Dog vaccinations

How do vaccines work

A bitch will give her puppies immunity from disease for the first few weeks of their lives by providing disease-fighting antibodies in her milk. These Maternally Derived Antibodies (MDA’s) protect your puppy but can interfere with vaccination of your puppy until a certain age. In most cases this passive immunity will have waned by 8–12 weeks of age, to a level that allows active vaccination. It is during this period, with the help and advice of your veterinary surgeon, you can decide on vaccinations for your dog.


When should I vaccinate?

We recommend an initial course at 8 & 12 weeks of age. This will include core vaccines for Distemper, Hepatitis and Parvovirus. We also advise vaccination against Leptospirosis & Parainfluenza, as we believe it is important to protect against these diseases as well. An integral part of core vaccination for puppies is the ‘booster’ vaccine, that will be given 12 months after the last of the primary series of puppy vaccines.

After this, your dog will only require core vaccinations every 3 years. We will still need to see your dog every year for their Leptospirosis & Parainfluenza vaccine (these non-core vaccines require more frequent booster for reliable protection). We will therefore send annual reminders to ensure your dog’s vaccines are kept up to date; this also ensures that your dog can have a full health check, and gives you the opportunity to discuss any concerns you may have.

We are also now offering vaccine titre testing with ‘Vaccicheck’ so if you would like to know more then please discuss this at your pet’s annual health check with the Veterinary Surgeon. Please remember to consider insurance and kennel requirements if you decide to titre test.

See which practices offer Vaccicheck here

Cat vaccinations


Cats are similar to dogs and will provide immunity for their kittens for the first few weeks via MDA’s. Immunity will start to reduce by about 8-12 weeks which is when we would look to start an initial vaccine course. Your kitten will be protected against feline calicivirus (FCV), feline herpes virus type 1 (FHV), feline panleucopenia virus (FPLV) and Feline Leukaemia virus.


When should I vaccinate?

We recommend an initial course at 9 & 12 weeks of age, with a booster vaccination given 12 months after the initial course. We then currently recommend your cat has annual vaccinations combined with a full health check.