top of page

What to Expect After Your Puppy’s Vaccination

Ensuring your puppy gets vaccinated is a crucial step in protecting them from serious diseases like distemper and rabies. Following a proper vaccination schedule helps maintain your puppy's health. However, you might be concerned about possible side effects. While some mild side effects are expected, serious reactions are rare. Here's a guide to common side effects and how to care for your puppy after vaccination.

Understanding Vaccine Side Effects

Vaccines work by introducing a modified version of a virus or infection to trigger your puppy’s immune system. This helps the body recognize and fight the disease in the future. Since vaccines stimulate the immune response, your puppy might appear lethargic or show signs of mild illness.

Common Side Effects in Puppies

Most side effects are mild and temporary, typically resolving within 48 hours. Common reactions include:

  • Lethargy: Puppies may be less playful and spend more time sleeping.

  • Fever: A slight increase in temperature is normal.

  • Swelling: Injection sites may swell or develop a small lump, which should subside on its own.

  • Cold symptoms: Intranasal vaccines can cause sneezing, coughing, and a runny nose.

  • Discomfort: The injection site may be sensitive to touch.

  • Decreased appetite: Your puppy might eat less for a few days.

If these symptoms persist beyond three days, contact your vet.

Rare but Serious Side Effects

Severe reactions to vaccines are uncommon but can occur. Risk factors include small breed puppies, spayed or neutered dogs, and receiving multiple vaccines at once. Watch for:

  • Allergic reactions: Significant swelling and pain at the injection site, prolonged lethargy, fever, and loss of appetite.

  • Anaphylaxis: Facial swelling, itchiness, hives, vomiting, breathing difficulties, and gastrointestinal issues. This can occur within 48 hours.

  • Shock: Symptoms include slow heart rate, low blood pressure, weakness, and a gray tongue.

  • Infection: Signs include red or discolored skin, abnormal swelling, discharge, and discomfort.

If you observe any of these symptoms, seek veterinary care immediately.

Caring for Your Puppy After Vaccination

Here are some tips to ensure your puppy is comfortable and monitored after their vaccination:

  • Wait at the vet: Stay at or near the vet’s office for at least 30 minutes post-vaccination in case of severe reactions.

  • Provide a resting place: Set up a quiet, comfortable area where your puppy can rest undisturbed.

  • Monitor symptoms: Keep an eye on your puppy for any changes or side effects. Document any swelling, discoloration, or behavioral changes.

  • Avoid the injection site: Be gentle around the injection area to avoid causing discomfort.

  • Give them time: Allow your puppy time to recover. Some may take up to a week to return to normal behavior.


Vaccinations are essential for your puppy’s health, protecting them from potentially deadly diseases. By understanding and managing possible side effects, you can ensure your puppy stays healthy and comfortable after their shots.

For more information on vaccinations and puppy care, visit

Puppy’s Vaccination
Puppy’s Vaccination


Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square
bottom of page