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Complete Guide to First-Year Puppy Vaccinations

Complete Guide to First-Year Puppy Vaccinations

One of the first things we recommend to new puppy owners is to visit a veterinarian to have their pet examined and put on a vaccine schedule. Today, our Oakland vets explain why those first puppy shots are important. We'll also share a puppy vaccination schedule to keep on hand. 

Why Are Puppy Shots Important?

Just like the array of vaccines designed for use in people, vaccines for dogs in the Oakland area help to protect your pet from a wide range of serious, and potentially even fatal, conditions and diseases that can spread rapidly between unvaccinated dogs. 

While it may seem inconvenient (and even a bit costly) to bring your new puppy to your vet's on a regular, frequent basis throughout their first year, your puppy's first vaccinations and their annual renewals are critical to protecting them from illness and ensuring they're set up to live a long, healthy and happy life. 

What Illnesses Will My Puppy's Vaccinations Address?

Vaccines recommended for puppies and adult dogs in Oakland help to prevent and reduce the severity of illnesses such as hepatitis, distemper, bordetella, rabies and parvovirus. 

Our vets can recommend a set of vaccinations that are most suitable for your puppy based on where you live, in addition to your dog's age, lifestyle and other factors. 

DHPP (Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus)

This combination vaccine offers protection against canine distemper (D), infectious hepatitis/adenovirus (H) and parvovirus (P) in addition to parainfluenza (P). Vaccines for distemper, infectious hepatitis and parvovirus are categorized as core vaccines. This means that every dog should receive these, regardless of location or lifestyle. 


Bordetella bronchiseptica is a bacteria that causes inflammation in a dog's upper respiratory system that can lead to coughing and illness and expose your pooch to secondary infections. You may hear most veterinarians call the disease kennel cough. 

The Bordetella non-core vaccine is given to dogs that frequently spend time around other dogs in boarding, daycare centers, dog parks, shows and other social settings. 


Caused by leptospira bacteria that's often found in water and soil in lakes, streams and rivers, leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease, which means it can spread from animals to people. 

The potentially serious disease can cause diarrhea, vomiting, loss of appetite, lethargy, muscle tenderness, fever, shivering and other flu-like symptoms. Long-term, it can cause permanent residual damage to the kidneys or liver.  

The non-core vaccine can benefit dogs who are at increased risk for exposure. Ask your veterinarian if this vaccine is recommended for your pup based on their lifestyle. 


The deadly rabies virus can have severely negative effects on the brain. Transmitted through contact with an animal's saliva, rabies is almost always fatal. Once symptoms of the deadly virus appear, dogs and other animals can usually be expected to die within a few days. there is no treatment for the virus, so the rabies shot is an important one to ensure your pet's health is protected. Our  Oakland vets recommend the rabies vaccine as a core vaccine for puppies. 

Puppy Vaccination Chart

6 - 8 Weeks

  • *DHPP (Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus) Shot 1

10 - 12 Weeks

  • Booster: *DHPP Shot 2
  • Bordetella (Optional)
  • Leptospirosis (Optional)

14 - 16 Weeks

  • Booster: *DHPP Shot 3
  • Bordetella (Optional)
  • Leptospirosis (Optional)
  • Rabies
  • Spay (female)
  • Neuter (male)

12 to 16 Months

  • Final Booster: *DHPP Shot
  • Final Booster: Bordatella
  • Final Booster: Leptospirosis
  • Rabies

*DHPP: this vaccine protects your dog against a combination of illnesses: Distemper, Adenovirus, Parvovirus and Parainfluenza.

Age Restrictions

Ask your vet to find out more about what vaccines are appropriate for your dog when they are still a puppy. Depending on your pet's age, their immune system may not be strong enough to effectively be boosted by all shots. 

How Much Do Vaccines for Puppies Cost?

The cost of your dog's shots will vary depending on your puppy's health status, age, lifestyle and exposure risks. During your puppy's visit to our vets in  Oakland, we will perform a comprehensive exam and recommend puppy vaccinations to suit their needs. 

Keep in mind that investing in vaccinating your puppy will likely pay off long-term, as preventive care is better than treating conditions and diseases that can cause grave illness and shorten your four-legged friend's lifespan. Please don't hesitate to bring up any questions or concerns you may have about vaccines with your vet - we are happy to address any inquiries. 

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Is it time for your puppy's shots? Contact East Bay Veterinary Clinic today for advice and to book an exam.

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East Bay Veterinary Clinic is accepting new patients! Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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