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Dog Vaccination Schedule: Puppies And Adults

As responsible owners of a dog, we must comply with its vaccination schedule, as this will prevent a large number of serious diseases. Many times, we are not sure if a vaccine is really necessary or not, but everything ends up reducing which are the obligatory vaccines in the region in which we live.

If you live in Spain and you have doubts about your dog’s vaccination, keep reading this article by Pet180 in which we are going to comment everything you need to know about the vaccination schedule for dogs.

What Is A Vaccine?

The vaccine that the vet gives our dog serves to increase immunity to certain diseases. It consists of the subcutaneous inoculation of a biological preparation that contains, according to the disease that is sought to prevent, an attenuated microorganism, a fraction of a virus, dead microbes, microbial toxins or surface protein.

As it is a small contact with the disease, the body creates a defensive reaction that generates antibodies that serve as specific defenses against this particular disease. Thus, the body will be able to detect it quickly and will have its own means to fight it without affecting the dog. With the proper vaccination our pet acquires immunity against a disease without having to suffer and overcome it. However, this strengthening of the immune system is temporary, so it is necessary to revaccinate periodically.

Vaccinations are only really effective if the dog’s health is good, it is dewormed and its immune system is sufficiently mature. It is vital that we inform ourselves of which are the necessary and obligatory ones and how often they should be administered to preserve the health of our dog, since some of these diseases are deadly. In addition, there are diseases that are zoonoses, like rabies, that is to say that they are passed from animals to humans and vice versa, reason why these usually are obligatory in almost all the territories.

As we see, vaccination is something very important for the health of our partner as well as for ours, in addition to the obligation by existing law, so from Pet180 we recommend not to skip the annual vaccinations, because the treatment is much more expensive than the prevention of any disease.

When Should A Dog Get Its First Vaccination?

Puppies are born with an immature immune system, so it is unable to protect them from disease. Therefore, it is vital that they take colostrum, the first liquid that comes out of the dog’s breasts and contains antibodies that will protect them. But colostrum antibodies are limited and vaccinating at a very young age only reduces the number of antibodies the puppy has and does not generate immunity because the immune system is not mature enough.

This is why for a vaccine to really work; the dog’s defense system must be minimally mature. Therefore, it is very important to know when we can give the first vaccine to a puppy, this will be when it is considered that it already has a sufficiently mature immune system. In fact, the dog’s immune system reaches its fullness around four months of age but before that it has already reached a level that is suitable for receiving the first vaccinations.

Thus, puppies are not vaccinated shortly after birth, but are expected to be at least 45 days old. Although, due to the fact that while they are suckling, they will always have some immunity coming from their mother’s milk and their system will be forming, sometimes it is waited until they are weaned more or less at the optimal age of 8 weeks of life. For this reason, the first vaccination is usually given between one and a half months and two months of age, although the veterinarian should decide.

In addition, before the first vaccination and until it has taken effect it is vital that you do not touch the street floor, nor have contact with dogs other than your siblings and parents, as you are vulnerable to contagion.

Compulsory And Optional Vaccinations For Dogs

The essential ones are the ones that all puppies should wear, as they protect against dangerous and common diseases all over the world. But the optional ones protect against diseases that occur in certain geographical regions, certain life conditions or times.

Essential vaccines protect against:

Canine distemper

Infectious Hepatitis


Canine Rabies

Optional vaccines protect against:


Canine Parainfluenza

Kennel Cough caused by Bordetella

Lyme disease


Multipurpose Vaccine For Dogs

In addition, there are polyvalent vaccines, which in a single inoculation immunize against several diseases. It is common to use those that protect against three, four, five, six and eight pathogens:

Trivalent: distemper, adenovirus 1 or 2 (i.e., infectious hepatitis and kennel cough) and leptospirosis.

Tetravalent: contains the same as trivalent and adds canine parvoviruses.

Pentavalent: distemper, adenovirus 1 and 2, parvovirus and parainfluenza.

Hexavalent: distemper, adenovirus 1 and 2, 2 strains of leptospirosis and parvovirus.

Octavalent: distemper, adenovirus 1 and 2, 2 strains of leptospirosis, parvovirus, parainfluenza and coronavirus.

Also included are canine herpesvirus, babesiosis or piroplasmosis and against Bordetella Bronchiseptica and Pasteurella Multocida, which are opportunistic bacterial components in kennel cough, in addition to the vaccine against leishmania. Currently, leptospirosis vaccine and rabies vaccine are usually administered in a separate inoculation to achieve greater efficacy.

What Is The Vaccination Schedule For Dogs In Spain?

Below we show you which vaccinations are the basic ones if you live in Spain. Thus, this is the standard vaccination calendar for dogs in Spain:

At 6 weeks: First vaccination or first polyvalent vaccination. It is not always given, as it depends on the age at weaning.

At 8 weeks: Multi-purpose (adenovirus 1 and 2, distemper, parainfluenza and parvovirus).

At 12 weeks: Polyvalent (adenovirus 1 and 2, distemper, parainfluenza and parvovirus) and leptospirosis.

At 16 weeks: Rabies.

Annually: Reminder of the Polyvalent (adenovirus 1 and 2, distemper, parainfluenza and parvovirus), leptospirosis and Rabies.

The anti-rabies or rabies inoculation in Spain is mandatory in the vast majority of communities, is only voluntary in Galicia, the Basque Country and Catalonia.

The proposed schedule is only a general guide and may change depending on the time or region. Your vet may therefore suggest a different schedule depending on your puppy’s situation. In any case, this is a standard calendar model that can serve as a guide for the basics in any other country, as the essential vaccinations discussed in the previous section are common throughout the world.

Vaccine Side Effects In Dogs

Whether it is the first vaccinations or annual revaccinations for the rest of the dog’s life, it is advisable that the vaccinations are administered in the morning. This way, if there is any reaction, although they are not frequent, we have all day to be able to observe and treat that reaction.

Some dogs suffer from mild reactions such as lethargy, a little fever and loss of appetite after the vaccinations. Others present a small swelling at the injection site. These effects are short-lived and do not pose a health hazard.

In a few cases, anaphylactic reactions occur which are dangerous allergic reactions. In these cases, dogs have vomiting, diarrhea and difficulty breathing and may occasionally faint. Anaphylactic reactions can be fatal if not treated immediately, but when treated in time there is usually no risk of death. Fortunately, anaphylactic reactions to dog vaccines are very rare.

From Pet180 we call for responsible pet ownership and we remind you that up-to-date vaccination is a legally binding issue as well as an ethical and moral one, since it is about protecting our dogs, our health and that of our family.

This article is purely informative, in we do not have the power to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any kind of diagnosis. We recommend you to take your pet to the vet in case it presents any kind of condition or discomfort.

John Preston

My name is John Preston and I am the man behind Pet180. I have a passion for helping pets parents and inspiring them to care about their pets. Because we care, we share. I enjoy the ever-changing world of web design and front-end development. I can be found writing, designing and developing all sorts of great content.

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