The Appropriate Dog Vaccination Schedule in Buffalo Grove, IL


Your dog depends on you for everything, including proper veterinary care. It may seem overwhelming and time consuming to have to take your dog to the vet repeatedly for vaccinations and then for follow-up booster shots, but this helps prevent your dog from contracting many dangerous and potentially deadly diseases.

There are many vaccinations available for different illnesses and diseases, so it can be confusing to know which vaccinations your puppy needs, and which ones are optional.

However, there is not a perfect vaccination schedule for all dogs. It is important to discuss vaccinations with your veterinarian based on your dog’s needs and individual risk factors. Your veterinarian can help you determine which vaccines would be best for your dog.

Dog getting vaccinated in Buffalo Grove


Diseases in Dogs That Can Be Prevented with a Vaccine



Rabies is a viral infection that affects a dog’s nervous system, including the spinal cord and brain. It is caused by a virus secreted in saliva. Once a dog begins displaying symptoms, rabies is typically fatal.

The rabies vaccine is considered a core vaccine for dogs. In the United States, it is required by law that all dogs be vaccinated for rabies around 14 weeks of age and again at one year of age. After this, the rabies vaccine should be administered every 1 to 3 years.


Canine Parvovirus

Canine parvovirus is highly contagious and can affect all dogs. However, unvaccinated dogs and puppies younger than four months old are most at risk. The virus affects a dog’s gastrointestinal tract and is spread by direct dog-to-dog contact or by coming into contact with contaminated feces.

Puppies should receive their canine parvovirus vaccine between 14 and 16 weeks of age. The parvovirus vaccine is considered a core dog vaccine. After completing the initial series of parvovirus vaccination doses, puppies will need a booster vaccine one year later. After this, all dogs should receive a parvovirus booster every three years or so.


Canine Distemper

Canine distemper is a very contagious disease in dogs that affects their respiratory, gastrointestinal, and nervous systems. It can be spread through direct contact or through airborne exposure. If a dog gets distemper, it can potentially be lethal. However, it is preventable if you get your dog vaccinated.

The distemper vaccine is considered another one of the core dog vaccines. Typically, your veterinarian will administer the distemper vaccine doses at 8, 10, and 12 weeks old. The ages may vary slightly, but the general rule is that the vaccine doses should be given 3-4 weeks apart, with the final vaccination done at (or after) 15-16 weeks. After the initial distemper vaccine doses, puppies will need a booster vaccine one year later. After this, all dogs should receive a distemper booster every three years or so.



Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection that spreads through a dog’s bloodstream. This disease can be picked up from puddles of water that contain urine from infected wildlife.

While leptospirosis is not considered a core dog vaccine, if your dog spends time outside or at dog parks, it is a good idea to get this vaccine. It is not uncommon for a dog to drink from a random water puddle or body of water. A puppy can receive his or her first leptospirosis vaccine as early as 8 or 9 weeks, but it is recommended to wait until 12 weeks of age. After the first dose, your puppy will need a booster vaccine 2-4 weeks later and then annually after that.


Canine Adenovirus – 2

Canine adenovirus type 2 (CAV-2) is a respiratory disease that causes dogs to have a dry, hacking cough. Any dog that is around other dogs at boarding facilities, grooming salons, or dog parks has an increased risk of exposure to CAV-2 since it is spread through coughing and sneezing.

The CAV-2 vaccine is a core dog vaccine. For puppies under the age of 16 weeks, it is recommended they receive one dose every three to four weeks from 6-8 weeks of age, with the final booster vaccine administered around 16 weeks of age. After a puppy has received their complete initial doses, it is recommended they be revaccinated for CAV-2 once every 3 years.


Canine Influenza

The canine influenza virus is also known as dog flu. It is a viral disease that is very difficult to treat. This contagious respiratory disease is caused by specific Type A influenza viruses that are known to infect dogs.

The canine influenza vaccine is not considered a core dog vaccine; however, it is a good idea if your dog is going to be around other dogs. Puppies 7 weeks and older can be given this vaccine. It requires two doses given 2-4 weeks apart. If you choose to get this vaccine for your puppy, it will need to be given to them annually.


Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is a bacterial illness that is transmitted to dogs by certain species of ticks. It can get into a dog’s bloodstream through a tick bite. Once the disease is in the bloodstream, the bacteria can travel to other parts of the body causing other problems for your puppy.

This vaccine is not a core vaccine for dogs but is commonly suggested for dogs with a high exposure to ticks carrying Lyme disease. The first dose can be given as early as 8-9 weeks of age, and a second booster vaccine must be given 3-4 weeks later.


Bordetellosis (Kennel Cough)

If your dog is going to be in areas where they are around other dogs, they are more likely to come in contact with this respiratory disease. It is caused by the bacteria Bordetella bronchiseptica which causes inflammation of the trachea and bronchi. Bordetella is contagious and can be spread through direct contact or through the air.

The Bordetella vaccine is not a core vaccine, but most groomers, doggy day cares, and boarding facilities require your dog to have this vaccine. Puppies should receive this vaccine between 6-8 weeks of age with a second dose 4 weeks later.


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About Buffalo Grove Animal Hospital

Buffalo Grove Animal Hospital has been a part of the Buffalo Grove community since 1969. Our veterinarians serve Buffalo Grove, Arlington Heights, Palatine, and the surrounding areas with the best veterinary medicine year after year. Our commitment to pet health runs deep, and we’ve proven our skill and compassion by becoming an AAHA-accredited Animal Hospital, the highest accreditation veterinary practices can receive.