A French bulldog receives a vaccination used for Augusta Dog Training's blog article "Which Vaccinations Does My Dog Need?"

Vaccinating your dog is not only mandatory in many municipalities, but important in protecting the health of your beloved furry friend. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, vaccinating your dog prevents contracting and spreading a number of illnesses, including ones that can be passed between animals and people. Even dogs who spend most of their time indoors can be vulnerable to diseases found in wildlife such as rabies and distemper. When unvaccinated dogs contract illnesses it leaves their people vulnerable to high medical costs and heartbreaking loss.  Augusta Dog Training is committed to keeping dog lovers informed on the best ways to care for their pets. Keep reading for information about which vaccines your dog needs to live a healthy and happy life and to abide by local regulations. 

1. Core Vaccinations

There are a number of essential vaccinations your dog needs. These include distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza, parvovirus and rabies. Between 6 to 8 weeks of age, your dog will get their first shots for distemper and parvovirus. Between 10 and 12 weeks, your pup will receive a combination of all four vaccinations, commonly referred to as DHPP. Between 16 and 18 weeks, your puppy will continue their DHPP series of shots and get a rabies vaccine as well. This series will be repeated at 12 to 16 months. Following the puppy series, your dog will receive DHPP boosters about every three years. A “titer test” can be administered to determine your adult dog’s immunity level and guide your vet to choosing which boosters they need. Rabies boosters are required by law, and should happen every 1-3 years. 

2. Other Vaccinations

In addition to the core vaccinations, there are other vaccines that your veterinarian may recommend based on where you live or your dog’s activities. Common additional vaccinations include leptospirosis, bordetella, Lyme disease, and canine influenza. Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection which can spread from animals to humans and is most common in moist climates where standing or slow-moving water is present.  Bordetella is typically referred to as “kennel cough.” This particularly contagious illness targets the respiratory system and is often required before your dog can go to a dog park, groomer, boarding kennel or other space where dogs congregate. Spread by ticks, Lyme disease is particularly common on the coasts and in the great lakes region. While tick prevention is also recommended, dogs who spend a lot of time outdoors should be vaccinated against Lyme disease. First detected in Florida, canine influenza is an upper respiratory virus that has been circulating in the United States for almost 20 years. As a newer virus, dogs have no natural immunity against it. It is highly contagious and outbreaks are common in animal shelters. 

3. Vaccinations Required by Daycare and Boarding Facilities. 

Just like children in schools, dogs in daycare and boarding facilities can be exposed to plenty of germs. Before entering kindergarten, kids need certain vaccinations and the same is true for our pups. Augusta Dog Training and other daycare, boarding and grooming facilities require proof of vaccination. Before you can bring your dog in, they’ll need to be vaccinated against rabies, distemper, parvovirus and bordetella. They’ll also need to be protected with heartworm, flea and tick preventatives in order to keep your dog and their dog friends safe. 

Take Your Vaccinated Pup to Augusta Dog Training

In addition to vaccinations, a healthy diet and a loving home, dogs need training and socialization to thrive.  Augusta Dog Training is a trusted resource for in-home training, classes, daycare and boarding. We provide one-on-one attention, plenty of social skill building, obedience training and a warm, safe atmosphere where dogs can thrive. Whether you’re looking to develop your dog’s agility or provide a safe space while you’re out of town, Augusta Dog Training will make sure your dog is set up for success. Visit us online to learn more about our services and locations.