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Our Recommended Core Vaccines

Core vaccines are recommended for all dogs. We base our City Dog protocol on guidelines put in place by the American Veterinary Medical Association and American Animal Hospital Association.

  1. Distemper – a viral disease causing gastrointestinal and neurologic signs
  2. Adenovirus – a viral disease, also known as Canine Infectious Hepatitis, causing fever, changes in the eye “blue eye” and liver disease
  3. Parvovirus – a common, highly contagious and deadly viral intestinal disease
  4. Parainfluenza – a contagious respiratory virus causing cough
    • The above four vaccines are often combined and referred to one vaccination called “DAPP”.
    • Started at or after 6 weeks of age, boostered every 2-4 weeks until over 16 weeks
    • After puppy series is complete, given a booster one year later, then only every 3 years
    • Schedule may vary based on puppy’s age at time of first vaccination
  5. Leptospirosis – increasingly common disease spread in the urine of urban and rural wildlife, which causes serious to fatal kidney and/or liver disease.
    • Usually combined with DAPP in one vaccine
    • Generally considered a ‘core’ vaccine due to the increasing prevalence and severity of disease
    • First vaccine is not given before 12 weeks of age, is boostered in 2-4 weeks, and then annually
  6. Rabies – Legally required due to the human health concern of this fatal virus
    • Given after 12 weeks of age.
    • We at City Dog typically recommend giving at or after 16 weeks of age
    • Booster one year later, then every 3 years.

Other Vaccines Available

“Non-Core” vaccinations provide additional protection to dogs at risk. These will be discussed by your City Dog Vet to determine if needed for your pup.

  1. Bordatella (“Kennel Cough”) – Infectious tracheobronchitis is spread easily by dogs in close quarters, such as boarding and day care. It causes a cough from upper respiratory infection but can descend into lungs and cause serious to fatal pneumonia, especially in young and small breed dogs
    • If attending training classes, doggy day care, or boarding
    • Initial vaccine can be given intranasally (into nostril) and lasts one year
    • Initial vaccine can be given by injection, then needs one booster in 2-4 weeks
    • After initial vaccine, booster every year
    • In high risk situations, booster vaccines are recommended every 6 months
  2. Lyme – This common disease is carried by ticks. It causes painful joints, fever, kidney disease, and a variety of other signs in dogs and people. Vaccinating is often encouraged, as testing for Lyme and treating can be complicated.
    • Preventing ticks with regular medications orally and topically is the first line of defense for Lyme disease
    • Initial vaccine is given at or after 12 weeks of age, boostered 2-4 weeks later, then annually boostered
  3. Canine Influenza – A contagious disease causing cough, nasal discharge and occasionally pneumonia and easily spread between dogs. Occurs in sporadic outbreaks.
    • Recommended for at risk dogs when outbreaks in the area are known or suspected
    • Initial vaccination at or after 8 weeks of age, boostered in 2-4 weeks, then booster annually

Adverse Reactions

These are not common but some dogs may develop

  • Irritation, soreness, or a lump at vaccination site
  • Short period of malaise or mild nausea/vomiting
  • Rarely a serious anaphylactic allergic reaction can occur including labored breathing, shock, or collapse. This typically occurs within 20 minutes of a vaccine and should be treated immediately
  • Very rarely, immune mediated diseases and other problems can be a result of a vaccination.
  • Risks are managed at City Dog by spreading out vaccines or vaccinating less frequently
  • In some cases of known reactions, pretreatment with an antihistamine and monitoring is advised
  • Risks are far lower and less frequent than contracting the diseases, which are often complex, expensive, and/or life endangering


While more costly, sometimes measuring the disease titer, with a blood test, to be sure your dog is in the protective range with antibodies can be considered instead of a vaccine.

Your City Dog Vet will discuss all vaccines and determine the best plan for your pup

As your dog’s lifestyle changes, vaccines can always be added or removed from his or her health care plan. We look forward to helping make the best custom plan with you.

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