Shots Every Puppy Needs in Wilmington, DE

When you’re thinking of bringing home a new puppy, you want to do what’s best for him. This involves setting up a puppy-proof home, buying the right food, and making sure he gets all his shots, too.

Dog who needs puppy shots in Wilmington, DE

But puppy shots can be confusing, and some vets seem to require more of them than others. Which ones does your puppy really need in Wilmington? Are they all important, or are some more important than others? How do you know when it’s time to get your puppy’s next round of booster shots?

Important Puppy Shots in Wilmington, DE

In this article, we’ll help answer many of the questions new puppy owners have about proper vet care. We’ll guide you through the important shots your puppy needs throughout their first year of life, and we’ll help you recognize which of these shots are required everywhere and which are strongly suggested.

With this information, you’ll be able to plan your puppy’s upcoming vet care with no trouble.

6 to 8 Weeks

Below are common puppy shots that pets in Wilmington need during their first six to eight weeks of life.


Distemper is a contagious virus and causes severe respiratory, neurologic, and digestive symptoms in dogs. It can cause fever, seizures, coughing, diarrhea, vomiting, and paralysis. It can even lead to death, especially in puppies.


Puppies are especially prone to parvovirus and it can be fatal to puppies under four months of age. This virus is throughout our environment and can survive outdoors for at least a year. Because of this, the parvovirus vaccination is given as early as possible, and sometimes even before puppies can go to their new family’s home in Wilmington.

Parvovirus causes severe bloody diarrhea and vomiting as well as frequent severe dehydration. This vaccination is given in combination with the distemper vaccination every 3 to 4 weeks during puppyhood.

10 to 12 Weeks and 16 to 18 Weeks

Once your pet reaches ten to twelve weeks of age, the recommendation is to repeat the parvovirus and distemper vaccination. It is recommended that the final parvovirus and distemper vaccination be given between 16 and 18 weeks of age. During this time of vaccination, it is imperative to protect your puppy from exposure to these viruses in Wilmington. 

It is best to keep your puppy in your yard and only allow him to play with other dogs that are healthy and vaccinated.

20 to 22 Weeks

When your puppy is 20 to 22 weeks old, the core vaccination series ends with your puppy’s first rabies shot.


It is required by law in the United States for puppies to have a rabies shot at around this time. Your vet in Wilmington will let you know for sure if it’s time for your puppy’s first rabies shot.

Rabies causes neurologic disease characterized by severe drooling, pain, anxiety, and fear of water. Eventually, dogs who have rabies will die. Rabies is also extremely dangerous to humans as well as other animals.

Non-Care Vaccines to be Discussed with Your Vet

Below are puppy shots that are considered non-core, but should still be discussed with your veterinarian in Wilmington to see if your pet will need to receive them and when.


This is a bacterium that is transmitted through the ingestion of stagnant water and dirt. It causes stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, lethargy, and muscle pain and stiffness. In severe cases, it can cause liver and kidney failure. 

This vaccination requires an initial vaccination and a booster 3 to 4 weeks later. Leptospirosis requires a booster once yearly after the initial booster. Your veterinarian can discuss your dog’s risk for leptospirosis to help you to decide whether he needs this vaccination.


Bordetella is a bacterial infection that causes kennel cough. It most frequently causes coughing, but may also cause vomiting or progress to pneumonia. In severe instances, it may be fatal.

The Bordetella vaccination is a non-core vaccine and your dog’s individual risk will be assessed to determine if he needs this vaccine. Many dog boarding facilities in Wilmington require this shot for puppies who stay with them. 


Canine influenza is a viral illness that causes coughing, nasal discharge, lethargy, and possibly pneumonia. Dogs traveling to shows or utilizing big boarding kennels may be at risk for influenza infection. 

This vaccine requires an initial vaccination and a booster 3 to 4 weeks later. Influenza requires a booster once yearly after the initial booster. Your veterinarian can discuss your dog’s risk for influenza so that you can decide whether he needs this vaccination.

1 Year

Below are a list of puppy shots your pet will usually need once they are one year old. Your vet in Wilmington will help determine which of these shots your puppy will need at this time.

Parvovirus and Distemper Titer or Booster

At your dog’s first annual examination, your vet in Wilmington will discuss performing a blood test called an antibody titer. This test will evaluate your dog’s level of immunity to parvo and distemper viruses from vaccines given during the puppy series. 

Many times, your dog will have adequate immunity from previous vaccination. Another option is to booster parvovirus and distemper vaccination. 


At the first annual examination, your puppy will be required by law to have a booster of his rabies shot. This is the only canine vaccination that is legally required. 

This vaccination will provide protection for 3 years and then will require booster again. 

Find Out the Shots Your Puppy Will Need in Wilmington, DE

Now that you’ve had a chance to read up on some of the more common puppy shots, you should be ready to schedule his vet visits for the foreseeable future. 

Remember, too, that you should always work with your vet in Wilmington to make sure you’re providing the right care at the right time for your dog. Your vet will let you know if there’s any reason to deviate from the norm in terms of your puppy’s shot schedule, and your vet will also tell you if your puppy has any health concerns to be on the lookout for.

Setting up a good rapport with your vet from day one is a great way to make sure your puppy stays healthy and happy throughout his life with you.

At Wilmington Animal Hospital, our veterinarians work to avoid over-vaccination by developing a vaccination plan that fits your pet’s lifestyle. We provide all the shots your puppy needs to remain in the best health possible and only give them the shots they absolutely need.