Top 9 Most Important Shots Every Puppy Needs in Matthews, NC

When you have a new puppy in the family, it’s important to keep up with all of her vet care and health requirements. It can be overwhelming trying to remember all the shots she needs, but her well-being depends on her receiving them in a timely fashion.

Dog who just got puppy shots in Matthews, NC

Although your vet in Matthews will give you much more information about your puppy’s required shots as well as those that are strongly recommended, it’s important to brush up on that information on your own as well.

Common and Essential Puppy Shots in Matthews, NC

In the list below, we’ll guide you through the nine most important puppy shots so you can understand where to begin.


Distemper is a respiratory disease that also causes digestive problems. Its symptoms include vomiting and diarrhea, severe coughing and wheezing, and seizures. Dogs may become paralyzed from this illness and it could be potentially fatal without proper treatment.

Distemper is one of the first shots vets in Matthews give puppies because of its very contagious and potentially fatal nature. It’s usually given in conjunction with other vaccinations but may sometimes be given on its own, depending on the preferences of the vet and your puppy’s individual needs.


Parvovirus, often shortened to just “parvo,” is a common ailment in puppies who do not receive the shot for it. It’s very contagious and spreads quickly between puppies, older dogs, and those with chronic health conditions, although any dog may contract parvovirus if left unvaccinated.

This illness causes fever, vomiting, lack of appetite, and severe bloody diarrhea. Because of these symptoms, it also leads to dehydration in just a short amount of time. Your vet in Matthews will need to treat your puppy with IV fluids if she contracts parvovirus. When she is vaccinated for it, she won’t run the risk of coming down with this potentially fatal disease.


Parainfluenza is, as it sounds, a type of canine flu virus. However, it is not the same as the virus commonly referred to as “dog flu,” so it’s important to understand the difference between these two ailments.

Parainfluenza vaccinations are often required before your dog can be boarded at any kennel or vet boarding facility in Matthews. They’re usually required before dogs can travel, stay in hotels, or visit dog parks as well. This is a very common and very important puppy shot that can prevent your dog from contracting this respiratory disease.


Canine hepatitis is not related to human hepatitis but is still a liver disease. It is spread by a certain type of virus and is quite contagious among dogs of all ages and health conditions. It may cause jaundice and can cause a dog’s eyes and skin to look yellow because of this. Dogs may also have a fever, swollen stomach, pain near the liver, and vomiting. 

Since there is a vaccination for canine hepatitis, most vets in Matthews recommend this as one of the puppy shots your pet should have, depending on where you live.


In most of the United States, rabies vaccinations are required by law. Although your vet will let you know for sure whether or not rabies is a required shot for your puppy, it’s a good idea to go ahead with this shot regardless of local laws and ordinances.

Rabies is extremely contagious through animal bites and viciously attacks a dog’s nervous system. It causes hallucinations, panic, paralysis, fear of water, and headaches caused by inflammation of the brain. Having your puppy vaccinated can help prevent them from getting this disease altogether.

Canine Coronavirus

Canine coronavirus is not the same as human forms of coronavirus, and it is not the same as Covid-19. It is a different strain of coronavirus that only dogs can catch, and it cannot be spread to humans or other animals at all.

This illness is a gastrointestinal one that causes vomiting and diarrhea as well as dehydration. It also leads to a lack of appetite, weakness, and lethargy.

This isn’t usually a required shot for puppies, but many vets in Matthews strongly recommend it in order to protect your puppy against this difficult disease.


Bordetella is caused by a type of bacteria. This bacteria is extremely contagious and may be spread through droplets in the air, through interaction with the same items such as food dishes or leashes, or even through a human petting an infected dog and then petting an unvaccinated dog immediately after.

Bordetella is also known colloquially as “kennel cough.” It leads to severe coughing and wheezing fits as well as vomiting. Some dogs may have seizures from it, and puppies can die from it. This puppy shot is required before dogs can be boarded at any facility in Matthews due to its highly contagious nature.


Leptospirosis is an infection caused by bacteria. It causes meningitis, kidney and liver damage or failure, respiratory problems, and potentially death. This disease can be spread from dogs to humans and is especially easy for human children to contract. Puppies and older dogs both usually get it from exposure to natural bodies of water.

Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is caused by ticks that carry a specific type of bacteria. It may not cause any symptoms but usually causes severe joint pain and swelling. Dogs may also lose their appetite and suffer heart disease due to Lyme disease. This shot is not required everywhere for all puppies, but in areas with a lot of Lyme ticks, it is strongly recommended.

Stay Up to Date with Your Pet’s Puppy Shots in Matthews, NC

There may be other puppy shots your vet in Matthews recommends for your dog based on where you live, your dog’s breed, her health overall, and more.

However, these are the nine most common vaccinations given to puppies in the United States, and they provide an important path for your dog’s health and well-being as she grows older too. By getting her all these vaccinations at the right time, you’re helping her grow in to a healthy, happy adult dog who will be part of the family for a long time to come.

At Caring Hearts Animal Hospital, our veterinarians make sure that each vaccination plan for your puppy is tailored to their individual needs and lifestyle. We provide all the puppy shots your pet needs to help them stay healthy so they can live a long and happy life with you.