Pet Vaccinations

What Exactly Are Vaccines? Vaccines help prepare the body's immune system to fight the invasion of disease-causing organisms. Vaccines contain antigens, which look like the disease-causing organism to the immune system but don't actually cause disease. When the vaccine is introduced to the body, the immune system is mildly stimulated. If a dog is ever exposed to the real disease, his immune system is now prepared to recognize and fight it off entirely or reduce the severity of the illness. Click here for information on the City's Low Cost Vaccination Clinic.

City Vaccination Requirements

All dogs and cats older than 4 months are required by city code and state law to be vaccinated against rabies on an annual basis. Each animal vaccinated should wear a tag affixed to its collar at all times showing that it has been vaccinated and the date of the vaccination. An up-to-date rabies vaccination is a legal requirement. Be sure to keep written proof of your dog's rabies vaccinations with his medical records. Animal Control requires proof of the vaccination in order to reclaim your pet.

Below is a chart that you can use to determine what vaccines your pet should have and the timing of the vaccinations. Please contact your vet for specific information regarding your pet's health.

Dog Vaccine Initial Puppy Vaccination (at or under 16 weeks) Initial Adult Dog Vaccination (over 16 weeks) Booster Recommendation Comments
Rabies 1-year Can be administered in 1 dose, as early as 3 months of age. States regulate the age at which it is first administered. Single dose Annual boosters are required. Core dog vaccine. Rabies is 100% fatal to dogs, with no treatment available. Prevention is key.
Distemper At least 3 doses, given between 6 and 16 weeks of age 2 doses, given 3-4 weeks apart Puppies need a booster 1 year after completing their initial series, then all dogs need a booster every 3 years or more often. Core dog vaccine. Caused by an airborne virus, distemper is a severe disease that, among other problems, may cause permanent brain damage.
Parvovirus At least 3 doses, given between 6 and 16 weeks of age 2 doses, 3-4 weeks apart Puppies need a booster 1 year after completing the initial series, then all dogs need a booster every 3 years or more often. Core dog vaccine. Canine "parvo" is contagious, and can cause severe vomiting and bloody diarrhea. Parvo is usually fatal if untreated.
Adenovirus (canine hepatitis) At least 3 doses, between 6 and 16 weeks of age 2 doses, 3-4 weeks apart Puppies need a booster 1 year after completing the initial series, then all dogs need a booster every 3 years or more often. Core dog vaccine. Spread via coughs and sneezes, canine hepatitis can lead to severe liver damage, and death.
Parainfluenza Administered at 6-8 weeks of age, then every 3-4 weeks until 12-14 weeks old 1 dose A booster may be necessary after 1 year, depending on manufacturer recommendations; revaccination every 3 years is considered protective. Non-core dog vaccine. Parainfluenza infection results in cough, fever. It may be associated with Bordetella infection.
Bordetella bronchiseptica (kennel cough ) Depends on the vaccine type; 2 doses are usually needed for protection. 1 dose of the intranasal or oral product, or 2 doses of the injected product Annual or 6-month boosters may be recommended for dogs in high-risk environments. Non-core dog vaccine. Not usually a serious condition, although it can be dangerous in young puppies. It is usually seen after activities like boarding or showing.
Lyme disease 1 dose, administered as early as 9 weeks, with a second dose 2-4 weeks later 2 doses, 2-4 weeks apart May be needed annually, prior to the start of tick season Non-core dog vaccine. Generally recommended only for dogs with a high risk for exposure to Lyme disease-carrying ticks.
Leptospirosis First dose at 12 weeks; second dose 4 weeks later 2 doses, 2-4 weeks apart At least once yearly for dogs in high-risk areas Non-core dog vaccine. Vaccination is generally restricted to established risk areas. Exposure to rodents and standing water can lead to a leptospirosis infection.
Canine influenza First dose as early as 6-8 weeks; second dose 2-4 weeks later 2 doses, 2-4 weeks apart Yearly Non-core dog vaccine.
Similar to bordetella.