Vet preparing to administer DA2PP vaccine to brown labrador puppy

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When you bring home a new puppy, it’s important to maintain their vaccination schedule to prevent them from unnecessary illness that can cause pain, discomfort, and even death. One of the most important vaccines for dogs is DA2PP.

The DA2PP vaccine for dogs, also known as DHPP or DAPP, is a core vaccine that protects against distemper, adenovirus, parainfluenza, and parvovirus.1 Each disease is dangerous for puppies with developing immune systems, and there’s no cure.

Prevention is always the best treatment. So what is the DA2PP vaccine for dogs? Keep reading to learn more about the DA2PP dog vaccine.

What does the DA2PP vaccine protect against?

What Is DA2PP Vaccine For?

DA2PP protects against several contagious viral infections that can cause everything from mild symptoms like coughing and sneezing to more severe symptoms like weakness and death if not treated.

DA2PP protects dogs from the following diseases:

  1. Canine distemper: Distemper is a highly contagious disease with symptoms ranging from fever to seizures and death. All dogs are at risk of distemper, but puppies have developing immune systems, so the virus is even more dangerous for them.
  2. Adenovirus type 2: There are two types of adenovirus – hepatitis and kennel cough. Both types of adenovirus are viral infections, with type 1 being more severe, potentially resulting in death if not treated.2 On the other hand, Kennel cough is not a fatal illness, but it can lead to secondary infections. DA2PP is designed to protect your dog against hepatitis and potentially prevent kennel cough. However, you should also consider the Bordetella non-core vaccine, especially if your dog will be spending any time at a doggy daycare or boarding facility.
  3. Parainfluenza: Dog parainfluenza is another respiratory illness resulting in discharge, sneezing, runny nose, fever, lethargy, and sometimes death.3 Related to distemper, parainfluenza can lead to kennel cough, bordetella, adenovirus, and pneumonia.4 While this respiratory illness doesn’t usually require hospitalization except in extreme cases, dogs may need medication to help them feel more comfortable.
  4. Parvovirus: Another contagious viral disease, parvovirus in dogs, can lead to septic shock if not treated. Unfortunately, deaths from parvovirus can occur within just a few days after dogs show symptoms. There’s no cure, so treatment will revolve around providing them with support to help their body fight off the infection.

Sticking to a regular vaccination schedule is the best way to protect your dog from dangerous illnesses. DA2PP is a vital core vaccine because it protects your dogs from several illnesses with just one injection.

Puppy vaccinations typically begin around six weeks of age and every few weeks until they’re around four months. Most puppies receive their first DA2PP vaccination between 6 and 8 weeks, then again at 11 and 12 weeks and 16 weeks of age. If your vet doesn’t know your dog’s vaccination schedule because you adopted them from a rescue or shelter, they’ll be given two vaccines 3 to 4 weeks apart.Boosters are also recommended every 1 to 3 years.6

DA2PP is administered every 3-4 weeks until 16 weeks of age

If you adopt your dog from a shelter, the DA2PP vaccine might be included in adoption costs, along with neutering, spaying, and other vaccinations. However, you should keep your dog’s vet records and follow the correct vaccination schedule to protect them.

Because this vaccination is given as a series, it’s crucial you don’t miss any of them because it could mean you’ll need to restart it, and your dog isn’t fully protected if they miss an appointment with your vet. In addition, the period between the initial series of vaccinations should not exceed three to four weeks because it could put your dog at risk of developing any one or more of the illnesses DA2PP is meant to protect against.

When Do Dogs Get The DA2PP Vaccine?

The DA2PP vaccine for dogs is given subcutaneously — under the skin. A typical vaccination schedule for puppies begins at six weeks of age. 7

You can talk with your vet about scheduling your dog’s appointments to ensure you don’t miss their vaccinations. Most vets will ensure your pet receives the vaccines up to the age of 16 weeks.

How Often Does A Dog Need The DA2PP Vaccine?

Once puppies receive their initial DA2PP vaccination at 4 or 6 weeks, they’ll continue to get it every three to four weeks until they are at least 16 weeks old. After they complete the puppy series of vaccinations, they’ll receive boosters every 1 to 3 years.

Adult dogs with an unknown vaccination history will have a different schedule where they’ll be given two vaccinations before getting boosters every 1 to 3 years.

Risks & Side Effects Of DA2PP

Puppy and dog vaccinations are generally well-tolerated. Mild side effects are typically a sign of immune response, but you should still monitor your dog after receiving any vaccination, although severe reactions are rare.

Since the most commonly reported side effects are mild, the benefits outweigh the risks in most cases. It’s not uncommon for dogs to experience some mild side effects in the hours after the vaccination, but they should subside in a day.8

The most common side effects of the DA2PP vaccine for dogs include the following:

  • Mild fever
  • Discomfort & swelling at the injection site
  • Decreased appetite and activity8

More serious side effects, like allergic reactions, can occur within a few hours of administration and be life-threatening. If your dog experiences these severe side effects after receiving the DA2PP vaccination, contact your vet immediately.

  • Persistent diarrhea and vomiting
  • Itchy skin
  • Swelling of face, neck, or eyes
  • Coughing or difficulty breathing8

What Other Vaccines Do Dogs Need?

Besides DA2PP, there are several core vaccines puppies need to protect them from potentially dangerous and fatal illnesses. There are different types of vaccines available for dogs — core, and non-core. Core vaccinations are those recommended by vets for dogs, while non-core vaccinations are recommended based on the pet’s needs. The core vaccines for dogs include the following:

  • Parvovirus
  • Rabies
  • Hepatitis
  • Parainfluenza
  • Distemper

As we’ve discussed with DA2PP, dogs should have at least three doses of a combination vaccine between the ages of 6 and 16 weeks to protect against distemper, adenovirus, parvovirus, and parainfluenza.9 On the other hand, dogs over the age of 16 weeks should receive two doses of DA2PP or another combination 2 to 4 weeks apart.9

The rabies vaccine is also required by law in most jurisdictions. Your dog’s first vaccination is good for one year, and they’ll receive boosters every three years afterward.

DA2PP boosters are typically recommended every 1-3 years

As mentioned, there are also non-core vaccinations that vets recommend to protect your pet based on their lifestyle. These non-core vaccinations include the following:

  • Bordetella: Bordetella bronchiseptica is a highly infectious bacteria that causes coughing and, in rare cases, death.10 The primary cause of kennel cough, most vets recommend it for dogs that spend time with other dogs, such as those frequently boarded or those that go to doggy daycare or a grooming facility. Many boarding and daycare facilities require the Bordetella vaccine to protect the other dogs.
  • Leptospirosis: Leptospirosis is caused by bacteria and is found in soil and water. Unlike other types of illnesses, leptospirosis can spread from dogs to people with symptoms including vomiting, fever, diarrhea, weakness, lethargy, and kidney failure.10
  • Coronavirus: Canine coronavirus is a GI and respiratory illness that causes loss of appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea. There are currently no medications to treat coronavirus.10
  • Lyme disease: The Lyme disease vaccination can help protect dogs that are bitten by ticks to prevent symptoms like limping, swelling of the lymph nodes, and lack of appetite. Lyme disease is a dangerous illness that can affect the heart, kidneys, and joints.10

Non-core vaccines are optional, meaning not every dog needs them. While they’re generally recommended, it ultimately depends on your pet’s lifestyle. For instance, they may not need the Bordetella vaccine if they're never boarded. However, your vet may still recommend it to protect your pet from potentially dangerous diseases.

These non-core vaccinations are administered based on your pet’s age, medical history, environment, and overall lifestyle. Talking to your vet can give you a good idea of the types of vaccinations your dog needs and how to best protect them from illness.

Both core and non-core vaccinations will require a booster, typically every 1 to 3 years, depending on the type. For instance, your vet may use a rabies vaccine that requires annual boosters instead of one every three years.

Sleepy Boston terrier puppy resting in owner’s arms

Final Notes

DA2PP is a combination vaccine designed to protect puppies and dogs from severe respiratory illnesses, some of which can be fatal. Since these diseases have no cure, you should maintain a consistent vaccination schedule to ensure your pup is always protected.

Wondering which vaccinations your dog needs? Try Dutch today. Our licensed vets can help you determine which vaccinations are best for your dog based on their unique circumstances.



  1. “What Is the DHPP Vaccine (5-in-1 Vaccine) for Dogs?” PetMD,

  2. Creevy, Kate E., and Jeremy B. Evans. “Infectious Canine Hepatitis - Generalized Conditions.” Merck Veterinary Manual, 13 June 2023,

  3. “Canine Influenza.” American Veterinary Medical Association,

  4. “Kennel Cough.” Kennel Cough - an Overview | ScienceDirect Topics,

  5. “Universities Fundamentals of Puppy Ownership.” Alabama A&M and Auburn ,

  6. “Dog Health Vaccinations .” San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals,

  7. “Canine Distemper: Shelter Basics.” Cornell University, 7 Feb. 2023,

  8. “Vaccinations.” American Veterinary Medical Association,

  9. “Recommendations for Core and Non-core Canine Vaccines.” AAHA,

  10. “Puppy Shots Schedule: A Complete Guide to Puppy Vaccinations.” American Kennel Club, 24 May 2023,

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