AAHA’s Core Vaccination Protocol 2017

Which shots should my puppy receive?  AAHA’s Core Vaccination Schedule for 2017


Puppies need different shots depending on their age, risk factors and geographical location. This is the recommended shot schedule by AAHA, a veterinarian organization. Parvo is highly contagious and once it has been in an area can live for up to 7 years. In my area Parvo is widespread and veterinarians see many cases every year.  Many breeders and veterinarians suggest not taking your puppy out in areas where they may contract this disease until they are fully vaccinated.  This includes avoiding dog parks, pet stores, rescue organizations, pounds, and any area where un-vaccinated dogs may have been. There are plenty of safer options to socialize your puppy. You can read our article on socializing your poodle here.


Core Vaccines 

Core vaccines are the minimal vaccines (diseases)  for which dogs should be vaccinated. There are other vaccines available which your veterinarian may recommend. You need to determine your risk vs benefits for noncore vaccines.


I don’t want any shots today!

  1. Parvo Virus
  2. Canine Distemper Virus
  3. Adenovirus-2
  4. Optional Parainfluenza Virus


Vaccine Timing


  1. Initial Vaccination Series – Starting as early as 6 weeks of age, administer sequential doses of a combination vaccine at an interval of 2-4 weeks until at least 16 weeks of age. Dogs in a high risk environment may benefit from receiving a final dose at 18-20 weeks of age.
  2. Booster a single dose of combination vaccine within 1 year following the last dose in the Initial Vaccination Series.
  3. Administer subsequent boosters at intervals of 3 years or longer,  measure antibody levels to assess protective immunity and vaccinate as needed.

AAHA is the American Animal Hospital Association, a highly regarded veterinarian professional organization. You can learn more here about vaccination guidelines. The list above are the core vaccination recommendations. There are other vaccinations that may be appropriate for your dog. In areas where parvo is common your veterinarian may recommend another vaccine schedule.  

The AAHA site has a Lifestyle-based vaccine calculator that may help you understand the risk and additional vaccines that are recommended for your dog. Try the Lifestyle Calculator here. Additional vaccines (noncore) your veterinarian may recommend are Leptospira, Canine Influenza , and Bordetella.   Please consult your veterinarian.

Rabies vaccinations are given as required by law, usually around 4 months of age. There are currently 1 year and 3 year rabies vaccinations available. 

This schedule is for young puppies. If your puppy or dog is over 16 weeks of age it is recommended that your dog receive 2 doses 2-4 weeks apart. You must administer 2 doses to immunize at no more than 6 weeks apart or you must restart the series. The first dose primes the immune system and the second dose vaccinates. The exception is rabies where one dose provide immunization.  You can read more here on vaccinating the older puppy or dog.

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