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All You Need To Know About Vaccinations (Puppy)

For anyone who’s ever owned a dog, one thing you can probably attest to is the upfront cost you bear when purchasing a new puppy. Not only is there the cost of buying the dog itself, but also the fees required for purchasing all of the necessary supplies. Because of this, the last thing most new dog owners want to think of is more costs.

However, one of the essential parts of a puppy’s early days is to ensure their health is where it needs to be. Vaccinations can help ensure the best and most healthy life for your new puppy, but many new dog owners are dissuaded by the cost they see attached to a vaccine. This leaves many to wonder whether or not vaccines are essential for their dog, especially so early on in their life when they're generally the most protected.

In this article, we'll outline everything you'll need to know as a new puppy owner when it comes to vaccines. To learn more about pet vaccine schedules, the cost of vaccines, and when your dog should get them, read on and find out just what's required of you to keep your dog healthy.

Core vs Non-Core Vaccines

All vaccines can help protect your dog from contracting diseases, but not all vaccines are considered mandatory to ensure your dog's health. However, certain breeds of dogs may be more susceptible to developing certain diseases, so it’s always best to check with your vet to hear their recommendations on what vaccinations your dog may need.

When it comes to dogs, there are two categories for vaccines: core and non-core.

Core vaccines are those that are most crucial for your dog to get. They are generally designed to protect dogs against viral diseases that could cause them serious harm. Viral diseases are much more easily transmittable, so if a dog is left unvaccinated, they stand a much greater risk of contracting a viral disease than anything else.

Core vaccines include:

  • Rabies

  • Distemper

  • Parvovirus

  • Adenovirus

  • Hepatitus

Non-core vaccines are those that a vet would recommend but are not entirely necessary. These vaccines generally protect against bacterial diseases, which are not as transmittable as viral diseases, and are therefore harder for your puppy to catch.

Non-core vaccines include:

  • Bordetella

  • Giardia

  • Lyme Disease

  • Leptospirosis

  • Canine Influenza

  • Parainfluenza

Cost of Vaccines

Ask any pet owner what they'll do for their dog, and their answer will likely be "anything." The sky is the limit when it comes to the love we have for our pets, but when something goes wrong, and a pet needs medical attention, cost often becomes a deciding factor in how much they can do.

Though pets are eligible for insurance just like us, more often than not, owners who purchase insurance packages usually end up paying out more than they would get back when their pet requires medical attention. There's also the fact that pre-existing medical conditions — which a large number of dogs have — and breed or size can play a massive role in how much your insurance is and whether or not your furry friend is even eligible for it.

Factors like this are a major reason why vaccinating your pets may be the best fail safe to ensure your pet's health, even if there is an upfront cost to it. Many unvaccinated pets will require medical treatment for the very things vaccines protect them from and will cost a lot more to treat than to prevent.

With that in mind, below is a breakdown of the average cost of vaccines you should look into for your dog to ensure you can easily avoid trips to the vet for preventable illnesses down the line.


Cost: $10–15 per shot

Details: this shot is designed to protect your dog from contracting rabies. Depending on your local laws, it may be a required vaccine and have a set schedule you must follow to re-vaccinate.


Cost: $20–30 per shot

Details: this is a combination shot to protect your dog from distemper, adenovirus, parvovirus, and parainfluenza.


Cost: $15–20 per shot

Details: this is a combination shot to protect your dog from distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parvovirus, and parainfluenza.


Cost: $10–15 per shot

Details: this vaccine protects your dog from something known as "kennel cough," a bacterial infection similar to the common cold humans can catch.

Lyme Disease

Cost: $10–15 per shot

Details: these shots are designed to protect your dog from tick bites that may carry Lyme Disease.


Cost: $10–15 per shot

Details: this is aimed to protect your dog from contracting an infection usually transmitted by contact with wild animals.

Canine Influenza

Cost: $10–15 per shot

Details: similarly to the Bordetella shot, this vaccine protects your dog against canine flu.

Vaccination Schedule

Just like with human vaccines, dogs do not get all of their vaccines at once. Most vaccines will occur within the first 6 months of their life, with booster shots periodically to ensure the vaccines remains effective.

When you meet with your vet, they will likely lay out a vaccination schedule for you and your dog to follow. Their plan may differ slightly depending on how old your puppy is and whether they started their vaccines before you bought them, but in general, a vaccination schedule for puppies will look like this:

6–8 weeks

DLHPP or DAPPV, Bordatella, Lyme Disease, Canine Influenza

10–12 weeks

DLHPP or DAPPV, Bordatella, Lyme Disease, Canine Influenza, Rabies

12–14 weeks


14–16 weeks


Every 1–2 years


Every 1–3 years


Healthy Pup = Happy You

Ultimately, the decision to vaccinate your dog is up to you, with a few exceptions for vaccinations required by law. However, any vaccination can go a long way in protecting your pet from preventable diseases. Though they can be costly, the potential vet bill for if they need to be treated for the same disease far outweighs the cost of the vaccine upfront.

If you want to ensure a happy, healthy, and safe life for your canine companion, vaccines are a great way to protect them from harm. By keeping their health in check, you can keep your worries at bay knowing that there's one less thing to think about when it comes to raising your pup.

DISCLAIMER: This article is simply a guide to understanding the various dog vaccines available, but is not an official recommendation from Sit Walk Stay. Prices of vaccines will also vary depending on location and availability. Always check with your vet first to know what vaccines and what schedule is best for your dog.

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