Puppy Vaccinations! Two words that look pretty painful when they’re placed together but are rather necessary when it comes to the start of your journey with your puppy. Puppy vaccinations are what we’d like to call the ‘green light’ for letting your puppy outside safely – so that they remain untouched by nasty viruses or yucky diseases. 

In this article, we’ll talk you through all the what’s and how’s of puppy vaccinations, and introduce the ones your puppy’s vet will already talk to you about soon enough. 

Ready when you are!

golden lab puppy photo
Photo by Berkay Gumustekin on Unsplash

When should my puppy be vaccinated?

Puppy vaccinations typically happen between the age of 8 to 12 weeks old, and they will probably need a booster vaccination when they hit the 12 month mark, depending on the vaccine. Your vet will definitely let you know when it’s time for a prick.

Because it will be around 12 weeks until your puppy is fully vaccinated, sadly their outdoor adventures will only get as exciting as seeing the world from your driveway, or while being picked up off the floor by your strong arms. This is already quite exciting for them so you don’t have to worry about them being bored. 

With so many little bugs that can make your little one sick until they get their full puppy vaccinations, it’s best to hold off the big adventures until later.

Take a look at our article here to know more about how to let your puppy out safely, and how to give them a taste of the great outdoors while they’re still waiting to get their jabs. When there’s a will, there’s a way!

How much do puppy vaccinations cost?

Well you’re not shy in asking the big questions, are you? We’ll be honest. Puppy vaccinations aren’t the cheapest things in the world. Ready? 

Puppy vaccinations cost around between £30-£60/$75-100US/€40-90. Sorry, did that hurt? But on the bright side, puppy vaccinations will keep your puppy away from any trouble so they happily enjoy their first glimpses of life feeling great and dandy. 

Doesn’t that sound nice?

Oh, and booster puppy vaccinations are also required but are usually a little cheaper. Just thought of squeezing in there somewhere. 

french bulldog sat on vet table
Photo by Karsten Winegeart on Unsplash

What type of puppy vaccinations do they need?

Puppies are routinely vaccinated against four diseases. We call these vaccines core vaccines and they are made up of Distemper, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis and Parvovirus often called DHLP by vets.

Canine Parvovirus

Canine Parvovirus is nasty virus that tends to affect unvaccinated puppies younger than four months. It messes with their gut, and is spread by dog-dog contact and through poo that’s lying around. See why it’s important to not let them on the streets without their vaccination? 

Your puppy will get their Canine Parvovirus vaccines at 10-12 weeks, so make sure to keep that written in your agenda. Given that you have one.

Canine Distemper

No, this vaccine has nothing to do with your puppy’s temperament so don’t get any ideas of it helping out with the nipping and biting. This puppy vaccine actually fights a virus that typically infects the respiratory and gastrointestinal systems, and then goes for the whole nervous system. Not ideal. 

Canine Distemper is given within the core vaccines between 8 and 12 weeks. Yay! Getting rid of problems so early on already.

Infectious Canine Hepatitis (Canine Adenovirus-1)

Yes, even dogs can get hepatitis. With Canine Hepatitis, the blood vessels are the main target for infection as well as the lungs and kidneys. Sometimes you can see through the clouding of the eyes – they look like a magic crystal ball but they’re not nearly as nice. 

Puppies are particularly vulnerable to this nasty disease, so this one will probably be among the first puppy vaccines they get. 

Once the initial rounds of puppy vaccines are given the above three vaccines are now generally given every three years or more, depending on the vaccine maker. 


Just one more vaccine, but this one is needed annually, so although your puppy might not need the other ‘core’ vaccines every year, this is one you’ll want to make sure you add to the calendar and don’t forget.

Leptospirosis  – we call it lepto for short, is a bacterial disease and not a virus like the other diseases we vaccinate for. 

The main way of transmission is via drinking stagnant water and canals, especially if there is a likelihood of rats, as it’s these rodents (as well as other dogs) that are the main carriers.

dog sat on the edge of a bed
Photo by Roberto Nickson on Unsplash

We hope that with this overview of puppy vaccines we didn’t make you feel queasy or weirdly jumpy. Puppy vaccine costs can be rather up there in price, but also in terms of the priority list – we definitely want to get these done. Your puppy will thank you later with virus-less kisses and cuddles.

Our article here also has some good (and yuck) advice on how to handle puppy worms…that’s a whole other story.