Which Puppy Vaccines Are Absolutely Necessary?

Like humans, puppies need to be vaccinated against some rather nasty and deadly disease. Distemper, for example, as well as rabies, parvovirus, and several others. Without these vaccinations, many pups will have severe health problems as adult dogs and may, sadly, might even become dangerous.

Of course, there’s a raging debate about vaccination in the United States right now, and that’s spread to the world of dog and puppy owners, too. I’m not going to get into an unwinnable debate about vaccinations now or, frankly, ever. But I will say that several vaccinations are unquestionably necessary when it comes to dogs and their health.

That begs the question, one that I’ve seen a lot recently, which is this: which puppy vaccines are absolutely necessary.

The answer, as far as absolutely necessary puppy vaccinations are concerned, is this; the core vaccines are the most important and, in many states, also obligatory. They include rabies, distemper, parvo, and adenovirus. 

There are also several non-core vaccinations that most dog experts agree are vital, including the canine influenza virus, bordetella, bronchiseptica, and several others. Typically, though, these are only given to puppies at high risk for getting the respective disease. 

Now that you know which vaccinations are absolutely necessary for your puppy, it’s likely you have other important questions as well. Why your pup requires these vaccines, for example, and what can happen if they’re not vaccinated. If yes, read on. I’ve got the vital facts and figures for you below.

Why Your Puppy Needs Several, Specific Vaccines

One of the most important things to remember when you have a puppy is that they rely on you for everything. That includes food, shelter, and healthcare, including getting them vaccinated. 

Now, sure, going back and forth to the veterinarian, especially in the first few months, can seem like a chore. But, without the vaccinations we talk about below, your puppy could suffer from a wide range of nasty and severe health problems as both a puppy and an adult dog. 

Vaccinations have been proven to work well and prevent many different doggy diseases over several decades. Not only do they protect your pup but also your family. Distemper, for example, can cause your precious pup to become an aggressive adult dog, which is not good for anyone in the family, especially small children.

For that reason, and many more, the vaccinations below are necessary and highly recommended by veterinarians and animal advocates alike. And, again, many are required by law depending on where you live.

Why Your Puppy Needs the Bordetella Bronchiseptica Vaccine

Bordetella bronchiseptica is a highly infectious bacteria that can cause your puppy to have severe fits of coughing, vomiting, and even seizures and death. If you’ve ever heard of the term “kennel cough,” it’s usually in reference to bordetella bronchiseptica.  This vaccine is also a must if you plan to board your puppy in the future, use doggy daycare services or send your pup to a group training class.

Why Your Puppy Needs the Canine Distemper Vaccine

Distemper is one of the most Insidious diseases a dog can have. It’s usually severe and always contagious, attacking a dog’s gastrointestinal, respiratory, and nervous systems. Distemper spreads through airborne exposure from an animal that’s already infected. 

Distemper can also be transmitted, for example, through shared bowls of water and food. Because distemper causes the footpads on a dog to thicken and harden, it’s often known as a “hard pad.” 

One crucial fact to note is that there is no cure for distemper. Also, an infected dog can shed the distemper virus for months. For that reason, getting your pup vaccinated for distemper is highly recommended.

Why Your Puppy Needs the Parvovirus Vaccine

Parvovirus is another highly contagious virus that can affect all dogs and is highly risky for puppies. That’s especially true for young puppies four months old or less, but also unvaccinated dogs.

Parvovirus can rapidly cause extreme dehydration and has, sadly, been known to kill a dog within two to three days. In short, if you suspect that your puppy has parvovirus, you should get to the veterinarian as soon as possible. There’s also no cure for the parvovirus, making it crucial to get your puppy vaccinated before they can get infected.

Why Your Puppy Needs the Rabies Vaccine

Rabies is another viral disease that affects mammals, including dogs. It attacks the nervous system and causes severe anxiety, hallucinations, and drooling. It can also cause a fear of water, paralysis, and, unfortunately, death.

Getting your puppy vaccinated for rabies is a must and, in most states, a requirement. It’s also highly recommended as, if they aren’t treated within a few hours of becoming infected, death is the usual result.

Why Your Puppy Needs the Leptospirosis Vaccine

One of the few doggy diseases caused by bacteria, leptospirosis is found all over the world, mostly in soil and water. It’s also one of the few diseases that can be spread from animals to people as it’s zoonotic.

Some of the worst symptoms of leptospirosis include fever, vomiting, and severe lethargy, as well as infertility and kidney failure. Unlike viruses, leptospirosis can be treated with antibiotics. That being said, the sooner you know your dog is suffering from this disease, the better. Even better, however, is to make sure they get the leptospirosis vaccine.

Why Your Puppy Needs the Canine Hepatitis Vaccine

As with most other viruses, canine hepatitis is highly contagious. It affects your puppy’s liver, kidneys, spleen, and lungs, as well as their eyes. A severe case of canine hepatitis can be deadly, although many dogs can overcome the disease if it’s mild. 

Veterinarians can treat the symptoms of canine hepatitis, but there is no cure. That’s why it’s essential that you get your puppy the canine hepatitis vaccine before they get sick.

Final Thoughts

What puppy vaccines are absolutely necessary? As we’ve seen today, there are several that are highly recommended by veterinarians and animal advocates. My recommendation is to find an excellent vet and get on a vaccine schedule with them. That way, you’ll get reminders and won’t have to worry about forgetting any of the must-have vaccines.

I hope today’s blog offered the information you were looking for and the answers you needed about puppy vaccines. No matter what your stance on human vaccines might be, proof that dog vaccines work has been around for a very long time. Millions of dog owners will agree; their dog is healthier and happier for being vaccinated.

If you have more questions about vaccines for your pup or other subjects connected to being a new puppy owner, please see some of my other articles on the subject! They’re filled with great information that can help you and your precious puppy!