What Vaccinations Does My Pug Need?


Like other dogs, your Pug needs to begin receiving his vaccinations when he’s a puppy. Before there were vaccinations for things like parvo and canine distemper, these diseases could wipe out thousands of pet dogs in an area during a short period of time. Even today many animal shelters can have serious outbreaks of parvo because they bring in stray animals who may be unvaccinated. It’s important to make sure that you always keep your Pug up-to-date on his shots.

Your Pug will receive some immunity to the most common canine diseases from his mother when he’s born. His mother will most likely have been receiving vaccinations throughout her life and she passes her own immunity on to her puppies during the first 48 hours of life through the colostrum in her milk. Puppies get varying amounts of antibodies from their mother, however, and this immunity begins to wear off around 5-6 weeks. It can wear off at different times for different puppies in the same litter. One puppy may have some immunity to parvo for eight weeks while another may be susceptible to it at five weeks, depending on the antibodies they got from their mother. That’s why it’s important to begin vaccinating puppies at a young age and to continue vaccinating them several times. This ensures that each puppy is receiving the vaccination as his immunity is wearing off and he can begin producing his own antibodies.

There are a couple of different vaccination protocols recommended for puppies, depending on which one your veterinarian follows. One protocol suggests that puppies should begin having their shots when they are five weeks old. The other protocol suggests that puppies should begin their shots when they are 8-9 weeks old. Age is the primary difference in the two protocols, although the approach that begins at 8-9 weeks does have one less round of shots, usually. Your breeder may recommend starting shots at 5 weeks -- and may already have begun the vaccinations before you get your puppy. Your vet may suggest starting shots later. You should consider which protocol you think is best or have your vet and your breeder speak to each other to work something out.

Thankfully, nearly everyone agrees on the vaccinations which make up the “core” shots for your puppy: canine distemper, parvovirus, hepatitis and rabies are all considered “core” vaccinations and your Pug really must have shots against these diseases. Non-core vaccinations include measles, canine adenovirus-2, parinfluenza, bordetella, leptospirosis, coronavirus and lyme disease. These vaccinations are still important, but they are not as essential as the core shots. Most vets suggest that should still have your Pug vaccinated against them, and many boarding and doggy daycare facilities actually require these additional vaccinations if you'd like to use their services.

For a puppy who begins his vaccinations at five weeks, a typical vaccination schedule will look like this:

5 weeks: Parvovirus vaccination

6 & 9 weeks: Combination vaccine without leptospirosis. Combination vaccine usually includes adenovirus, hepatitis, canine distemper, parinfluenza and parvovirus. Coronavirus may be included if it is a concern but coronavirus is usually a disease of newborn puppies.

12 weeks and beyond: Rabies -- must be given by a vet.

12-16 weeks: Combination vaccine. Leptospirosis, coronavirus (if necessary), lyme disease.

After your Pug is a year old he will need his booster shots. These can be given in a combination vaccine or you can talk to your vet about giving your dog the boosters in alternating years since there is evidence from the American Veterinary Medical Association that immunity from each vaccine lasts longer than one year. For instance, your dog could have his canine distemper booster one year and his parvo booster the next. Getting your dog’s boosters spread out like this puts less stress on his immune system. You can also include leptospirosis, coronavirus and lyme disease in alternating years. Rabies will be required by law according to your state. In some areas it is every 2-3 years or more.

If you will be taking your dog to dog shows or if your dog will be spending any time in a boarding kennel then he will need to have his bordetella vaccination (or nasal injection) more often. Dogs who spend time in close company with other dogs can catch or spread kennel cough or other canine respiratory diseases. They are not typically fatal but they can make your dog sick. Boarding kennels require dogs to have a bordetella vaccine before they stay on their premises.

Remember that your Pug will not be protected against a disease as soon as he gets the vaccination. It usually takes several days and up to two weeks before your dog can produce the antibodies he needs to have an immunity to a disease. So, if you have your Pug vaccinated against distemper or another disease you should not rush out and expose him to other dogs or take him to places where he could encounter diseases. Use caution and common sense when it comes to protecting your Pug’s health.


RosienMikeysMom (over 8 years ago)

i only give my pugs the rabies vaccine (every 3 years) and dhpp vaccine. i never give them the lepto (sometimes vets include that in the dhpp vaccine but not mine) as i don't feel it's necessary. i feel it's only for hunting or farming dogs...JMO. i don't give bortella as i never board them and i don't do lyme either as i had a dog with bad reactions to that and prefer just using a tick repellant instead. besides vaccines, please always remember to give your pug heartworm preventative. mikey came to me heartworm positive and believe me, you don't want your pug to go thru that ordeal. also, i think it is a good idea to space vaccines out by at least 2 weeks so just incase they have a reaction to one, you will know which one it is.

Mom2Pugs (over 8 years ago)

I am with Carol, except mine do get Bortella because we like the dog park, go to the groomer to get nails trimmed, and with the foster dogs we keep I feel Desi and Bella need it.  Needless to say in the south, home to the mosquito, we use heartworm preventive all year long.  I like the idea of spacing the vaccinations out, just incase! 

KatB (over 8 years ago)

There has been alot of contro. on to give all or not. I go with Carol on this. I go with the rabies ,dhpp, and the bordetilla, as my dogs are around other alot. For new puppy's please DO get all shots to start for the first year! Then after all shots are completed.This IS  a must! Then you can just do the rabies and such. It is being said that at some point you should do a titer test like every 3 yrs to check levels?  We have some vet techs on here. Would like to hear from all of you on this subjuct, and any extra info. on this subject.

pearlgirl (over 8 years ago)

alot of people are skeptical about the lepto vaccine cause it can cause some reactions, but my mothers dog died from lepto so it does hit close to home. I make sure my dogs get the shot, but they pre treat first with some benedryl just in case.... i do space out the vaccines also, I dont think they should get all theyre shots in one visit, even though it is a pain to have to bring em back in!!

shelley7053 (over 6 years ago)

I have 4 small dogs only one of them is a pug.  I have them all on Vectra 3D and have found that I'm paying over $100.00 per month.  This does not include the heart worm medication.  I have searched the internet for cheaper prices on the Vectra with out success.  Does anyone know where I can purchase this?  I would like to buy a year at a time which I would think would be cheaper in itself.

zieglerbaby (over 5 years ago)

Vaccines and a tough subject for me, but I want to share my story with as many pug owners as possible... I have Hartley now as my new pug baby because I lost my Honey Bunny this past October. Honey was 4 years old and my first pug. She was the sweetest thing ever. I loved her so much and still cry when I think about her and this situation. I took Honey to the vet for her yearly check-up as i did every year. When i bought Honey the vet told me I should give her back to the breeder because she has a very bad heart murmur. Well I had her for 2 whole days already and there was no way i was sending my Honey anywhere. So at this check up the vet told me that she was 2 pounds overweight and i had to put her on a diet. She was 21 pounds. She liked the finer foods in life I was also told that she must have outgrown that heart murmur becuase she couldnt hear it. I was so happy! She was due for her distemper vaccine and since my best friend just lost her dog 3 days earlier to Lymes Nephrisits I got Honey the Lymes Vaccine. She had both of these vaccines before. Minutes after giveing Honey the vaccines she started throwing up and had trouble breathing. My baby was having a reaction to the distemper vaccine the vet told me and took her into the operating room. She had her on oxygen for a couple of hours, gave her benadryl and something else via an IV. She sent her home with me and told me she would be fine. She couldnt walk and didnt want to eat or drink. I thought she was tired and weak from the benadryl, but she dying and i didnt know it. She died in my arms less thatn 12 hrs later at 6am in the morning. I was trying to get myself ready to take her the E.R. but didnt make it. I am so scared o get any vaccines for my Harley becuase of this. I had a panic attack when she got her rabies vaccine. Has anyone experienced anything like this. What is the lepto vaccine?

Louise (over 5 years ago)

I pick my pup up when he is 8 weeks so when is the best time for next jab my vet said u can do it at 10 weeks is that true ????

cd (over 5 years ago)

first of all ,read this posting it gives you an idea of what to expect. if the first shots aren't done, the first thing you need to do is get him to a vet and have him looked over and do the first vaccines.do not let your pup socialize until after its second shots, discuss this with your vet as well. if he's had his first vaccines already, then call your vet and see when they do the next shots. some do them at ten weeks some at twelve.

MamaPug2015 (over 3 years ago)

My Sadie take Trifexus Flea/heartworms prevention pill, she was on Comfortus flea prevention pills but after getting her checked for heartworms and that test came back neg then her vet out her in the Trifexus, we are very happy with it and a few times after she first started taking it she got an upset tummy but I make sure she eats something before getting her to take it.