How Long Can You Delay Vaccinations In Dogs? (Explained)

In the stressful everyday life, you can sometimes miss one or the other appointment.

“When did my dog have his last vaccination at the vet?”

During the test you are shocked to discover that your dog’s vaccination is overdue.

But do you have to have your dog vaccinated at all, which are the compulsory vaccinations and how long can you delay your dog’s vaccination?

We answer these and other questions in this article.

Have fun while reading!

In a nutshell: How long can a dog be vaccinated?

In Germany there is no compulsory vaccination for dogs. Overdue vaccination is therefore not a direct problem.

In order to protect your darling from viruses and bacteria, however, you should always keep an eye on your dog’s vaccination schedule. In general, it is advised not to delay the most important vaccinations by more than 4 weeks to 3 months to ensure optimal protection for your dog.

However, even if you are a few months late, your vet can still easily boost the vaccination.

Is it bad if I don’t vaccinate my dog?

Opinions for or against vaccination for dogs differ, just as they do for humans.

However, dog lovers and dog owners are clearly in favor of vaccination for dogs.

They believe that unvaccinated dogs pose a certain risk. But what dangers can arise if your dog is not vaccinated?

Just like you, your dog is also exposed to various risks and pathogens against which you can have it vaccinated. That is why there is also a vaccination schedule for dogs.

Unvaccinated dogs are at risk of contracting canine distemper or liver inflammation. In addition, unvaccinated dogs are much more likely to contract and transmit rabies.

For you and your dog, skipping the vaccination has many disadvantages. Your beloved four-legged friend can become ill, suffer from pain and even die.

You, other dogs and the rest of the population are also at risk.

So if you love your dog and want to protect it, go to the vet and get your dog vaccinated.

Is vaccination compulsory for dogs?

The vaccination requirement for dogs is regulated differently in each country. In Germany there is no compulsory vaccination for dogs. As the owner, you can decide for yourself whether you want to have your dog vaccinated.

However, as an animal lover and dog lover, you should have your darling vaccinated. A distinction is made between mandatory vaccinations and optional vaccinations.

Mandatory vaccinations:

  • rabies
  • leptospirosis
  • distemper
  • Canine contagious hapatitis (HCC)
  • parvovirus

Optional vaccinations:

  • kennel cough
  • Lyme disease
  • leishmaniasis
  • Coronavirus
  • Canine herpes virus

As soon as you want to travel abroad with your dog, other vaccination rules apply again.

Your vet can tell you more about this.

Good to know:

Your veterinarian can carry out the necessary mandatory vaccinations or optional vaccinations for your dog on site.

Is rabies vaccination mandatory for dogs?

There is no rabies in Germany. The rabies vaccination for your dog is therefore not mandatory. However, for the sake of your dog, you should voluntarily have it vaccinated against rabies.

Rabies is a serious infectious disease. Many dogs are affected. In the worst case, rabies can even spread to humans. It is therefore an advantage if you have your dog vaccinated against rabies and regularly refresh these vaccinations.

What vaccinations are required for dogs every year?

The frequency of vaccinations depends on the vaccine and the vaccine manufacturer.

As a rule, vaccination protection against viruses lasts for 3 years. Individual vaccinations are to be refreshed annually. This includes vaccinations against bacteria. Annual vaccinations include leptospirosis, hepatitis and distemper vaccinations.

You should regularly check your dog’s vaccination calendar. This will prevent your dog from being overdue for vaccination.

Can a puppy go outside without vaccination?

Unvaccinated puppies should not be out yet. Your immune system is not fully formed yet. That is why puppies are very susceptible to viruses and bacteria of all kinds. Unvaccinated animals, dead animals or droppings pose too great a risk.

If you have an unvaccinated puppy, it should remain in your house or on your premises until it has been completely vaccinated.

Puppies need 3 vaccinations for complete vaccination protection. After the 2nd vaccination, which should take place after the 12th week of life, you can already take the first cautious walks with your puppy. You should still keep him away from other dogs or people.

After the third and last vaccination (after about 16 weeks), your darling has formed enough antibodies and can explore the world.

How much does a dog vaccination cost?

The cost factor for a dog vaccination depends on the vaccination, the workload of the veterinarian and the vaccine.

As a rule, so-called combination vaccinations are carried out on your dog. He is vaccinated against the most important mandatory and elective vaccinations in one fell swoop.

Such a combined vaccination costs between 60 and 70 euros.


Even if there is no vaccination requirement for dogs in Germany, as a responsible dog owner you should have your dog vaccinated. Viruses and bacteria lurk everywhere and can lead to illnesses in your darling.

You’ve messed around with your dog’s vaccination schedule and your dog’s vaccination is overdue? No problem! You can easily catch up on the necessary vaccinations.

If you have any questions about vaccination, please contact your veterinarian.

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