GPH Position Statement on Vaccination - Canine

Gateway Pet Hospital supports the use of vaccination against infectious disease in dogs and cats.  Our vaccination protocols are designed based on latest information about local disease risk.  We design our protocols using the most recent professional guidelines and duration of immunity studies.  We tailor our protocols to each pet based on the needs of the pet and the pet’s family.

Key Points:

  • Vaccines play in important role in the health and welfare of pets and humans.
  • Vaccines registered for use in Canada have been tested for safety and efficacy
  • The vaccination needs of every patient is assessed regularly and adjusted as needed



How do vaccinations work?

Vaccinations contain very small amounts of virus or bacteria that have been modified so that they can not cause disease. They stimulate the body’s immune system to develop protection against that disease. If the body is later exposed to that disease, it will quickly be able to respond and destroy that disease-causing virus or bacteria.

How often are vaccines necessary?

Research is always ongoing to study duration of immunity to vaccinations.  Re-vaccination intervals are currently set to ensure that populations of pets remain protected against life threatening diseases. Blood tests called titres can be used to determine antibody levels in your pet and help guide vaccination intervals. However, titre levels do not always accurately reflect the pet’s immunity and can be expensive. Talk to your veterinarian about your pet’s vaccine intervals. 

What vaccines are given to my dog?

Vaccinations are often written in a short form that uses 1 or 2 letters to represent one of the antigens. Below is a list of the most common canine vaccinations.


Rabies is required by Law in Ontario, and proof of up-to-date Rabies vaccination is required for boarder crossings, dog licencing and most training, daycare, boarding or grooming facilities.

- Distemper
A2 - (sometimes H)- Adenovirus (Hepatitis)
P - Parainfluenza
P - Parvovirus

DA2PP are consider “Core” vaccines in all of North America, meaning they are recommended for ALL DOGS. 

L- Leptospirosis

Leptospirosis is recommended in locations where this bacteria exists. Leptospirosis is present in Kitchener/waterloo/Cambridge and is spread in the urine of skunks and racoons. It is a deadly disease, and so in our area, it is recommended that all dogs receive Leptospirosis vaccination. 

B -Bordetella (usually given Intranasally (IN) but can be given by injection if needed)

Often referred to as “kennel cough”, Bordetella is a bacteria

Lyme – Lyme disease 


Puppies < 16 weeks of age:

DA2PPL every 4 weeks for a minimum of 2 vaccinations with the last vaccination given at or after 16 weeks of age (**Note this means some puppies may get a total of 4 shots if the first puppy shot is given at < 8 weeks of age). 

   Typical vaccination protocol:                 

      8 weeks: DA2PP
      12 weeks: DA2PPL +/- Bord Intranasal
      16 weeks: DA2PPL + Rabies;

Note that very small puppies (< 2 kg) or dogs with known sensitives to vaccination may have an altered vaccine protocol that “splits out” the leptospirosis vaccination and the Rabies vaccination (i.e they are typically given 3 weeks later) to reduce the risk of reactions.

If 16-18 weeks at the time of presentation, DA2PP + L will still be boostered once.

Puppies/Dogs >/= 18 weeks of age: 

DA2PP and Rabies only require 1 injection, but lepto must be boostered 2-4 weeks later. 

   Typical Protocol:

      Initial:  DA2PPL + Rabies +/- Bordetella IN with doctor.
      Booster 3-4 weeks later:  lepto with technician 

1 year booster

Regardless of age, all INITIAL vaccination series must be followed by a booster 1 year later

   Typical Protocol:

       DA2PPL + Rabies +/- Bordetella 

> 2 years of age (1 year after the 1 year booster)

Lepto and Bordetella are done yearly. 
DA2PP and Rabies are given every 3rd year. 

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Office Hours


8:00 am-7:00 pm


8:00 am-7:00 pm


8:00 am-7:00 pm


8:00 am-7:00 pm


8:00 am-7:00 pm


9:00 am-4:00 pm

(Vet available 9-3)


9:00 am-4:00 pm

(Vet available 10-2)

Emergency Hours

Monday - Thursday:

6:00 pm - 8:00 am


6:00 pm - Monday 8:00 am

Saturday, Sunday:

Open 24 hrs

Friday 6:00 pm - Monday 8:00 am

Open 24 hrs a day on all statutory holidays

For Pet Emergencies call (519) 650-1617