Dog vaccination and schedule is a common question that dog owners ask. There are many vaccines available in market and your veterinarian may suggest you to vaccinate your dogs for some diseases that are prevalent in your surroundings. Some dog diseases are common worldwide and dogs must be vaccinated against such diseases. Dogs are vaccinated against 1-Rabies, 2-Canine Distemper Virus, 3-Hepatitis (Adenovirus type 2), 4-Canine Parainfluenza Virus, 5-Canine Parvovirus, 6-Leptospirosis, 7-Lyme Disease (Borrelia burgdorferi), 8-Corona Virus, 9-Kennel Cough (Bordetella bronchiseptica) & 10-Giardiasis.

4 Core Diseases & Vaccines of Dogs:

  1. Rabies
  2. Canine Parvovirus
  3. Canine Distemper
  4. Canine Infectious Hepatitis



Causative Agent/Virus of Rabies: Lyssa Virus

Rabies is a disease of nervous system and can be transmitted to other animals and human via biting through saliva. Due to its zoonotic importance it’s considered important to vaccinate each dog. The main reservoir of rabies are wild animals e.g. skunks, foxes, raccoons and bats. Clinical Signs of Rabies are madness and aggressive behavior of the animal. Dilation of pupil and excessive salivation is also present in infected animals.

Vaccination Schedule:

Vaccination is done by starting with the first dose of vaccine at the age of 6-8 weeks and 2-3 doses are given after 21 days of first dose. Annual booster dose is given annually.

Canine Parvovirus Infection

Causative Agent/Virus: Canine Parvovirus (Family: Parvoviridae)

Canine Parvovirus causes bloody diarrhoea and vomiting. it mostly affects puppies of 6 weeks to 6 month of age and dog may die within 24-48 hours. White blood cell count may also decrease. The virus is transmitted via faeces and virus can survive up to several month.

Vaccination Schedule:

First dose of vaccination against Canine Parvovirus is given at the age of 6-8 weeks and 2 doses are given after interval of 2-3 weeks. Annual booster dose is given every year.

Canine Distemper Virus:

 Causative agent/virus of Canine Distemper: Paramyxovirus

It is highly contagious, systemic and viral disease of dog and have worldwide prevalence. Puppies of 3-6 month of age are mostly affected. Clinical signs are fever, conjunctivitis, loss of appetite, lethargy and nasal discharge. As the disease progresses, symptoms include diarrhea, pneumonia, convulsions, and paralysis. Prevention by vaccination is recommended as the essential means of controlling canine distemper.

Vaccination Schedule:

Canine Distemper can be prevented by vaccination the puppies at the age of 6-8 weeks and 3 doses are administered with the interval of 2-3 weeks. Annual booster dose is also important.

Infectious Canine Hepatitis:

Causative agent/virus of Infectious Canine Hepatitis(ICH): Canine Adenovirus Type 2 (CAV-2)

The symptoms of this disease are fever, lethargy, coughing, vomiting, diarrhoea, jaundice and abdominal pain. most of the clinical signs are similar to Canine Parvovirus. The liver of the dog become enlarged.

ICH is transmitted directly via urine of the infected dog.  Virus can survive upto one year. It can also transfer via blood, saliva and other body secretions.

Vaccination Schedule:

1st dose of vaccine is administered at the age of 6-8 weeks and 2 more doses are given after an interval of 2-3 weeks. & don’t forget the annual booster dose every year.

It was a brief overview of core dog vaccines and deadly diseases. If you really want to read more about your pet’s health and diseases, This is the book that worth a read for pet owners.

Jawad Ahmad is veterinary graduate from Asia's best veterinary university, University Of Veterinary And Animal Sciences, Lahore, Pakistan. He loves to blog and work as a freelance writer for biosciences niche. He joined "Veterinary Hub" in June 2013 as an author. He is currently a post-graduate student in Department of Pathology, University of Veterinary & Animal Sciences, Lahore.