Congratulations on adopting your new puppy!
We’ve compiled a summary of our vaccination recommendations for you based on the 2017 AAHA Canine Vaccination Guidelines for Dogs so you can best protect your new furry family member against preventable diseases. Also, feel free to contact us with any questions that may arise concerning your new pup ?
Lori Germon, DVM

(678) 800-2260

Canine vaccines can be divided into two categories:
Those that are considered ‘core’ or essential vaccines for each age group of dogs
Those that are considered ‘non-core’ vaccines and are recommended based on your dog’s lifestyle/exposure risk.

Core Canine Vaccines:
All puppies should be vaccinated for Parvovirus, Distemper, Adenovirus (Type 2) and Parainfluenza using a modified-live or recombinant vaccine beginning as early as 6 weeks old and then revaccinated every 2 to 4 weeks until at least 16 weeks of age*. Revaccination should occur 1 year after the last puppy booster and then every 3 years.
Why all the initial puppy boosters? Because puppies’ immature immune systems need repeated vaccine exposure to create lasting antibodies to protect them against these 4 preventable diseases. Plus, since each puppy will lose protection from maternal antibodies (received during nursing) anytime between 6-14 weeks (or sometimes have insufficient antibody levels), frequent vaccine boosters ensure that they have immune stimulation when maternal antibodies are no longer present or deficient.
* Puppies in high-risk/contaminated environments or with significant exposure to other dogs may benefit from a final vaccine at 18 to 20 weeks old.
Rabies Vaccine
According to Georgia law, all puppies should receive a Rabies vaccine the first year of their life. Generally, this vaccine is given between 12 and 16 weeks of age. Another Rabies vaccine should be re-administered 1 year from the initial vaccination and then given every 1 or 3 years, depending on the vaccine manufacturer label. Rabies is a contagious, fatal disease for both you and your pet so this vaccine is extremely important.
Non-Core Vaccines:
Bordetella Vaccine
The initial Bordetella vaccine your puppy received lasts for 1 year and prevents the bacterial form of kennel cough from nose-to-nose contact with other dogs, shared toys, food bowls, etc. or airborne transmission at doggie daycares, grooming and boarding facilities. The Bordetella vaccine should be re-administered 1 year after the initial vaccine is given. Revaccination every 6 months with the Bordetella vaccine has no established value (2017 AAHA Canine Vaccination Guidelines). You may eliminate this vaccine by 2 years old if your pup’s lifestyle no longer includes exposure risk. You can always booster the Bordetella vaccine again should that change in years to come!
Leptospirosis Vaccine
If your puppy will be an avid outdoors-loving pup who may come into contact with or swims in lakes, creeks and streams, loves hiking, camping and/or swimming or drinks from puddles and/or if you have wildlife frequenting your yard, your dog should be vaccinated against Leptospirosis. Leptospirosis is a disease caused by Leptospira bacteria and causes liver and kidney failure. Plus, it can be contagious to people. The current recommendation for Leptospirosis vaccination is 2 initial vaccines administered 2-4 weeks apart, and then annual vaccination thereafter. This vaccine has been associated with a higher risk of vaccine reactions, especially in some breeds, so the risks of exposure have to be weighed against the risks of adverse reactions in each individual dog.
For more vaccination information, including additional less common canine vaccinations (such as Lyme and Canine Influenza) and their recommended use, please visit our blog at: