Vaccinations for Dogs and Puppies


Core Vaccination

Often referred to as the "Parvo
" vaccination, the core vaccination Nobivac DHPPI, actually provides protection against all of the following diseases:

  • Distemper (Canine Distemper Virus)

This viral disease is a worldwide problem that fortunately is now only sporadic in New Zealand, due to ongoing vaccination. It most often leads to signs of fever, lethargy, neurological problems, seizures, lung problems and frequently death. Treatment for the disease is difficult, with our main option being only to provide supportive care.

  • Parvovirus (Parvo)

“Parvo” is still an ongoing issue in Taranaki (and the rest of New Zealand), due to the extremely strong survival of the virus in the environment, lasting up to several months or even years in the right conditions. The disease normally presents with the dog having bloody vomiting and/or diarrhoea, reluctance to eat, dehydration, lethargy and often death. Chances of recovery are worst in young or immune-suppressed dogs. “Black and tan breed” dogs (Dobermans, Rottweilers, Pitbulls, German Shepherds) and English Springer Spaniels are more susceptible than most breeds.

  • Infectious Hepatitis

Caused by Canine Adenovirus, this disease is also very contagious and leads to fevers, liver disease, reluctance to eat, neurological signs and often death. Still present worldwide, Infectious Hepatitis is no longer common in New Zealand with good compliance to vaccination.

  • Canine Parainfluenza

This virus is a component of the Canine Cough/Kennel Cough disease and will be described further below.


DHPPiVaccination Protocol For Puppies
Most puppies will receive some immunity (in the form of antibodies) from their mother if she was vaccinated. This immunity usually lasts till 6-12 weeks of age. The immunity provided by the mother, interferes with vaccination uptake. For this reason we vaccinate regularly throughout the 6 to 12 week old period so that we minimise the risk period. Most puppies will receive a core vaccination at 6,9 and 12 weeks of age or 8 and 12 weeks depending on whether the breeder does the early vaccination. For breeds at higher risk of Parvo virus (Black and tan breeds, English Springer Spaniels), and immune-suppressed puppies, an extra DHPPi puppy booster is recommended at around 14-16 weeks old.

Vaccination Protocol For Adult dogs
Adults only require one initial dose of the core vaccination (as they will have no lingering protection form their mother). 


     The core vaccination is boosted 12 months after the initial vaccination program and then every 3 years from then on.



 Canine Leptospirosis

This disease is a bacterial infection, capable of affecting most mammals including people. There are several different subtypes that have tendencies to infect particular species, with dogs often being infected by a subtype transmitted by rats, in their urine. For this reason it is more commonly seen in farm dogs or dogs that swim in rivers and lakes. Disease symptoms can vary from mild, unseen clinical signs to multiple organ failure and death. In New Zealand, Canine Leptospirosis has most commonly been observed in the Upper North Island, but confirmed cases have been seen in Taranaki within recent years. This disease and its transmission within several species is still a hot topic in Veterinary research.

Current Vaccination protocols involve a Vaccine given at 8-9 weeks old (or whenever the owner would like to start these vaccinations), followed by a booster 2-4 weeks later and then strict annual revaccination.



 Infectious Tracheobronchitis (Canine Cough/Kennel Cough)

Traditionally known as “Kennel Cough”, the name “Canine Cough” has been used in recent years to highlight that dogs may pick up and pass on the disease in every-day life, with normal social interaction between dogs. Multiple agents may interact (Canine adenovirus II, Canine parainfluenza virus, Distemper, Bordetella bronchiseptica bacteria) to form a disease that is generally characterised by a dry, harsh cough. Frequent retching/gagging up white frothy saliva also occurs, with coughing usually lasting for 2-3 weeks. Most dogs recover without treatment, but young, old or immune-suppressed dogs can go on to develop bronchopneumonia and become very unwell. No vaccine is 100% protective but the intranasal vaccine tends to work faster and more effectively, aiming to reduce the incidence and severity of disease.

Vaccination is completed either with a single “squirt” of liquid up the nose, or 2 injections given under the skin, 2-4 weeks apart. Protection lasts for 12 months and thus should be repeated annually.


 Vets4Pets Standard Vaccination Programme for Puppies

 Below is a common vacination schedule for the first 2 years of a puppies life. Owners may chose to do all or only some of the vaccination types. 

  • 6 weeks old     - 1st core vax
  • 9 weeks old     - 2nd core vax, 1st lepto
  • 12 weeks old   - 3rd core vax , 2nd lepto, canine cough 
  • 15 months old - booster core vax, lepto and canine cough

Dogs are then vaccinated yearly for lepto and canine cough and every three years for DHPPi (the core vaccination). 


Your puppies vaccination needs may vary, please feel free to call us and chat to a vet about what is right for you and your puppy.   

Dogs who are being transported overseas may have different vaccination requirements, depending on the destination country. If you are intending to transport your pet overseas, please contact a veterinary clinic at least 3 months before you intend to travel.