Puppy Vaccination Australia – All You Need to Know!

timing of puppy shots

The timing of puppy shots in Australia divides vaccines into two groups- core vaccinations and non-core vaccinations. All dogs need core vaccines routinely. On the other hand, non-core vaccines are not given routinely and they depend on the dog’s lifestyle, geographical location, and risk factors.

In this guide, we tell you the exact timing of puppy shots for puppies in Australia, so that pet parents can keep their little fur babies safe and healthy.

Puppy Vaccination Schedule Australia

puppy vaccinations

Here are the main vaccines every puppy will need:

Parvovirus (Core Live Vaccine)

Parvovirus can result in bloody diarrhoea, fever, vomiting, loss of appetite, and lethargy. It quickly causes dehydration and affected dogs need prompt hospitalisation and intensive treatment. Many dogs still die despite treatment. Parvovirus can remain for a long time on surfaces so unvaccinated dogs can acquire it even without direct contact with an infected animal.

Distemper (Core Live Vaccine)

This is another serious disease affecting the gastrointestinal tract, nervous system, and the airways. Thankfully, it has become rare due to vaccinations.

Hepatitis (Also known as Adenovirus) (Core Live Vaccine)

Hepatitis is a contagious disease that affects the dog’s liver. It can result in fever, vomiting, and severe abdominal pain.

Leptospirosis (Non-Core Killed Vaccine)

This disease can result in kidney failure. It is also treatable if caught early, usually with penicillin. Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease, meaning that humans can contract it too. It is spread through animal urine and is commonly transmitted by rats in urban areas.

Bordetella/Kennel Cough (Non-Core Live Vaccine)

This vaccine protects against a canine respiratory illness known as kennel cough. Bordetella is a contagious bacterial infection that affects the windpipe and bronchial tubes. Symptoms of Bordetella/kennel cough are a distinct honking cough, lethargy, and high fever.

Rabies (Killed Vaccine)

In some countries, rabies is a core vaccine. However, in Australia, New Zealand, and Europe, it is a non-core vaccine that is relevant only to dogs that travel between countries to satisfy legal requirements.

Puppy Vaccination Schedule Australia – The Timing of puppy shots

puppy vaccination schedule Australia

The following is a general recommendation for the timing of puppy shots. Your vet will vary this based on the brand of vaccine, your puppy’s age, and also if your puppy received the dam’s milk. 

  • 6-to-8 weeks – Your puppy will receive its first vaccination to protect against parvovirus, distemper, and hepatitis. Some puppies that do not receive their dam’s milk may be given this shot between 4-6 weeks.
  • 10-12 weeks – Your vet will give your puppy its second round of vaccines (boosters) for parvovirus, distemper, and hepatitis. Additionally, it may receive the noncore Bordetella/kennel cough and parainfluenza vaccines.
  • 12-16 weeks – if your pet travels, your vet may give the first rabies vaccine at this age. s/he may recommend subsequent annual or once-in-three-year vaccines based on the brand. Additionally, susceptible pets may be given the leptospirosis vaccine.
  • 14-16 weeks – At this age, your puppy should receive the booster for parvovirus, distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza, and Bordetella/kennel cough. Some brands of parainfluenza and Bordetella vaccines may not need this booster. If your puppy has received its leptospirosis vaccine at 12 weeks, then this may be boosted at 16 weeks.
  • Annual booster – your vet will give you an annual vaccination schedule to protect your pet against the above diseases.

How Many Vaccinations Do Puppies Need in Australia?

puppy immunisations

Puppies in Australia need a course of three core vaccines- distemper, hepatitis, and parvovirus- given 4 weeks apart. Ideally, your puppy should receive its first round of vaccines between 6-8 weeks. The second round of vaccines can be between 10-12 weeks and the third round between 14-18 weeks.
Puppies in Australia also need annual boosters. If your puppy travels, it will need a rabies vaccine. If your vet sees fit, s/he may also recommend the leptospirosis vaccine at 12 weeks and boost it at 16 weeks. Your puppy’s booster vaccine schedule will depend on the brand of vaccine used.

Do Puppies Need 2 or 3 Vaccinations?

Puppies need three core vaccinations and the timing of puppy shots is 4 weeks apart. They will then need a booster shot for those vaccines as well as some non-core vaccines. The exact dosage and schedule of vaccinations will depend on the brand of vaccines used.

At What Month is a Puppy Fully Vaccinated?

Puppies in Australia should start getting vaccinated from 6-8 weeks of age and they need boosters every 4 weeks. Your puppy will need boosters until it is at least 18 weeks old to guarantee full protection.
Your vet will then recommend an annual booster shot schedule based on the brand of vaccine.

Can I Take My Puppy Out After Second Vaccination Australia?

These days, new vaccines are available that allow puppies to socialise one week after their second round of vaccinations. This means that, if you have followed the timing of puppy shots detailed above, you can take your puppy out to a dog park or socialise it with other dogs after it is 13-14 weeks old.
In general, it is still important that you avoid taking your puppy out to areas where there may be unvaccinated dogs. You can socialise your puppy by taking it to visit friends who have vaccinated dogs. You can also enrol your puppy in a puppy preschool where they only take vaccinated dogs. Avoid dog parks until your puppy has received all of their injections as parvovirus can survive in soil for up to 9 years.

Puppy injections and training

puppy injections

The timing of puppy shots is important to adhere to; the sooner your puppy receives their second vaccination and booster, they can then be enrolled in a puppy training program where they will be able to safely socialise with other vaccinated puppies. Puppy training that includes life skills such as confidence building, tolerance to frustration, obedience training, crate training and general manners will help to prevent unwanted behaviour problems from developing in the future.

Your puppy can enjoy the benefits of early training from the time you bring them home at 8 weeks of age. Foresight Dog Training has an online puppy training program that takes just 5 minutes per day to see results and can be done from the comfort of your home.

Affordable Vets offering Puppy Vaccinations and comprehensive health checks:

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Hi! I’m Tres! I’m passionate about dog behaviour and training. My dog training methods are effective for all breeds and goals. I have trained dogs for protection, obedience, manners, loose leash walking, crate training and have solved common behaviour problems such as reactivity, barking, separation anxiety and more. Let’s connect, sign up to my free newsletter (above) for helpful tips and upcoming training events.
dog trainer Sydney
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Hi! I’m Tres! I’m passionate about dog behaviour and training. My dog training methods are effective for all breeds and goals. I have trained dogs for protection, obedience, manners, loose leash walking, crate training and have solved common behaviour problems such as reactivity, barking, separation anxiety and more. Let’s connect, sign up to my free newsletter (above) for helpful tips and upcoming training events.
dog trainer Sydney

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