3 Rounds of Core Vaccines Needed to Keep A Puppy Healthy

7 minute read By Peter Corso
Reviewed by: Pawrade Team
December 03, 2022

A Golden Retriever puppy receives a vaccine at the vet's office

At Pawrade, our number-one goal is to provide families with healthy puppies. This is why we stress the importance of our 3-year Health Guarantee and 30-day MetLife Pet Insurance. But even before that, our strict code of conduct for breeders ensures that your puppy will have its age-appropriate vaccinations and deworming before being home and in your arms.

You may be wondering which vaccinations your puppy arrives with and how they protect your puppy. When you find a puppy for sale through Pawrade, rest assured your puppy will arrive with all required age-appropriate vaccinations. Learn about the 3 rounds of vaccines and deworming your Pawrade puppy has had when they arrive & which ones you need for up to 4 months.

Why Does My Puppy Need Vaccinations? 

Health & quality of life are first and foremost 

As a puppy parent, you want to do everything you possibly can to raise a happy and healthy puppy. Vaccinating your puppy can prevent life-threatening and devastating illnesses that could result in suffering and even death. 

As puppy parents, vaccinating your puppy will help your puppy live a long, fulfilling life. Our puppies are depending on us to make their lives as comfortable as possible. 

Protects others

Vaccinating your puppy means you are doing your part in contributing to the quality of public health. They can prevent the transfer of illnesses from pets to humans and pets to other pets. 

Housing leases 

Expect a landlord to require proof of up-to-date pet vaccinations. Some apartments may have dog parks on-site, so you need to protect your puppy, other dogs, and residents from devastating diseases. Be sure to read the lease before you sign it and put down a deposit so you are aware of the stipulations for vaccine requirements. 

Local law requirements

Local municipalities may require puppy registration and tags to ensure public safety. Dog parks can also require rabies or registration tags with displayed numbers to be worn on collars. Be sure to research dog vaccination laws by state and check with your municipality to ensure you’re in compliance.  

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What Vaccinations Does My Puppy Need? 

New owners are not always aware of which shots are needed and when they should be administered. If you are rehoming a puppy between the ages of 8 weeks and 16 weeks, then you should plan to schedule a few more vet appointments for follow-up vaccines and boosters. 

Build a relationship with a trusted veterinarian in your area. Consider them a PCP (primary care provider) for your puppy. Managing your puppy’s health will be considerably easier if all health records and documentation are in one place. 

Be sure to find a qualified, licensed veterinarian who is not interested in just profits by pushing unnecessary, expensive vaccines and treatments and instead is very familiar with puppies’ needs in particular. 

A licensed veterinarian will know the right puppy vaccination schedule to recommend based on several factors including the area of the country where you live, if you plan to board your dog, or individual risk factors your particular puppy may have. A great vet will also know how to avoid over-vaccinating your puppy

What are the Core Vaccines Pawrade Puppies Receive? 

Puppies are given deworming medicine and go through 3 series of vaccinations by the time they reach 4 months old (16 weeks). At this point, they are considered fully vaccinated and ready to romp around the parks and public places. It is vital that puppies are not exposed to undesirable bacteria before this time, or else they could come down with a list of health problems.


Dewormings are given on a biweekly schedule from when the puppy is 2 weeks old until it is 12 weeks old. Puppies love to get their paws and mouths on so many different things, so deworming medication helps prevent the presence of worms in their bodies, such as roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms, and whipworms. After the preliminary deworming schedule, follow your veterinarian’s instructions on how to keep your puppy properly dewormed after they’re home and snuggled in your arms. 

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Learn about the 3 rounds of the 5-Way vaccine

Important vaccinations are safely given alongside the necessary dewormings to protect from common puppy illnesses that can be prevented or reduced effects with a proper vaccine schedule. Your Pawrade puppy will arrive with Round 1 completed, and Rounds 2 and 3 plus rabies vaccinations will be given at follow-up appointments with your trusted veterinarian. 

Round 1: 6-8 weeks old 

The first vaccination is given when the puppy is 6 to 8 weeks old. This 5-way shot is known as the DHPP, DAPP, or DA2PP vaccine (5-Way vaccine) and makes up the core vaccinations for puppies.

The 5-Way vaccine protects against the following puppy ailments you can combat with proper vaccines

  • Distemper (D):  A highly contagious virus related to measles in humans that can spread via contact and airborne exposure. It can be fatal and is a requirement for breeders to have given before releasing a puppy. 
  • Adenoviruses Hepatitis & Kennel Cough (A, A2, or H): Infectious canine hepatitis is known to be transmitted via urine. This is a common reason why puppies should not be in public areas before being fully vaccinated. Kennel cough is highly contagious and spreads in close quarters like when boarded in kennels or doggy daycare settings. 
  • Parainfluenza (P): Transmitted through direct contact with infected dogs. It weakens the immune system of a puppy and can lead to a quick decline in a puppy’s health. Similar to human influenza, Parainfluenza impacts the respiratory system and leaves a puppy more susceptible to more widely known health problems like distemper and kennel cough.
  • Parvovirus (P): Commonly called Parvo and is a serious, potentially fatal disease that vaccinations help prevent. Parvo has no cure and spreads through contact with an infected puppy or indirectly through contaminated objects, even in the soil, and can live up to a year. Keep your puppy away from public places before they receive their full rounds of vaccines and areas of known dog waste, and always supervise your puppy outside and around other dogs. 

The 5-Way vaccination called NeoPar® is widely considered the best vaccination against Parvovirus

Round 2: Around 12 weeks

A second round of the 5-Way vaccination is given at or around the 12-week mark to boost immunity further and prevent these infections.

Round 3: 16 weeks

At 16 weeks of age, puppies are administered their third and final 5-Way vaccination as well as their first Rabies vaccination. Now your puppy is ready to show off to friends and family! 

Rabies vaccination

Rabies is a disease that infects the central nervous system in the spinal cord and brain and is transmitted to humans through an infected animal bite. Vaccinating against rabies is crucial to avoid progressive neurological issues and even fatalities. According to the World Health Organization, about 59,000 people worldwide die each year from rabies, but only one or two deaths occur in the US where laws require pets to be vaccinated. 

Boosters and non-core vaccinations

Your veterinarian will educate you about when you will need to receive boosters of any vaccines. In addition, other non-core vaccinations are available on an as-needed basis on the recommendation of your vet, your puppy’s health needs, living situation, and geography. Some non-core vaccinations for puppies include:

  • Bordetella: Given every 6-12 months based on your dog's exposure risk to kennel cough
  • Borrelia Burgdorferi: Optional to protect against Lyme disease for puppies 8 weeks old and older 
  • Leptospira Bacteria: Administered by 12 weeks, with a booster 2-4 weeks later and annually after that to protect against Leptospirosis bacterial disease
  • Canine Influenza: This optional vaccine is given around 6 months with a booster in 2 weeks and then yearly to protect against dog flu

Find Your Vaccinated Puppy at Pawrade

We care about the health of all our puppies and take a Puppy First approach to ensure the well-being of your new furry friend. To learn more about our puppies for sale, contact a Puppy Concierge through our online form or call us at (888) 729-8812.


Peter Corso profile picture

Peter Corso

I have worked with Pawrade for 3 years helping families find their perfect furbaby. I have dedicated myself from start to finish, assisting people in finding and adopting their puppy and even delivering the puppy to their door! Check out our videos, blogs, and social media content to see my heart pour out!

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