What Are The 6 Most Important Dog Vaccinations?

As a dog owner in Bolingbrook, IL, you likely already know just how important it is to have your dog vaccinated for their protection. But did you know there are some specific vaccinations you should always get for your dog no matter what?

Most Important Dog Vaccines

Depending on where you live, some vaccinations for dogs may be recommended but not required. However, some of these shots are necessary for your pet’s health and wellness through their life. Read through the information below to learn more about these important vaccinations.


First and foremost, the rabies vaccination is required by law throughout the United States and in many other countries, too. This vaccine can keep your dog from being able to contract rabies, even if he happens to be bitten by a carrier animal.

Rabies is a severely dangerous disease. It is always fatal, and it can be easily spread to other animals and even to humans through contact with infected saliva. The severity of the disease is why the rabies vaccination is legally required in so many places, and why it is the single most important shot you should get for your pet.


Bordetella is a type of bacteria. It is the leading cause of kennel cough in dogs, and it is extremely common and contagious as well. Kennel cough is not fatal to most dogs, although it can be fatal to very young puppies or very old senior dogs; however, it is still a difficult disease for dogs to deal with, and it can be avoided through the use of the Bordetella vaccine.

If you plan to board your dog at a kennel or boarding facility, or if you want to leave him at a doggie daycare, he will be required to have this vaccination. Kennel cough spreads rapidly through boarding locations in unvaccinated dogs.

Canine Influenza

Canine influenza can be very serious in infected dogs. It is sometimes fatal, and it is always extremely contagious. When one dog catches this disease, it is quick to spread throughout canine communities, and it can become epidemic in nature in some locations as well.

The canine influenza vaccination is safe to give to dogs when they are still young puppies. Additionally, it should be given to dogs annually to protect them from this disease. In some areas, canine influenza is very prominent, and vets often require this vaccination for their patients in these locations.


Although it is more common in young puppies than in healthy adult dogs, any dog can potentially contract distemper. Distemper is an upper respiratory infection that can be fatal to puppies, senior dogs, and dogs that already have another health problem. It may cause a high fever in some dogs, and it may also cause dogs to lose their appetite or be unwilling to drink water.

You can protect your dog from distemper by having him vaccinated against this disease annually. Puppies will need several boosters for distemper during their first year of life as well.


Parvovirus is a serious digestive disease that is common among puppies less than six weeks old. It is very dangerous in young dogs, senior dogs, and in any dog with an underlying health condition. This disease causes severe, bloody diarrhea that quickly leads to serious levels of dehydration and frequently to death.

Puppies can be vaccinated for parvovirus as early as four weeks of age in some instances. Dogs should have a parvo booster several times during their first year of life and then should continue having annual boosters for this disease moving forward. Protecting your dog against parvo is crucial no matter what his age might be.

Lyme Disease

Depending on where you live, Lyme disease may be more of an issue than it is in other locations. If you live in a Lyme-prone area, you should absolutely get your dog vaccinated against this disease.

Lyme disease is spread through tick bites. Dogs who are on tick preventatives are much less likely to contract Lyme disease than others, but they still could. For this reason, the Lyme vaccination is highly recommended to protect your pet, especially if you spend a lot of time hiking or otherwise outdoors with your dog.

Keep Your Dog Up to Date on Their Vaccinations in Bolingbrook, IL

By keeping these important vaccinations in mind, you can make sure your pet is protected from some common ailments that frequently affect dogs. You can also help your dog live a longer and healthier life, and can keep him from spreading illness to other dogs, too. He will also be able to stay at boarding facilities, hotels, and other locations when you keep him up to date on these shots.

If you have any further questions about your dog’s health, wellness, or vaccination requirements, speak to your vet. Your vet can give you specific information about your dog’s individual needs and can recommend any additional shots your pet might require, too.

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About Boughton Square Animal Clinic

Since 1979, Boughton Square Animal Clinic has served Bolingbrook, IL and surrounding communities as both a veterinary care provider and a devoted partner in treating your animal family members for life.