Having a dog can be one of life’s most rewarding experiences. But having one also comes with a list of responsibilities. Your pet’s health needs to be protected with regular veterinary care and canine vaccinations to protect both you and your pet from communicable diseases. If you’re hoping that you and your dog will enjoy many years of fun, happiness, comfort and good health together, then you need to put canine vaccinations on your list of important things to do. Vaccinations can help your dog avoid some of the most dangerous infectious illnesses out there. All dogs require certain specific “core” vaccinations, while some may benefit from other vaccinations as well. Most people know about the danger of rabies, but there are many other threats to fight against with regular dog vaccinations, let our veterinary staff at Winter Garden Animal Hospital teach you more!

Whether your dog is an indoor or outdoor pet, she may be susceptible to many disease threats including Parvovirus, Parainfluenza, Hepatitis, and Distemper. If she is an outdoor pet she also may be exposed to Lyme disease carried by ticks and to Leptospirosis, a disease caused by a spiral shaped bacteria. And the reason strictly indoor pets are also vulnerable to diseases, is the fact that many pathologies have air born causes. The breeze through an open window can bring them right to your best friend.

Some diseases are zoonotic, which means they are communicable between species, from your pet to you, and vice versa. What this also means is that protecting your dog also protects yourself from infectious diseases.

Why Vaccinate With Your Winter Garden Veterinarian?

Some pet owners don’t sense the urgency of vaccinating an exceptionally healthy animal, while others hesitate over the prospect of vaccination side effects. But it’s important to understand that a newborn puppy’s immune system has developed no antibodies against potentially fatal diseases, borrowing instead from antibodies in the mother’s milk until weaning occurs. A vaccine can step in to correct this problem. When this inert form of the disease germ enters the body, it can’t cause the disease but it resembles the disease closely enough that the body starts making antibodies against the germ in question. From this point forward, your dog is protected against that disease as long as the vaccine remains potent — at which point any vet on our team can administer scheduled booster shots to renew that protection.

As for the issue of vaccination side effects, most pets experience only minimal symptoms such as listlessness, mild fever, soreness at the injection site and a runny nose. (More extreme symptoms are usually associated with allergic reactions.) But when you consider the prevalence and consequences of rabies and other killer diseases, vaccinations are clearly a small risk well worth taking.

Essential Vaccinations

The core battery of essential vaccinations includes protection from Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza and Parvovirus (DHPP). This combination is given in a single injection commonly referred to just as the Distemper shot. In addition, your dog needs the protection afforded by a Rabies vaccination.

Recommended Additional Vaccinations

  • Canine Influenza is an upper respiratory viral disease that affects the intestines. It is said to have originated here in Florida.
  • Corona Virus is also an intestinal infection. It is common here in the southern United States.
  • Lyme Disease is bacterial and is spread from the bite of a tick.
  • You may have heard of Bordetella by its more commonly used name, kennel cough. It is a virus that causes a very contagious upper respiratory infection. Since it is so contagious, it is commonly found in high risk environments such as boarding kennels, groomers, and dog parks.
  • Leptospirosis is a zoonotic bacterial infection common to wet climates such as here in the Winter Garden area. It is most commonly spread to animals when they drink standing or slow moving water that has been infected.

New vaccines are constantly being formulated to meet changing disease threats. Your best source for information on what is available and what your pet may need, is our Winter Garden veterinarian.

Canine Vaccinations on Schedule

Our Winter Garden veterinarian supplies dog vaccinations on schedules determined by your dog’s age. Canine vaccinations are different for young puppies, mature adult dogs, and those over 7 years old.

A Typical Puppy Vaccination Schedule

A typical puppy vaccination schedule begins at 8 weeks of age. Your winter Garden veterinarian will administer core vaccinations for protection against:

  • Distemper
  • Hepatitis
  • Parainfluenza
  • Parvovirus
  • Rabies

All of these except the rabies vaccine can be delivered in a single combined DHPP shot. Your Winter Garden veterinarian will also vaccinate your pet against a common respiratory disease called Bordetella (“kennel cough”). At the age of 11 to 12 weeks, we will administer these vaccinations again to reinforce their positive effects, while also administering an additional vaccination against a bacterial disease called leptospirosis. Your puppy will receive the DHPP and leptospirosis vaccinations again at 14 to 15 weeks, and an additional rabies vaccination at 16 weeks.

Adult dogs may receive booster shots such as 3-year rabies vaccinations throughout their lives. We will advise you on the right schedule for your pet. Your vet may also recommend specific elective vaccinations depending on your dog’s risk of exposure to Lyme disease, coronavirus and other diseases.


First visit at 8 weeks old:


Bordetella #1


First deworming

Second visit at 11-12 weeks:


Bordetella #2

Lepto #1

2nd Fecal

2nd deworming

Third visit at 14-15 weeks:

Physical exam


Lepto #2

Fourth visit at 16 weeks:

Physical exam


Dogs (Age 1-6)

Rabies (3 Year)




Annual Bloodwork



Dogs (7 and older)

Rabies (3 Year)




Senior Bloodwork



Run by Dr. Lauren Prather, Winter Garden Animal Hospital offers the most highly respected veterinary care in the region. Serving Windermere, Ocoee, and the surrounding areas ourWinter Garden veterinarians can provide everything your pet will need throughout his or her lifetime as your companion.

Contact Winter Garden Animal Hospital for Canine Vaccinations Today!

For answers to your pet care questions or to make an appointment, call Winter Garden Animal Hospital today at (407) 656-4132. As a highly efficient and professional animal hospital, we have been serving Winter Garden, Ocoee, Windermere and the surrounding Orlando area for nearly 40 years. We look forward to meeting your pet’s health care needs with everything from annual wellness exams to dog vaccinations and more. Come check out the most efficient animal hospital in the region.