Dog Vaccine Protocols
We recommend that vaccinations begin at 6-8 weeks of age if the puppy has nursed well from the mother. (If an orphan–vaccines should be started earlier).
- The first vaccine given is to prevent distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza, and parvovirus. This is repeated at 10-12 weeks of age and again at 14-16 weeks of age. Repeating the vaccine is necessary because maternal antibodies may interfere with vaccinations until the puppy is 14-16 weeks of age.
- We also recommend intranasal vaccination for Bordetella at 6-8 weeks of age to guard against canine cough (which may be contracted at grooming facilities, boarding facilities, dog parks, dog day care facilities, training classes, and even veterinary hospitals). This vaccine is repeated by injection at 10-12 weeks of age.
- Rabies vaccine is given at 12-16 weeks of age and is required by NJ law.
- Deworming medications for common internal parasites are administered at the first two visits regardless of past fecal or parasite history
- Monthly internal and external parasite preventatives are begun at the first visit.
- Leptospira vaccination is recommended for those dogs that may spend time outdoors, all hunting dogs, and especially those that may drink from puddles, ponds or streams. This vaccine is given at 10-12 weeks of age and repeated at 14-16 weeks of age.
- Lyme vaccination is recommended for those dogs that may spend time in areas where deer may be present and/or where tick infestations are high. This vaccine is given at 10-12 weeks of age and repeated at 14-16 weeks of age.
- Sterilization surgery (castration or ovariohysterectomy) is performed at 6 months of age. Microchipping for permanent identification is also performed at this time.
All vaccines are boostered at 12-15 months of age. Distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza, and parvovirus vaccines are then boostered every third year. Rabies vaccine is boostered every two to three years. Lyme vaccine is boostered yearly. Heartworm blood testing is performed yearly. Bordetella and Leptospira vaccines are boostered every 6-12 months depending on the exposure risk of the patient. All dogs should also have a fecal examination yearly.
These recommendations are general guidelines. Your veterinarian will make the final determination of the protocols that are appropriate for your pet.