Dog Health

How to Do Your Puppy Vaccinations at Home (STEP BY STEP SHOTS GUIDE)

A golden retriever rests after it received his dog vaccinations at home.

When it comes to vaccinations and dogs, most owners opt to get them done at a clinic or animal hospital. But it is entirely possible to get your puppy shots done at home.

This process may seem unsafe and scary to most people, but it is a learnable skill. Not all vets will recommend this, but can be done if you take the proper steps and precautions.

Administering your dog’s shots at home is not ideal for most dog owners unless you have experience administering shots. For example, if you happen to be a nurse, doctor, vet, vet technician or researcher.

However, it doesn’t mean that you can’t do it if you have no experience giving shots.

The Advantages of Doing Puppy Shots at Home

There are several benefits of the DIY approach for dog vaccinations. For starter, you can save a lot of money over the span of a dog’s life.

Bully Max estimates that you can save $1000 to $1330 USD over a dog’s life by administering the shots yourself. You’ll still need to pay for the vaccines, but not for the veterinarian’s time.

RECOMMENDED: 7 Ways to Find Cheap Dog Vaccines (or FREE)

A huge plus is the convenience of administering the shots on your own time. You’ll still need to follow the puppy vaccination schedule, but you’re not restrained to the office hours of your local vet.

By giving your puppy (or adult dog) shots in the comfort of your home, you’ll be reducing unnecessary stress for them. Many dogs get anxious as soon as they enter the premises of their dedicated vet.

Vaccinations in a familiar territory, such as their home, will make it a much more pleasant experience.

Note: Rabies vaccine must be administered by a licensed veterinarian or a vet tech, depending on the state. Other vaccines like Bordetella and DHPP are the most common vaccinations for home inoculation.

Where to Get Dog Vaccines

There are multiple options to buying dog vaccines – each with its own benefits.

My suggestion is to buy the vaccines from a local veterinarian. Not all clinics will sell the vaccines, but if they do, you’ll be able to ask any questions you have for ease of mind. Also, there is no waiting for shipping. You can literally get your dog vaccines the same day or next.

You can also get some shots from local feed stores. If you plan to transport certain vaccines for a long distance, it might be a good idea to go with a small cooler to keep the vaccine cool.

The other option is to purchase the vaccines from online. Like with all things purchased online, you’ll have to wait a few days for shipping, but you’ll be able to buy vaccines without the hassle of driving to a physical location.

If you plan to order online, don’t procrastinate and stay on top of your dog’s vaccination schedule.

Reputable online stores for these vaccinations include:

  • Bully Max
  • Doctors Foster and Smith
  • Tractor Supply
  • Pet Supplies 4 Less

RECOMMENDED: First Year Puppy Shots & Beyond

5 Easy Steps to Vaccinate Your Dog

If you have no experience with dog vaccinations, then it’s important to pay close attention. It’s not as hard as you may think, but requires proper knowledge and guidance.

Don’t be afraid to consult with your veterinarian or study multiple sources of information before administering the shots.

Things you need:

  1. Hydrogen peroxide – Used for cleaning the surface of the dog’s skin to prevent any infections from external germs.
  2. Cotton swabs
  3. The Canine Spectra 5 in one shot (or another shot)

These will run you roughly $10 to $14. You can pick up peroxide and cotton swabs from any local food & drug store.

Step 1: Disinfect

The first step is to disinfect the area by using the cotton swabs to apply the peroxide on the area you plan to administer the shot. The best place to give your dog the shot is beneath the loose skin over either shoulder.

This area is the least sensitive part on your dog’s body. Always try to avoid administering the shot between the dog’s shoulder blades.

Step 2: Prepare the Vaccine

Using the syringe provided, draw the liquid and inject it into the vial (containing the powder mix). Shake the vial to thoroughly mix the liquid and powder solutions together. Let it sit for a minute.

Step 3: Extract the Vaccine

Using the same syringe, extract all the liquid content in the vial. It’s important that you make sure there are no air bubbles in the syringe before administering the shot.

If you notice notice bubbles, tap the syringe to speed up the dissolving of the bubbles. Push any remaining bubbled out.

Step 4: Administer the Shot

Lift the loose skin right above shoulder (either side is fine). Insert the needle beneath the skin. Make sure the needle is not in a blood vessel. If you see a blood vessel, pull out and redirect. Once you’re in proper position, inject the liquid.

Step 5: Throw Out the Syringe

You apply pressure with a cotton swab for a few seconds after taking out the needle. And you’re done! Throw out the syringe in a biohazard container. Never use the syringe more than once.

Final Vaccination Tips

Vaccinating your dog at home is not for everyone. Most owners either don’t like needles or don’t trust themselves to do such a thing, and that is okay. Sometimes it may be best to leave it up to the professional for something as important as dog vaccinations.

Unless you have experience, it may not be a good idea to administer your puppy’s first year shots. Observe, research and keep looking at different resources and it could be a possibility for your dog’s booster shots.

Every time your vet gives your dog a vaccination, ask questions and pay close attention to how they do it. You can also consult with them on what shots are required for your dog.

It’s great to read how to administer dog vaccines, but I would recommend watching some good videos of the process before attempting.

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