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Puppy Vaccinations

Protecting your puppy is the number one priority for us. That is why we recommend every puppy be vaccinated at 8, 12, and 16 weeks to prevent serious diseases like parvovirus and distemper. Your puppy’s lifestyle will help us decide which additional vaccines are appropriate.

What vaccinations do you provide to new puppies?

Core Vaccines for Dogs

Canine Distemper:

  • This virus disease causes respiratory, digestive, and nervous system signs in affected dogs and can be fatal in about half of unvaccinated dogs. Recovered dogs may have permanent damage to their nervous systems.

Infectious Canine Hepatitis:

  • This virus may cause liver failure, eye damage, and respiratory problems and can be fatal.

Canine Parvovirus:

  • The disease is both serious and widespread in dogs. Signs, which include severe vomiting and diarrhea that frequently contain blood, results from virus damage to the digestive tract lining. This virus is very resistant in the environment and is easily carried around on people’s shoes and other objects leading to virus transfer. For this reason, even indoor apartment dogs that never go outside require protection.

Canine Parainfluenza Virus:

  • Dogs infected with parainfluenza virus, one of the causes of kennel cough, show signs of a hacking cough, discharge from the nose, and occasional fever. While the parainfluenza virus on its own produces mild symptoms, it frequently presents as a co-infection with other kennel cough agents.


  • All mammals, including humans, are at risk of contracting rabies. This disease is almost invariably fatal. In some parts of Canada, where risk is high, vaccination of dogs and cats is mandatory. Even dogs that do not go outside should be vaccinated — rabid bats can gain entry into homes and rabid wildlife, such as skunks and raccoons, can enter a fenced yard or obtain access to a home through a non-collar, limited pet-access door or screened door.

Non-core Vaccines for Dogs


  • A vaccine for Bordetella (a bacterial cause of kennel cough syndrome) is available. These bacteria cause respiratory signs such as coughing, nasal discharge, and fever. Serious infections can lead to pneumonia. Dogs in close contact with other dogs, such as in dog parks, shelters, boarding and grooming facilities, dog shows, training classes and other high-risk environments, will benefit from vaccination for this disease. While Bordetella is a major cause of kennel cough, it is important to note that a number of other infectious organisms can cause similar symptoms. Vaccination for Bordetella may not prevent infection, but it should reduce the severity and duration of clinical signs.


  • Signs of leptospirosis may include lethargy, fever, kidney and/or liver failure, sore muscles and joints, vomiting, and bleeding problems. Active infection may pose a real risk to the owner, as Leptospira organisms can infect people.

Borreliosis (Lyme disease):

  • Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and is spread via the bite of infected ticks. While not all ticks carry the organism, ticks feeding on deer and mice are common vectors.

Why is it important to vaccinate your puppy?

It is important to vaccinate our dogs to keep their immune system strong against a variety of infectious diseases. Vaccines help with preventing the spread of contagious and often deadly diseases.

At what age should I bring my puppy for their vaccinations?

It is generally recommended that puppies begin their vaccine series at 8 weeks of age; in some cases, it can be as early as 6 weeks. With every puppy, protection is essential to their health, and so it is never too late to start to prevent serious diseases like parvovirus and distemper.

How should I prepare my puppy for their first vaccination visit?

We hope to have a long relationship with you and your new puppy. For this reason, we want to make sure we do everything to make their first visit fun. A tired puppy can make the first exam a lot more pleasurable for both you and your new puppy, as they won’t have so much energy. Therefore, if possible, have some hearty play time with your puppy before your visit. Also, a hungry puppy means that we can befriend them with treats or food. If you would like to bring along some of the pet food that you are feeding them, we can avoid an upset tummy from too many treats! There are lots of things to discuss and learn about a new puppy. As you will be coming in to our clinic for three visits, we will focus on the important topics during your first visit.

How much do puppy vaccinations cost?

As every dog’s needs are different, the costs will vary. Please contact our office directly at 604-526-0334 or via email at info@southburnabyvethospital.com and we would be happy to answer any questions that you have about vaccines.