How Much Will My Dog’s Vaccinations Cost?
Here’s what you can expect 💸
The list of dog vaccinations available to pups is pretty lengthy, and, as a practical pet parent, you’re probably wondering what it’ll cost to keep your dog safe and healthy.
And you don’t just have the cost of the shot itself to consider. Often, there are additional expenses that vary depending on whether you go to your vet’s office or a low-cost clinic.
Plus, knowing which vaccines your pup needs and which ones he can do without will help you figure out what to expect financially.
The Dodo spoke with Dr. Linda Simon, a veterinary surgeon and veterinary consultant for Five Barks, and Dr. Aliya McCullough, a veterinarian for Fetch by The Dodo pet insurance, to break down dog vaccination costs.
How much does it cost to vaccinate a dog?
There’s no one standard cost for dog vaccinations. The price to protect your pup will vary based on all the other things that factor in. “The cost of a vaccine depends on several things,” Dr. Simon told The Dodo. “This cost varies depending on the brand used and the supplying company.”
“The cost of a dog vaccination typically includes the price of the vaccine itself, a physical exam and sometimes a small medical waste fee,” Dr. McCullough told The Dodo.
There are rough estimates about how much it’ll cost you to vaccinate your dog, but because there are so many variables, you can’t always expect to pay the average price. “Each vaccine costs a different amount,” Dr. Simon said. “The core vaccines, including parvovirus and distemper, are typically all given together each year, and the average cost is about $80.”
Vaccinations are usually given during an adult dog’s annual exam, which can also hike up the cost. “It should be a qualified vet who vaccinates your dog. [A vaccine appointment] is used as an opportunity to check your dog over, tracking their weight and performing a full health exam,” Dr. Simon said. “A vet will be able to determine if your pet is well enough for a vaccine and will discuss which vaccinations are advised and why.”
While a vet should always be the one to administer your pup’s vaccines, you don’t always have to go to an animal hospital to get him his shots. They can also be done at low-cost clinics (by a certified vet), which can actually bring the price down a little.
“Low-cost clinics can offer less expensive vaccinations because their business expenses are often paid through donations or because they are able to balance those costs by seeing a higher number of pets,” Dr. McCullough said.
While you might be concerned about any additional costs adding up, making room in your budget to protect your dog from a serious disease is totally worth it and could save you a lot more money (or even heartbreak) in the long run.
“However much a vaccine may set you back, the cost of treating one of the serious diseases they prevent would ultimately be a lot more,” Dr. Simon said. “Indeed, these infectious diseases are ones which make dogs extremely unwell and can potentially be fatal.”
A pet insurance plan can help cover the costs of your dog’s vaccinations (but usually only if you purchase an add-on to your primary plan) along with other veterinary costs, like emergency vet visits, so definitely consider this option when looking to budget your pet care expenses.
(If you're looking for pet insurance, you’ll want to check out Fetch by The Dodo since it's made by and for adoring pet parents, and because it's the most comprehensive coverage in the US and Canada, covering things that other providers don't or charge extra for.)
Core vaccines for dogs
There are some vaccines that all dogs should get, no matter where they live. These are called core vaccines, and they’re considered necessary for every dog because they protect against diseases that are widespread, highly contagious and super serious.
Core vaccines include:
- Adenovirus 2
Rabies is so serious that the vaccine is legally required in a lot of places. That’s because rabies is fatal, incurable and can be transmitted to humans.
Distemper, adenovirus 2 and parvovirus are often administered together, as part of a single combination vaccine (aka the DA2P vaccine).
How much does the rabies vaccine cost?
Like all dog vaccinations, the cost of the rabies vaccine can fluctuate. “The rabies vaccine generally costs from about $15 to $40,” Dr. Simon said.
Different brands of the vaccine can be more expensive, and depending on where you get your dog vaccinated, you might also have to pay an exam fee. “Some low-cost or charity clinics may even provide this essential vaccine for free,” Dr. Simon said. “While at the vet, there may be an additional charge.”
How much does the DA2P vaccine cost?
The price of the DA2P vaccine also varies depending on where you get it done, but it’s pretty much always a cheaper option than administering each vaccine separately. “Distemper, adenovirus and parvovirus are usually vaccinated for within the same vaccine (one vial of liquid drawn up into one syringe),” Dr. Simon said. “Ultimately, this will save the owner money if we compare to getting each vaccine individually.”
Like any vaccine, the cost of the DA2P vaccine will vary. “The DA2P vaccine will cost between $25 to $50,” Dr. Simon said.
Not only is the combination vaccine easier on your wallet, it’s also way easier on your dog since there’s one injection site instead of five. “In general, combination vaccines such as the DA2PP (commonly referred to as just 'distemper' or 'distemper-parvo') are great because they protect your dog against many viruses in one vaccine and greatly reduce the risk of serious illness,” Dr. McCullough said.
Non-core vaccines for dogs
Dog vaccines that are considered non-core don’t need to be given to every dog because they’re only useful in certain areas or situations.
Non-core vaccines include:
- Bordetella bronchiseptica
- Canine parainfluenza
- Lyme disease
- Canine influenza virus H3N8
- Canine influenza virus H3N2
- Rattlesnake vaccine
But just because these vaccines are non-core doesn’t mean they aren’t important. It just means you should consult with a vet to determine which ones are right for your dog. This will protect your pup when he needs it and prevent you from spending money on a vaccine that’s totally unnecessary. “Veterinarians can help pet parents decide which lifestyle vaccines their dog needs based on the types of activities they will be doing, the locations they live and visit, and any unique health needs,” Dr. McCullough said.
Skipping the bordetella vaccine, for example, might save you a bunch of money if you don’t plan on bringing your vet to a day care center or a boarding kennel. “Many owners choose to not get [the bordetella] vaccine as it can be costly, with price varying from $30 to $40,” Dr. Simon said.
However, if you do plan to bring your dog somewhere he’ll be around a lot of other dogs, the cost might be worth it. Some day cares and kennels even require that any dogs who come into their business be vaccinated for bordetella even though it’s non-core. That’s because the disease is spread super easily in those kinds of places.
“Those dogs who go to doggy day care, or who compete in shows or agility and are around a lot of dogs, should consider getting this non-core vaccine,” Dr. Simon said. “Bordetella won’t kill your dog, but can give them a nasty and infectious cough for a couple of weeks.”
So once you figure out which core and non-core vaccines are best for your pup, you can get a better idea of how much protecting your dog will cost. And that peace of mind is truly priceless.
Everything You Need To Adopt A Puppy
Everything You Need To Adopt A Puppy
We independently pick all the products we recommend because we love them and think you will too. If you buy a product from a link on our site, we may earn a commission.