Vaccines for Dogs

Have a conversation with your vet to determine what vaccinations your dog needs based on its lifestyle and disease prevalence in your area.

Vaccinations your dog may need

Canine Distemper

(intestines, lungs, urinary tract, skin and brain)
Clinical Signs: Neurological signs (seizures); Respiratory problems (pneumonia); Gastrointestinal signs (diarrhea).

Important Facts: Highly contagious; Common cause of seizures in young puppies; commonly fatal.
Canine Parvovirus

(Parvo) (intestines, bone marrow, lymph nodes)
Clinical Signs: Vomiting; Bloody stool; Lethargy; Anorexia; Gastrointestinal signs (diarrhea).

Important Facts: Highly contagious; spread by ingestion of contaminated feces; Virus resistant to routine disinfectants; Highly fatal.
Canine Adenovirus
(Type I)
Important Facts: Highly contagious liver disease; can be fatal in unvaccinated dogs.
Canine Parainfluenza and Adenovirus
(Type 2)
Important Facts: Respiratory disease; highly infectious; can become chronic in older dogs.
Canine Coronavirus Important Facts: Highly contagious disease of puppies; can be deadly when it strikes in tandem with parvovirus.
Rabies (brain) Clinical Signs: Neurological signs (seizures); Uncontrolled aggression and/or progressive paralysis.

Important Facts: Transmitted primarily by infected wild animals via a bite wound; All animals susceptible; Affects people too; Fatal.
Canine Leptospirosis

(Lepto) (kidneys, liver)
Clinical Signs: Fever, Lethargy, Vomiting, Diarrhea, Acute kidney failure, Liver disease and jaundice.

Important Facts: Carried and spread in the urine of wild animals; Affects people too; Could be fatal if untreated.
Canine Lyme Disease

(joints, less commonly heart and CNS)
Clinical Signs: Lameness, Joint swelling and pain, Fever, Depression, Anorexia.

Important Facts: Transmitted by infected Ixodes ticks; Humans get Lyme disease from ticks too, not dogs; Disease can cause kidney failure in infected, untreated dogs; Although rare, can be fatal.
Canine Cough

(nose and throat)
Clinical Signs: Dry hacking cough.

Important Facts: Can be bacterial, viral or both; similar to the common cold; Common in non-vaccinated dogs that are boarded or in other high-population situations, such as daycare, dog parks, shelters or breeding facilities.


Does your dog come in contact with dogs you don't know at dog parks or during boarding? Have you moved to a new home that is surrounded by urban wildlife? If your dog's lifestyle has changed, its risk to some diseases may have changed, too.

For more information about canine lepto and Lyme Disease and to find out if you live in an area where your dog should be protected against these diseases, talk to your veterinarian.


Your veterinarian is key to recommending which vaccines your dog or cat needs, based on the results of your pet's risk factors at annual wellness exams.