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What Types of Vaccines Are Needed for Dogs?

Don’t leave your pup’s health to chance! Vaccinating your dog ensures a long, healthy, and active life. Vaccines are like armor for your dog, shielding them from illnesses that can cause significant health complications – or even death. Every single vaccination is essential, but there are some that all dogs must have to ensure their well-being.

Canine Distemper Vaccine

Canine distemper virus (CDV) is a highly contagious and potentially deadly disease affecting your dog’s respiratory, gastrointestinal, and nervous systems. It’s spread by contact with bodily fluids from an infected dog or wild animal and can also be spread through the air. 

Puppies are especially vulnerable to this virus, as their immune systems haven’t fully developed yet. The good news is that the DHPP vaccine is available to protect against CDV. While it’s very effective in preventing the disease, there is still a slight chance your dog could become infected even if vaccinated. This is why all dogs in the same environment should be vaccinated against CDV – even if your pup has been vaccinated, they could still get sick if exposed to an unvaccinated dog. Talk to your vet about when you should vaccinate your dog to keep it safe.

Canine Parvovirus Vaccine

Canine parvovirus is another deadly virus that can cause severe intestinal illness in dogs. The virus is highly contagious and is found in the feces of infected dogs, so it can be transferred by coming into contact with infected surfaces. When a puppy becomes infected, the virus causes severe vomiting, bloody diarrhea, dehydration, anorexia, fever, and even death. The good news is that there’s a vaccine available to protect your dog against canine parvovirus. This vaccine is usually given as a part of the DHPP vaccine series.

Canine Distemper Adenovirus Type 2

The canine distemper adenovirus type 2 vaccine, also known as the CAV-2 vaccine, is used to protect against two strains of canine distemper: the hard pad and the respiratory forms. It’s usually given in combination with a DHPP vaccine. This vaccine is essential for puppies, who are more vulnerable to severe symptoms.

DHPP Vaccine Series

The DHPP vaccine will vaccinate your puppy against distemper, canine distemper adenovirus type 2 [hepatitis], parainfluenza, and parvovirus. The vaccine is usually given in three doses at 6-8 weeks, 10-12 weeks, and 12-16 weeks. A booster is shown at one year old and every one to three years after that. The cost can average around $75—100.


Rabies, including dogs, is a deadly virus affecting mammals’ brains and nervous systems. It causes headaches, fear of water, hallucinations, anxiety, copious saliva production, paralysis, and death. It’s spread usually through the bite of a wild animal infected with the virus. 

Treatment is needed within hours of infection, and in most places in the United States, it’s required by law for all dogs to be vaccinated. The rabies vaccine is usually given in one dose at 16-18 weeks and is valid for one year. After that, dogs must receive a booster shot to protect against the virus. The rabies vaccine cost for dogs depends on several variables, including the type of vaccine, the vet administering the vaccine, and the state where the vaccine is issued, but usually averages around $15-20. Some clinics include the cost of the rabies vaccination in the standard series of shots. Consult your veterinarian for information on local rabies vaccination regulations.

Some diseases that affect your canine companion can be scary, but vaccines are essential for keeping your pet healthy and protected. Are you seeking an experienced and reliable clinic to get your pup’s vaccines? The team of certified vets at Oklahoma Veterinary Specialists can provide all your dog’s vaccinations and answer any questions about vaccine safety and the law. Contact us today so we can help keep your pup healthy and happy.

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