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How Much Do Dog & Puppy Vaccinations Cost? (2024 Price Guide)

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on May 20, 2024 by Dogster Team

veterinarian vaccinating German Shepherd dog

How Much Do Dog & Puppy Vaccinations Cost? (2024 Price Guide)

VET APPROVED

Dr. Paola Cuevas Photo

REVIEWED & FACT-CHECKED BY

Dr. Paola Cuevas

Veterinarian, MVZ

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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You want your pet to be as healthy as possible and remain that way throughout their life. Part of basic healthcare for your dog or puppy is their vaccinations. Many new owners want to know the costs ahead of time so they can plan and budget accordingly. The cost will vary depending on your location and whether you have an adult dog or a puppy, but if you decide to give your pet all the necessary vaccinations, you can expect to pay between $200 and $800.

Why Do Puppies and Dogs Need Vaccinations?

Vaccinations prevent your pet from contracting contagious diseases. Some areas offer vaccinations for specific diseases that are prevalent or that your pup is at high risk for. However, a core set of vaccinations is given to puppies beginning at 6 to 8 weeks of age.

Puppies are particularly susceptible to diseases like parvovirus, distemper, and hepatitis. They are immunized against these illnesses through a series of vaccinations given in their first 3 months of life. Additionally, rabies is a core vaccination that all dogs need to get, typically by law.

Whether you are adopting a puppy or an adult dog, consult with your veterinarian to find out what vaccinations your pet needs and the appropriate schedule. If you’re unsure of the animal’s previous vaccination history, your vet may advise that you get them a series of booster shots to ensure that they are up to date.

If you live in an area that is prone to ticks, we recommend asking your veterinarian for medication/vaccinations to prevent tick-borne diseases. They can give you the information you need for any illnesses present in your region or state.

golden retriever dog with puppies
Image Credit: otsphoto, Shutterstock

What Vaccinations Are Included in the Puppy Schedule?

Some vaccinations in the puppy schedule are only recommended, such as Lyme disease, while others, like rabies vaccinations, are required by law.

This guide gives you a general list of core vaccinations and recommended non-core ones. It’s important to speak to your veterinarian for specific recommendations for your dog, as the law might change in your state, but this will give you a general idea of what to expect.

Dog’s age Core vaccinations Recommended vaccinations
6–8 weeks Parvovirus Bordetella
Adenovirus/Hepatitis Parainfluenza
Distemper
10–12 weeks Parvovirus Lyme
Adenovirus/Hepatitis Canine Influenza
Distemper
Rabies
Leptospirosis (required in California)
12–16 weeks Parvovirus Lyme
Adenovirus/Hepatitis Canine Influenza
Distemper
Leptospirosis (California only)
Dogs over 16 weeks with unknown vaccination history Core puppy shots listed previously are given twice, 4 weeks apart
Rabies
26–52 weeks Booster shots Lyme disease
Rabies
Every 6 months Bordatella (Kennel cough)
Parainfluenza
Every 3 years Revaccination Influenza
Rabies

It’s important to note that the age and frequency of rabies vaccinations and boosters varies by state. Most vets give this vaccine every 3 years, but you should check with your veterinarian to confirm the requirements in your location.

dog vaccination
Image Credit: LightField Studios, Shutterstock

How Much Do Dog and Puppy Vaccinations Cost?

The specific price of your pet’s vaccinations will depend on whether you choose to give both core and non-core vaccines and whether you require any additional vaccinations for locations your dog will be traveling to.

If you adopt your pet from a shelter or rescue organization, some vaccinations are usually included in your adoption fee. Young puppies are often not adopted by families until they have had a full vet check and their first vaccinations, to ensure a healthy start.

Here are the estimated average costs that you can expect for your dog or puppy’s vaccinations:

  • Routine vaccinations: First year: $100–$350; annual cost: $80–$250
  • Heartworm prevention: $24–$132 annually
  • Flea and tick prevention: $40–$200 annually
  • Distemper vaccination: First year: $20–$30; annual cost: $40–$60
  • Rabies vaccination: First year: $15–$25
  • Deworming: First year: $20–$50; annual cost: $80–$200

The cost of these vaccinations does add up, but you can potentially save your dog from much more expensive health issues down the line.

Health insurance for your pet may help cover the costs, of vaccinations. If you’re thinking of getting pet insurance, you may want to look at Lemonade. This company offers balanced, customizable insurance and helpful customer service. Comparing multiple policies is the best way to know if you are getting the coverage that you need.

Guidelines for Vaccinating Your Dog or Puppy

While the benefits of vaccinating your dog outweigh the risks, the risk factors should still be assessed for each individual animal. This assessment should be undertaken with your veterinarian.

Vaccination risks are a hot topic, and it is not a legal requirement in most places to get your pet vaccinated, with the exception of rabies vaccinations. However, most studies show compelling reasons to get your dog vaccinated regularly.

Pros of Vaccinating Your Dog

The biggest argument for vaccinating your dog or puppy is the prevention of life-threatening illnesses. While most pet owners today have never experienced a pet that has contracted parvovirus or distemper, these illnesses are devastating. They not only endanger your dog’s life but can also cause extreme suffering.

Young puppies are the perfect targets for viruses and bacteria. They lick, bite, and chew on everything and have a weak defense system against disease because they’re so young. This is why veterinarians place such high importance on puppy vaccinations.

Puppy Vaccine
Image Credit: gorillaimages, Shutterstock

Vaccines, however, are becoming the victims of their success. Many of the diseases that dogs are vaccinated against are now virtually non-existent. It’s not likely that your dog will come into contact with a dog with distemper in the dog park because the domestic dog population has herd immunity against it. The majority of dogs are vaccinated, which gives non-vaccinated dogs protection. This is the same concept as the human poliovirus. The virus has been virtually eradicated due to vaccination, so even unvaccinated individuals are unlikely to contract it.

The concept of herd immunity can give pet owners a false sense of security. Diseases, like canine distemper, for example, still exist in wild animals. The reason you don’t know dogs with distemper is that they’re vaccinated. It does not mean that your unvaccinated pet can’t get sick.

Risks of Vaccinating Your Dog

There is risk involved in almost anything, including vaccinating your dog. Vaccines do have some side effects, most of which are mild and short-lived. Common vaccine reactions include a small lump at the injection site, which disappears spontaneously in about 2 weeks. This is relatively common, as it occurs in about one in 10 dogs.

Uncommon side effects, affecting one in 1,000 dogs, may include a temporary, self-resolving lack of appetite and energy. One in 10,000 dogs (which means this is considered very rare) may experience an immune or allergic reaction to ingredients in the vaccines.

dog and vet._LightField Studios_Shutterstock
Image Credit: LightField Studios, Shutterstock

Risk Assessment

Serious side effects of vaccines are very rare. While they tend to cause a vaccine backlash in the media, it’s important to put it in perspective.

It is a certainty that vaccinations protect your dog from potentially life-threatening diseases. These diseases have a very high mortality rate, and your dog is at risk if they are unvaccinated. The vaccines themselves have a very low risk of causing a serious reaction in your dog.

It’s also important to be aware that allergic reactions are treatable when caught early. For this reason, your veterinarian will often ask you to stay at the clinic for a period of time following vaccine administration so any reaction can be reversed.

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Conclusion

We have provided the average costs of dog and puppy vaccinations to help you include these in your pet budget. Vaccinations that are recommended for your pet should be discussed with your veterinarian based on your lifestyle and the laws and region in which you live. Vaccines are an important part of your dog’s healthcare, as they prevent your dog or puppy from contracting life-threatening illnesses.


Featured Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

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