Our team continues to be here for you and your cherished pets. We are OPEN and are now able to provide a wide range of services. To learn more about the changes we have implemented in response to COVID-19 and what to expect during your next visit, click here.

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Puppy Vaccinations

Vaccinating your puppy is one of the first steps a pet owner can do to make sure your puppy is healthy and protected against potential illnesses. The vaccines recommended to you by your vet depend on your pet’s lifestyle and individual needs. There are core vaccines, ones which every dog should receive regardless of lifestyle, and non-core vaccines which depend on your dog’s risk factors. Vaccinations are recommended due to the fact that they allow a dog’s body to create antibodies against a collection of different diseases without experiencing the symptoms or becoming ill – this means that if they do become exposed to the actual disease, their body is already prepared to fight it off.

What vaccinations do you offer to new puppies?

There are what are called CORE vaccines – these are vaccines which every dog should receive, regardless of lifestyle and exposure to other dogs. These are ones that vaccinate against rabies, distemper, and parvovirus. The distemper and parvovirus are given in the same combination vaccine while the rabies vaccine stands alone. Rabies is given in the last set of booster vaccines. DA2PP (Distemper, Adenovirus 2, Parainfluenza, and Parvovirus all combined into a single vaccine) is given at 8 weeks, 12 weeks, and 16 weeks of age. Puppies are always recommended to be given these vaccinations as well as the Bordetella (a kennel cough) vaccine. There are also NON-CORE vaccines – these are vaccines which may or may not be necessary depending on your dog’s risk factors. These are used to prevent diseases that occur sporadically, are more common in specific circumstances, or are new or “emerging” diseases. Examples of these are the Leptospirosis, Bordetella (kennel cough), or Lyme vaccine. The only one typically administered to puppies would be the Bordetella vaccine – this is usually a requirement for puppy socialization classes, boarding, and doggie daycare. The Lepto and Lyme vaccines are not covered in our puppy package cost.

Why is it important to properly vaccinate your puppy?

Properly vaccinating your puppy is the best way to ensure they will be protected against dangerous diseases that they can come across while they interact with other dogs or animals, go for walks through parks, woods, or around the neighbourhood, and other common experiences. Some of the diseases the vaccines help prevent can be fatal or require very rigorous treatment.

What is an appropriate schedule for puppy vaccinations?

Due to a puppy’s evolving immune system and underexposure to disease, it is typically recommended to booster vaccines every 3-4 weeks for the first few months, with the earliest vaccination beginning at 8 weeks of age and being boostered once at 12 weeks, and a final time at 16 weeks. The vaccines will then be given one year from the final puppy booster, and from then on depends on which vaccines your pet requires due to their lifestyle – some can be given every three years whereas others are given annually. There are situations where the puppy vaccine schedule is not completed in the ideal time frame–in these instances, you should consult a vet to make sure your puppy is protected.

How should you prepare your puppy for its first vaccination visit?

To prepare for your puppy’s first vaccine visit, you should bring any previous medical records with you to show the vet – these may list previous vaccines given while under the care of the breeder or shelter. You should be prepared to keep an eye on your puppy following your appointment as any vaccine reactions will start surfacing in many cases immediately. Although rare, they can happen and should be seen by a vet to determine the severity and whether or not it will resolve without medical assistance. Most pets show no indications of having been vaccinated.

How much do puppy vaccinations cost?

Pricing varies depending on your puppies needs. Contact Dartmouth Veterinary Hospital at 902-434-0700 and we can provide you with a personalized quote for you and your puppy.


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Last updated: June 30, 2020

Dear Clients,

With recent changes to restrictions on businesses, we are pleased to advise that effective June 5, 2020, some restrictions on veterinary practices have been lifted. We are now allowing our clients entry into the building for appointments as of July 2nd, 2020 for those who wish to accompany their pet into the clinic.

Based on these changes, below are some important updates to our operating policies.


This includes vaccines, wellness exams, bloodwork, spays and neuters, dental services, and more!


  • Continue our "closed waiting room" policy to protect our clients and staff. When you arrive, please remain outside the hospital and use your cell phone to call us. For those wishing to come into the clinic, once the veterinarian and the spacious exam room is ready, a staff member will then meet you outside to bring one client (required to wear a facial covering to enter the building) and the pet into the hospital for an examination. The Veterinarian will discuss the patient's history with you in the exam room, any concerns you have, and will then take your pet to the treatment area to perform the physical portion of the exam with the assistance of a support staff member. This is to limit close human contact for both our clients and our staff's safety. Once the physical exam is done and any recommended treatments were given, the Veterinarian will return to the exam room with your pet and answer any remaining questions. After your appointment, a support staff member will meet you in the exam room to take care of any needed medications and payment before escorting you back out of the clinic.
  • Continue offering clients to remain in their vehicle for the duration of the exam and have the Veterinarian provide the consult over the phone for those who prefer this option. A staff member will escort your pet into and out of the building for the appointment and will take care of any payment over the phone or using our portable machine at your vehicle. They will bring any items going home to you at your vehicle.
  • Continue the use of credit cards as the preferred payment method. We do have a portable debit machine if necessary. We are still trying to limit the intake of cash at this time.
  • Continue with solely curbside pickup of food and medication (unless you have used our online store and are having your order delivered directly to your home). To place an order through our online store, visit our website and click on "Online Store".

    If you wish to connect with a veterinarian via message, phone, or video, visit our website and follow the "Online Consultation" link. Please note that due to the high demand for appointments we are now seeing in the clinic, telemedicine options are very limited.


    We are back to our previous regular business hours and are OPEN with the following hours:

    Monday, Thursday: 7:15 am - 9:00 pm
    Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday: 7:15 am - 8:00 pm
    Saturday: 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
    Sunday: CLOSED


    Have you welcomed a new furry family member to your home? We’d love to meet them! Visit our Must Know New Pet Owner Information page for useful resources and helpful recommendations for new pet owners.

    Thank you for your patience and understanding and we look forward to seeing you and your furry family members!

    - Your dedicated team at Dartmouth Veterinary Hospital