Dog Vaccinations

Vaccines help prevent many illnesses that affect pets. Vaccinating your pet has long been considered one of the easiest ways to help them live a long, healthy life. Not only are there different vaccines for different diseases, there are different types and combinations of vaccines. Vaccines are important in the prevention of contagious deceases. Specific vaccines fall under the “core” vaccines while others are administered depending on risk and lifestyle.

What types of vaccinations do you offer?

1. DA2PP

D – Distemper Is a life-threatening contagious viral disease.

P – Parvovirus – shed in feces and can live in the environment for years. Often more severe in puppies.

A – Adenovirus 2 & parainfluenza – highly contagious viral diseases.

2. Rabies

3. Bordetella – upper respiratory tract infection. Often spread at doggie daycares.

4. Lyme is recommended depending on your pet’s lifestyle and risk.

5. Leptospirosis is recommended depending on your pet’s lifestyle and risk.

Is there a schedule for how often to vaccinate a dog?

Bacterial antigen vaccines provide protection for one year. Viral antigen vaccines provide protection for 3 years. Depending on the required vaccinations annual or triannual boosters are typically required.

Why is it important to vaccinate your dog?

Each individual immune system can respond differently to a vaccination. Providing ongoing re-vaccination, we help to ensure the immune system is adequately prepared to defend your dog from viral and bacterial exposure.

What vaccinations do you offer to new puppies?

Vaccines stimulate your puppy’s immune system to create antibodies which aid in the prevention of specific diseases.

What is an appropriate schedule for puppy vaccinations?

Puppy vaccines begin at 8 weeks and are boostered at 12 and 16 weeks. Rabies is given at 16 weeks. If appropriate Lyme and Leptospirosis vaccines are given after 4 months of age.

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

Bringing your puppy to our clinic to meet our very friendly compassionate staff, before their initial appointment, is certainly a good idea. Our goal is to create a very positive experience for you and your puppy. To prevent car sickness, it is recommended not to feed a big meal before your visit. We typically give lots of treats for encouragement anyway.

How much do dog vaccinations cost?

Please contact our clinic for further information.


The Importance of Microchipping Your Pet

Pets can get lost which can be a traumatic and possibly tragic event.  It’s important to have a collar and ID tag, but these are not foolproof.  Collars can break or fall off leaving your pet unidentifiable. This can be prevented with the use of a microchip. As noted in the Dartmouth Tribune in April 2017: A pet is lost every seven seconds One in three pets will go missing in their lifetime Only 2 percent of lost cats and 17 percent of lost dogs with ID return home When a pet gets lost, they are 20 times more likely to make their way back home when they have a microchip A microchip is a small chip that is encoded with a unique identification number.  It is no bigger than a grain of rice and implanted just under the surface of your pet’s skin.  The process is similar to receiving a vaccination through a needle and is virtually painless to pets.  Once implanted, the microchip remains between the shoulder blades just beneath the skin for the rest of the animal’s lifetime, becoming a permanent form of identification. Since it’s under your pets’ skin it can’t break or fall off like a collar or tag. The chip is powered by a scanner which sends a signal to the chip and receives the identification number stored on it.  A vet or shelter can use the scanner to read your pet’s chip.  With the identification number, your pet’s information is a phone call away. When your pet is microchipped, it is linked to a database with your contact info.  It is essential that you register the microchip and ensure your contact information is kept up to date.  If you move or change phone numbers be sure to update your information.  Microchips are reliable and use nationwide registries, but they depend on the information you provide. If you want to improve your chances of getting your pet back home quickly and safely microchipping is highly recommended.   Written by Tracy LeFler, Site Coordinator Edited by Janis Wall, RVT

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Last updated: March 22, 2022.

Dear Clients,

Our top priority here at Westwood Hills is the ongoing health and safety of our clients, their pets, and our dedicated team members that serve you and the community.

NEW: We kindly request that clients continue wearing facemasks during their visits to our hospital. Our staff will continue to wear masks, as they remain one of the most effective ways to slow the spread of COVID-19.
* *Facemasks are no longer mandatory in veterinary clinics (but still highly recommended) as per recent provincial guidelines.

Here is what you can expect during your next visit:

  • We ask that all clients keep their distance / practice social distancing.
  • Continue the use of debit / credit cards as the preferred payment method.
  • For those interested we will still offer curbside pickup. Please place your food and medication order 48 hours in advance.
  • We are constantly analyzing our day to day actions and we appreciate your patience. We will continue to implement procedures that are in the best interest of both you, our clients and our staff.

    If you are not feeling well in any way, or if you have interacted with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 we ask that you stay isolated and do not visit us at the clinic. If your pet needs medical attention please have a family member or friend bring in your pet or pick up prescriptions / food.


    Monday - Friday: 8:00 am – 8:00 pm
    Saturday: 9:00 am - 4:00 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 again!

    - Your dedicated team at Westwood Hills Veterinary Hospital