Puppy vaccinations - what you need to know

Vaccinating your puppy is one of the most important things you should do in your first few weeks as a dog owner.

Why vaccinate?

Puggle pup

Vaccinations for puppies help them remain free of infectious diseases, and also prevents them from passing nasty diseases on to other animals in the local area.

When should puppies be vaccinated?

A full course of vaccinations takes place over two visits to the vets. Puppies are typically vaccinated at eight and ten weeks (although they can be vaccinated as early as four-six weeks of age) with the second dose usually being given two to four weeks later. Speak to your vet about the best timings.

Your puppy will then require a booster vaccination at 6 or 12 months of age.

What diseases will the usual vaccinations protect against?

  • Canine distemper
  • Canine parvovirus
  • Kennel cough
  • Leptospirosis
  • Parainfluenza

You can find out more about these diseases in our dog vaccination information sheet (PDF 51KB).

Who can vaccinate my puppy?

We have lots of tips about the puppy buying process to help ensure you get a healthy, happy pup. Your local vet is always the best source of information on the vaccinations and treatments your new puppy will need. 

When you first get your puppy, the first thing you should do is register with your local vets who will be able to carry out the vaccinations your puppy needs.

Mikey the puppy
How much are puppy vaccinations ?

The costs can vary depending on what vaccines are given and when. But the costs are usually far less than treatment for the diseases they prevent - and often a small fraction of the cost of a puppy.

We might be able to help with veterinary costs if you meet our eligibility criteria.

How long are vaccinations effective for?

Different vaccines last for different times, as immunity can weaken. Your vet will provide you with a vaccination record which you will need to keep safe.

What if I rehomed my puppy from a charity or animal home?

If you choose to adopt a puppy, or dog from us, we will have already given them initial vaccinations. That’s one of the reasons we charge an adoption fee when we rehome an animal. You should still register with your vet, and talk to them about additional vaccines in the future.

Take a look at our puppy buying guide for advice on getting a healthy, happy puppy.

For more information about how to care for your dog visit our advice and welfare pages.

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Will you deliver kindness to animals this Christmas?

Snowy the dog © RSPCA

Together, we can make sure that all animals have a safe and comfortable Christmas.

Whether it's making wildlife friendly reindeer food with your children, feeding garden birds or simply helping to ensure your pets feel safe and calm during the festivities. Even small acts of kindness can make a big difference to the lives of animals.