Canine Vaccinations

2010 | Disease | Dog Breeding Guide, Royal Canin SAS

Vaccinations help prevent contagious and sometimes fatal diseases. Vaccinations are most effective when they are given at fixed dates with booster vaccinations at specific times. Some are mandatory, whereas others are only recommended, hence they can be divided into core and non-core vaccines. Puppies usually begin with their vaccination program at six to eight weeks of age.

Core Vaccines


Core vaccines include:
  • Canine Distemper Virus
  • Canine Adenovirus
  • Canine Parvovirus.
Core vaccines are absolutely necessary in kennels as disease is more easily transmitted and the consequences of disease may be severe.

Non-Core Vaccines


Non-core vaccines include:
  • Parainfluenza Virus
  • Bordatella bronchiseptica (canine cough)
  • Leptospira interrogans.
Different geographical regions have different vaccination requirements. Please consult your veterinarian on what vaccination regime would be suitable in your region.

Vaccination Protocol

Generally speaking, puppies are vaccinated starting at six to eight weeks of age. For optimal immunity, these vaccinations should be administered at intervals of three to four weeks until the puppies are 16 weeks old. Vaccinating puppies before six weeks is not recommended when they are not capable of producing a desired immune response.

Any adult dog or puppy over 16 weeks of age receiving an initial vaccination should be administered two doses of vaccines at an interval of three to four weeks apart.

Adult re-vaccination occurs annually after the end of the initial series.

Annual Booster Vaccinations

Some studies have suggested that for most current vaccines, the dog’s antibody count remains sufficiently high beyond current annual booster injection recommendations. They demonstrate that it would be possible to increase the interval between vaccination boosters. As every animal’s immune system is unique in its response to a vaccine, there will be a percentage of dogs that require an annual vaccination for sufficient antibody levels. Therefore, allowing more time between booster vaccinations does not come without risk.

In a kennel situation, where disease can have serious consequences, it is recommended that all dogs continue to receive annual booster vaccinations.

Key Points:

  • Core vaccinations are critical in kennels to avoid infection and transmission of disease. Disease can have serious consequences on breeding programs and can prove difficult to eliminate from the kennel environment.
  • Vaccination planning for all puppies and dogs is useful to avoid missing important booster vaccination dates.
  • Vaccination of puppies prior to six weeks of age should be avoided.

Related Articles

Australian_Shepherd
Fading Puppy
Cookie Settings