous diseases.

Puppy First Shot—What Shots Do Puppies Need

If you think that a puppy shots schedule sounds like a good plan, then you should know what shots that might consist of.

Core Vs Non-Core—Shots for Puppies

All puppies need to have core vaccinations. These shots will vaccinate them against life-threatening diseases and help puppies grow into adult dogs. Non-core vaccinations are optional and have been known to not work as well as the core vaccinations.

6 Weeks Puppy Shots—What It Will Protect Your Puppy Against

All pet vaccinations start at 6 weeks of age and are given by a vet. The first lot of shots will protect puppies from distemper, measles, and parainfluenza.

How About Rabies Vaccine?

A dog will usually receive their rabies vaccination at 12 weeks of age.  A rabies shot may also be required at 12 months of age and will have to be given again every 1-3 years.

Puppy Shots Schedule—It’s Important To Follow!

It’s important that you follow the puppy shots schedule that has been given to you by your vet as you want to give your dog the very best chance at life.

So, what are the first lot of shots?

First Set of Puppy Shots: Listen to Your Vet

Always listen to your vet when it comes to your puppy shots schedule as it can be different for each dog. The first lot of shots, however, usually consist of distemper, measles, and parainfluenza. Optional vaccinations include Bordetella.

List of Puppy Shots

Puppy shots will include core vaccinations and non-core vaccinations. Some of these may be done as a combination vaccine (DHPP).

Core Vaccinations:

  • Distemper (e.g. distemper parvo)
  • Measles
  • Parainfluenza
  • DHPP vaccine (distemper, canine adenovirus, parainfluenza, and parvo)
  • Rabies

Non-core Vaccinations

The Importance of Booster Vaccines—How Puppy Vaccines Schedule Help!

Two man's hands holding a puppy and a puppy vaccines schedule

All puppies should receive their booster vaccinations and their owners should look at adopting a puppy vaccination schedule. If you don’t, this is what may happen:

What Would Happen If You Don’t Follow Your Puppy Shot Schedule

If you do not follow a puppy vaccination schedule and your dog misses their core vaccines, then they are exposed to contracting life-threatening diseases which have the potential to shorten a dog’s life.

Diseases, Distemper, Parvo, and More! What do these do to your baby puppy?!

It’s important that your puppy receives their booster shots as they are prone to developing a disease that can be dangerous or deadly. Such diseases can include:

Bordetella Bronchiseptica

A highly communicable bacterium that causes dogs to have severe coughing fits, whooping, vomiting, and in some cases they can suffer from seizures and death.

Canine Distemper

A serious and contagious disease that attacks the respiratory system, gastrointestinal system, and nervous symptoms of dogs.

Learn more here.

Canine Hepatitis

A highly contagious viral disease that affects a dogs kidneys, lungs, liver, spleen, and even their eyes.

Kennel Cough

Kennel Cough results from inflammation in the dog’s upper airways and can cause severe coughing, spur retching, gagging, and loss of appetite.


Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease and can often have no symptoms. When symptoms do appear, however, they usually consist of a fever, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, loss of appetite, weakness, jaundice, and more.

Learn more here.


Parvo attacks the gastrointestinal system and can cause symptoms of vomiting, loss of appetite, bloody diarrhea, fever, and in severe cases, death.

Learn more here.


A viral disease that invades a dogs central nervous system. It can cause anxiety, headaches, excessive drooling, paralysis, and even death.

Learn more here.

Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is contracted by an infectious tick causing dogs to limp, have a high temperature, and may even stop eating. Eventually, it can learn to heart and kidney problems.

Puppy Shots Cost—Well Worth Your Money!

Owning a puppy can be costly at the best of times, by it’s important they receive their dog vaccine to prevent them from developing life-threatening diseases.

How Much Are Puppy Shots

To get your puppy vaccinated, you are looking at around $75-100 for their core vaccinations. For non-core vaccinations, the price ranges from $10-30.

It is possible to find a low-cost vaccination plan at veterinarian clinics.

How Much Do Puppy Shots Cost at Petsmart

At Petsmart, the prices are similar to the ones above, being that they sit around $60-90.

Puppy Vaccines Are An Important Tool For Pups To Develop Immunity!

Viruses are disease-causing organisms that are out to try and hurt your furry little friend. By getting your dog their puppy shots, you are helping to strengthen and develop their immune system by aiding them against these harmful diseases.

Nobody likes to see their puppy in pain and all dog owners want to protect their own. That is why, if this is your first puppy, it is absolutely important that you get them their puppy shots so you can give them the best chance at life.

Common Questions on Puppy Shots

Are there certain shots that are more important than others?

How old can they be to get their first shots?

Where’s the cheapest place to get puppy shots while still following the schedule? 

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