2017 AAHA Canine Vaccination Guidelines

Originally published 9/7/17. Updated 2/3/18.

For a printable PDF, click here.

The Guidelines are an authoritative source of evidence-based recommendations and expert opinion provided by the AAHA Canine Vaccination Guidelines Task Force. The Task Force includes individuals with extensive experience in primary care practice, academia, shelter medicine, public health, and veterinary law related to clinical practice.

While there is often consensus on which canine vaccines fall into core and noncore categories and when they should be administered, in practice, the vaccination protocol should always be individualized based on the patient’s risk factors, life stage, and lifestyle. For this reason, these Guidelines are not intended to represent a universal vaccination protocol applicable to all dogs. Instead, the Guidelines offer a range of recommendations that will aid practitioners in making rational decisions on vaccine selection for their individual patients.

These guidelines are supported by a generous educational grant from
Boehringer Ingelheim USA Inc., Merck Animal Health, and Zoetis.

These guidelines were prepared by a task force of experts convened by AAHA. This document is intended as a guideline only, not an AAHA standard of care. These guidelines and recommendations should not be construed as dictating an exclusive protocol, course of treatment, or procedure. Variations in practice may be warranted based on the needs of the individual patient, resources, and limitations unique to each individual practice setting. Evidence-based support for specific recommendations has been cited whenever possible and appropriate. Other recommendations are based on immunological principles, practical clinical experience and a consensus of expert opinion. Further research is needed to document some of these recommendations. Because each case is different, veterinarians must base their decisions on the best available scientific evidence in conjunction with their own knowledge and experience.

Variance between manufacturer recommendations as they are published in the product Package Insert and Task Force recommendations occasionally occur. In each case, Task Force recommendations have been reviewed with the appropriate manufacturer(s).