Should I get my dog vaccinated? Why do it and when to do it

Vaccinations and boosters might seem cumbersome or excessive, but many of them are mandatory for a very good reason: to protect our dog's health and the health of public spaces for canines. Here, our Madison vets discuss the grave importance of vaccinating your dog, and when and why to do it.

Why Get Your Dog Vaccinated

Like vaccines for people, dog vaccines protect your pet against a host of serious diseases that could threaten the life of your pet.

While getting your dog vaccinated may seem like an unnecessary expense at the time, your dog's shots are likely to save you much more money when compared to the cost of treatment for the illnesses vaccines protect against.

Which Vaccines Are Right For Your Dog

In the Madison area, the vaccinations recommended for dogs include immunizations to help prevent Bordetella, distemper, parvovirus, hepatitis, and rabies.

At Gluckstadt Animal Hospital our vets will be able to recommend the vaccines that are most appropriate for your dog based on your dog's age, where you live and your dog's lifestyle.

Vaccination Schedule for Puppies & Adult Dogs

Puppy Shot Schedule

6 - 8 Weeks

  • *DHPP

10 - 12 Weeks

  • *DHPP Booster
  • Leptospira
  • Bordetella

14 - 16 Weeks

  • *DHPP Booster
  • Leptospira Booster
  • Bordetella Booster
  • Rabies

Adult Dog Vaccination Schedule


  • Bordatella
  • Leptospira
  • Lyme
  • Rabies

Every 3 Years

  • DHPP Booster
  • Rabies

*DHPP: This vaccine protects against Distemper, Adenovirus, Parainfluenza, and Parvovirus.

Age Restrictions

Speak to your vet to learn which vaccines are appropriate for your dog. Very young puppies and senior dogs with compromised immune systems are not eligible for all shots.

Possible Vaccine Side Effects

In some cases, dogs may have an allergic reaction to getting their shots. This is typically due to a sensitivity to an individual ingredient of a specific vaccine. Different breeds tend to react to some ingredients.

German shepherds, various collies, and some sheepdogs are known to be sensitive to individual vaccinations. Your vet will skip any vaccines that contain ingredients that your dog may be sensitive to.

The Importance of Vaccinations

Vaccinations are a key element of your dog's preventive health care. By taking your dog in for his/her shots early in life, and then regularly as they move through adulthood, you give your furry friend the very best chance of living a long and healthy life.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.