Required shots for dogs, or "core vaccines," include vaccines for canine parvovirus, canine hepatitis, rabies and distemper, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Veterinarians administer these vaccines to puppies as young as 6 weeks old, and they may need boosters later, notes WebMD.
These core vaccinations are necessary because the diseases that they protect against are severe, easily transmissible to humans or easy for the dog to contract, notes the ASPCA. Non-core vaccinations that dogs often receive include vaccines for Bordetella bronchiseptica, Leptospira bacteria and Borrelia burgdorferi. Veterinarians prescribe a treatment schedule for each puppy or dog based on its age and vaccination history.