Your guide to Dog vaccination schedule

dog vaccination schedule
Consult your vet for dog vaccination schedule and have at least one yearly veterinary appointment for your pet’s general check-up.

Since you are here, our guess is you have recently adopted that bundle of happiness everyone calls, a dog. Congratulations, you are in for an adventure of a lifetime!

While it is amazing to show your dog around, indulge in playtime and contemplate training and travel with him, there’s more to pet parenting and it includes the ‘boring stuff’ too. But as with life, the relatively dull things are often for the best and routine vet visits are just as critical as your visits to the dentist.

Once you have settled down on a name for your dog, perhaps the next most critical step is to get your good boy (or girl) vaccinated.

Why you should vaccinate your dog?

Dog vaccinations protect dogs from preventable serious diseases and act as a guard against disease by exposing pets to disease-causing microorganisms (inactive or modified) so that they don’t produce the disease in question. By introducing the dog to this controlled stimulus, their immune system can build a defence against future exposure. Just as in the case of human vaccinations.

Vaccinations are essential to help your pet live a long, happy life.

Depending upon the age of your pet, here’s a dog vaccination guide and timeline:

Dog vaccination schedule

dog vaccination info graphic
Dog vaccination schedule – Core vaccines are required for all dogs and puppies and protect against parvo virus, distemper virus, adeno virus and hepatitis.

Vaccinations are given to prevent disease, not to treat dogs once they are sick.

Dog vaccines can be divided into categories: core (essential) and noncore (optional).

Core vaccines for dogs:

  • Rabies
  • Canine Distemper Virus (CFV)
  • Canine Parvovirus (CPV or parvo)
  • Canine Adenovirus-2 (CAV-2) – infectious hepatitis

Booster vaccines generally are given to adult dogs every 1-3 years, depending on vaccine type and the dog’s risk factors. These are necessary to maintain the protection and will be required to ensure that your dog is protected for the rest of their life.

Rabies vaccination

Rabies vaccination is essential for all dogs. Dogs can be given rabies shots at approximately 14 weeks of age, and then again at one year of age. Because there is no treatment available for rabies in dogs, prevention is critical. Vets advice having re-vaccinations every three years.


The canine coronavirus is not the same virus that causes COVID-19 in people. Canine coronavirus usually affects dogs’ gastrointestinal systems, though it can also cause respiratory infections. 

DAP Vaccine (Distemper, Adenovirus and Parvovirus)

The DAP combo shot immunizes dogs against canine distemper, canine adenovirus type 2 and canine parvovirus. These are all life-threatening disease for dogs and prevention is the best line of defence against them.

  1. Distemper: This viral disease attacks the respiratory, gastrointestinal, nervous systems as well as the skin. Symptoms include lethargy, runny eyes and nose, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhoea, thickened skin on the nose and footpads, laboured breathing, seizures and paralysis.
  2. Adenovirus type-2: The canine adenovirus type 2 vaccine defends against a potentially fatal form of liver disease as well as a type of kennel cough.
  3. Parvovirus: Parvovirus results in vomiting, diarrhoea, bone marrow suppression and, in some cases, heart failure. With severe infections, death is likely without aggressive treatment.

Non-core dog and puppy vaccines

These are the optional vaccinations that may be may be recommended based on the pet’s age, geographic location, lifestyle and overall health.

If your dog is going to spend a considerable amount of time at doggie daycare or pet boarding facilities or with lots of other dogs, most veterinarians recommend an annual or semi-annual Bordetella vaccine to help prevent kennel cough.

Common noncore vaccines for dogs:

  • Bordetella Bronchiseptica
  • Leptospira
  • Borrelia Burgdorferi – canine Lyme disease
  • Canine Parainfluenza Virus (CPIV)
  • Canine Influenza Virus-H3N8 (CIV or dog flu)
  • Canine Influenza Virus-H3N2 (CIV or dog flu)

Your veterinarian can help you determine which optional vaccines are appropriate for your dog or puppy.

How long are the dog vaccinations effective?

  • DHPP – 1 year
  • Rabies – 3 years
  • Leptospirosis – 1 year
  • Canine Influenza – 1 year
  • Lyme Disease – 1 year
  • Bordetella (Kennel Cough) – 6 months


Deworming a young puppy or an adopted adult dog is really essential to eliminate the presence of any worms within the dog’s stomach and intestines. Intestinal parasites are a way too common among puppies and dogs.

Deworming your dog with an oral prescription dewormer can provide him with protection from many potential diseases. Deworming should ideally take place every two weeks starting at three weeks of age.

Once a puppy reaches six months of age, deworming can be administered once a month.


This refers to worms that lodge in your dog’s pulmonary arteries (that send blood to the lungs), these can block and injure organs. Although there’s no vaccine for heartworm it is preventable with regular medication that your veterinarian can prescribe.

Side effects of dog vaccines

Dog vaccinations are very safe and in most cases, your dog would have no observable vaccine side effects. Just like with kids and people, they may experience mild swelling around the injection site. As long as there are no serious signs, you can rest assured it will turn to normal.

Consult a vet!

For any questions about specific vaccination recommendations for your dog, please consult your veterinarian. He can help you prepare an optimum vaccination schedule for your pet as per your dog’s age, health, breed and lifestyle. Also, ensure to give your pet the best food and plenty of exercises.

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10 Amazing Indian dog breeds you should know

India’s cultural history is ripe with tales of the dog’s fidelity – from Mahabharat to stories passed on through the generations. Indian dog breeds, like dogs elsewhere, are revered for their companionship, and a natural instinct to protect their masters.

Unfortunately, the native dogs of Indian folklore and real-world lost their place to exotic foreign breeds as a result of the media frenzy. From pugs to St Bernard(s), the rich and the elite called them all. The nefarious circle of breeders brewed in. It was cruel for the indigenous breeds, ridiculed to almost extinction or worse still forgotten. The imported dogs didn’t fare any better and continue to suffer the ill effects of misplaced existence.

Imagine Huskies in Hyderabad.

Native Indian dog breeds

India has one of the oldest canine cultures – dogs were domesticated as early as the end of the Mesolithic period. Oriented to speed and action, Indian dogs are all outdoor dogs.

Indian dog breeds are among the most adaptive in the world. Owing to their unique genetic markup they can adjust to vagaries of weather. But even they aren’t immune to neglect.

The Indian subcontinent is perhaps the largest conglomeration of various breeds of dogs in the world. Through a long period of evolution, each geographic zone in India has produced a distinctive breed, adapted to the local environment.

Multiple breeds of dogs which were native to India have ceased to exist, while many others are on the brink of extinction due to ignorance and sheer neglect. In the mid-2000s, the Indian Post featured four Indian dog breeds on stamps to raise awareness about them and to honour their special place in Indian history.

1. Rajapalayam

Indian dog breeds Rajapalayam

Also referred to as the Poligar Hound, Rajapalayam were the companions of the royalty and aristocrats in Southern India – Chola dynasty had them as exclusive pets for hunting or as guard dogs.

They are often milk-white, with a pink nose, button ears, whip tail and golden eyes. They have the gait similar to that of a horse and were also used during the Carnatic Wars and Polygar war against the British cavalry. They aren’t fast runners but are tireless and steady over long distances. There were also some reports that the Indian Army in Kashmir had them as guard dogs. 

Rajapalayam dog stamp

2. Rampur hound

Found in northern India, in the belt between Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh to Delhi, Rampur hounds were kept by Maharajahs against the threat of jackal and for hunting. It is said that Mughal emperor Jahangir’s kennel is said to have had 4000 of them.

Known for their stamina and speed, these dogs can cover great distances.

Rampur dogs were also featured in Mughal miniatures. They have a long wide head, flat between ears, and powerful jaws with a scissor bite. They have a long and tapering tail, and the body has a short and firm coat.

Rampur Hound stamp
Every year in a mela in Rampur, Uttar Pradesh, the best hound exhibited is given the title Rustum-e-Rampur.

3. Himalayan Sheepdog (Bhutia kukur)

The majestic livestock guardian dog, often referred to as Bhote Kukur for resemblance to Tibetan Mastiff thrives on outdoor lifestyles and is native to the Himalayas. They are strong and powerful dogs, devoutly loyal and loving, amazing herd dogs and protector of the livestock.

Bhotia Kukur stamp

They are gentle and sensitive to their humans. They have sharp reflexes and are very alert. Their courage and ferociousness make them an excellent guard dog for cattle.

Himalayan sheep dog is generally black or brown with patches of white on ears, legs and body. They have short legs and a long back, a pointed muzzle and luminous dark-rimmed eyes. The tail is almost always plumed up and turned. They have a thick coarse overcoat and a thick smooth fur for the undercoat to help them withstand Himalayan winters.

4. Mudhol Hound

Also known as Caravan Hound, Mudhol hound is often found as a companion animal in the Deccan Plateau region. They were used for hunting and guarding in and around Mudhol town of Karnataka. In the villages, they are known as ‘Karwani’.

They are primarily a desert variety of gaze hounds. The Raja of Mudhol, a princely state, now part of Karnataka, trained these dogs for hunting. The Raja of Kolhapur also patronized this breed. Quite, aloof, placid and reserve, it hunts with extreme concentration equally well on dry and marshy lands.

Mudhol hound stamp

Mudhol hound have long and elan head, with well-chiselled jaws and nose, slightly protruding beyond the teeth. They have a bony and narrow body with long tail tat tapes to the end. It has very light and effortlessly easy movement with strong driving action with matching reach. Mudhol is found in all colours except albino.

5. Kombai/Combai (Indian Terrier)

Combai or Kombai dog breed is found in the hills of Southern India’s western ghats. Kombai means ‘a dense forest’. They are also called Karumoonji and have a black nose with a reddish coloured body. They are fierce guard dogs, good at chasing and hunting.

Kombai dog
~Image courtesy: Hindu

This ancient breed is known for its toughness and loyalty. They are very active, need regular exercise and thrive best raised in large, non-urban settings where they are free to roam and explore.

6. Bully dog (Indian mastiff)

Bully dog shares origins from both India and Pakistan and is predominantly found in the Punjab region. They are the most common choice for guard dogs but unfortunately, many of these dogs are still bred and nurtured for dogfighting purposes.

If you come across any news of a dog being used for dogfighting, please alert the police immediately.

7. Indian pariah dog

Perhaps one of the most primitive and ancient breeds of dog known to humans, Indian Pariah dogs bear resemblance to Australian Dingo or African Basenji, and have no trace of genetic tweaking or modification from the human side. They are best suited for the harshness of Indian tropical climate and thrive at way less as compared to foreign breeds.

Their immunity is way stronger as compared to foreign breeds and they don’t suffer from inb­reeding-related disorders such as hip dysplasia. They also make for amazing pets – easy to maintain and train!

8. Kashmiri Sheep Dog/ Bakharwal

Bakharwal Kashmir dog

These mountain dogs are an ancient breed of working dogs found in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Scientists believe that these may be amongst the oldest herding dogs having origins in Central Asia. They are bred by nomadic tribes as a livestock guardian dog and settlement protector.

9. Chippiparai / Kanni

Chippiparai dog Kanni dog
The Veterinary College and Research Institute, Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu has embarked on creating a database of the Chippiparai by implanting microchips in 100 of these dogs.

Chippiparai are easy-to-train dogs from Tamilnadu who were bred by the royal families of Virudhnagar for hunting and to protect their estates. They are a medium-sized dog having a reddish-brown-black tinted coat with limited white markings. One of their distinctive features is a long curved tail.

Depending on their coat colour, they are sometimes also referred to as “Kanni,” which means “pure”.

10. Pandikona

Pandikona dog
Pandikona dog, all set for the Ballroom. Image courtesy Pragati

These adorably cute, short-haired dogs are predominantly found in Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh and some places in Madhya Pradesh. They have historical ties with the legendary Vijaynagar Empire and were used for hunting.

If you are looking to adopt a dog, Indian breeds are a great option.

Because of India’s obsession with foreign breeds, many of the native breeds like Lut, Alangu, the Malaipatti dog and the Vaghari Hound have almost gone extinct. Although some organizations in India are trying to revive the near-extinct native dogs, they are still considered rare breeds today.

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Dog adoption in Kolkata – 7 animals shelters You can adopt from

Looking for dog adoption in Kolkata and not sure, who to contact?

The city of Joy, Kolkata, often has readers reaching out to us for adoption updates or animal helpline numbers. In this blog post, we’ve compiled a list of charitable foundations, NGOs and shelters in Kolkata that you may adopt a dog from. You can also contact them in case you spot an injured animal.

Please consider adopting Indian pariah dogs as they make amazing pets.

You can so often find abandoned pets in dog shelters, relegated to their fate just because their humans ran out of affection or discarded them like last season’s accessories. When you hand these pets a new leash at love, you help save a life.

Dog adoption in Kolkata

Here are some noteworthy animal shelters and NGOs that you may contact for pet adoption in Kolkata. This list of Emergency contact numbers would also come in handy to help animals in need of medical care.

1. Chhaya Animal hospital

Chhaya, an animal hospital and shelter was set up in 2008, under the aegis of People for the Respect & Care of Animals (PRCA) charitable trust. Setup across a green plot in village Aswathaberia, Chhaya takes in and cares for injured and neglected animals, nursing and rehabilitating them.

Their services include Animal Birth Control (ABC), basic veterinary procedures to treat maggot-infested wounds, Surgical treatments, accident victims treatment and rehabilitation and even Cancer treatment.

dog adoption in Kolkata
Kind folks bring in a desi dog for treatment at Chhaya

Address: Chhaya, PO: Chandaneswar, PS: Bhangore,
South 24 Parganas, West Bengal, India Contact: +91 98302 79138, 98302 11138

2. Sonata Foundation Calcutta

Perched in a peaceful and green serene, Sonata Foundation helps with treatment and rehabilitation of injured animals. They have spacious kennels for dogs, and also shelter cows (often cases of hit-and-run by the speeding vehicles.)

They have a vet on-call 24×7, and an ambulance to transport the animals in need of medical attention.

Address: Sonata Foundation, Rajarhat, Newtown, Kolkata Phone: +91 8902494241

See also: Animal helpline in MumbaiDelhiChennaiHyderabad, Bangalore and Pune.

3. Animal Rescue & Care (ARC) Kolkata

ARC, the Kolkata based animal welfare organization, offer a shelter and rehabilitation facility for the animals. Their volunteer network has students, teachers, and vets to assist in rescue missions.

They run camps for Animal Birth Control (ABC), Rabies and medical treatment of injured animals.

Address: Animal Rescue and Care, 11/4, Jyotirmoy Nagar Raad, Purbasan, Thakurpukur
Phone: (+91) 7890-535353/838383

4. Love N Care for Animals

Founded in 1997, Love N Care for Animals helps stray dogs, cats, abandoned cows, horses, and injured birds in Kolkata city. They also have a hospital, Chhaya Biswas Charitable Animal Care Hospital, managed by them.

Address: Love N Care for Animals, 80/2C, Sarsuna Main Road, Kolkata Phone: 033 24881222 | 94330 75715 | 9830037693

5. PFA KolkataASHARI

ASHARI PFA Kolkata helps not only as a shelter, but also runs ambulance service, sterilization program, treatment camps and disaster rescue missions for animals.

Address: ASHARI (Animal Shelter-cum-Hospital & Research) Institute, 2, Netaji nagar, (Near mukundpur bus depot) Kolkata
Phone: 033 24239100/24239101 and 083350 45433

6. Debasree Roy Foundation

Debasree Roy Foundation was established in 2009 to help the stray animals of Kolkata. They provide medical care to abused and injured animals, including spaying and neutering. They also run adoption programs to find loving homes for cats and dogs.

Address: Debasree Roy Foundation. 11C, Dover Lane, Ballygunge, Kolkata
Phone: 033 6550 3285 | 033 4602 7003 Open: 11:30 AM to 5:00 PM (Monday – Friday), 11:30 AM to 4:00 PM (Saturday)

animal shelter in Kolkata
7. Pashupati Animal Welfare Society (PAWS)

PAWS works towards Rescue, treatment, and adoption of animals. They run an active animal shelter for injured and neglected animals and provide residential care until safe to release. They also have an animal hospital and operating theatre with sterilisation unit.

Address: PAWS Kolkata, c/o Adv. Ritesh Basu, Office of ‘Taxmen’, 5 K. B Basu Road (first floor), Barasat, Kolkata-700 124
Phone: +91-8420386536

Sign up for adoption updates

In case you are trying to help an injured animal – please note that not all of these shelters may have an ambulance. If you can take the injured animal to the nearest facility, it would be great. If you have called up the animal shelter, and they’ve dispatched an ambulance, please see if you can comfort the animal in need and provide first aid, and care till the ambulance arrives.

Please consider that most of these shelters are often understaffed and in need of resources – which may not always be financial aid but even old clothes, newspapers or most important of them all, your time as a volunteer.

This isn’t an exhaustive list – if you know of any other resources that may be of help with regard to dog adoption in Kolkata, please suggest in the comments below.

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