Protect Your Pup: What You Need to Know About Bordetella Shots

Protect Your Pup: What You Need to Know About Bordetella Shots

As a dog owner, one of the most important things you can do for your furry companion is to protect them from infectious diseases like Bordetella. Bordetella, also known as Kennel Cough, is a highly contagious respiratory disease that affects dogs of all ages and breeds. The good news is that it is preventable through vaccination. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about Bordetella shots, including how they work, when to get them, and what to expect.

What is Bordetella and How is It Spread?

Bordetella is a bacterial infection that affects the respiratory system of dogs. It is highly contagious and can spread quickly in places where dogs congregate, such as kennels, dog parks, and daycares. The bacteria can be transmitted through the air, direct contact with infected dogs, or contaminated objects like toys, water bowls, and clothing. Symptoms of Bordetella include coughing, sneezing, runny nose, fever, and lethargy. In severe cases, it can lead to pneumonia or other secondary infections.

How Do Bordetella Shots Work?

Bordetella vaccines work by stimulating the dog’s immune system to produce antibodies against the bacteria. The vaccine contains a weakened or killed form of the bacteria, which allows the dog’s immune system to recognize and respond to the infection. Once the vaccine is administered, the body begins to produce antibodies against Bordetella. These antibodies stay in the dog’s system, ready to fight off any future infections.

When Should You Get Your Dog Vaccinated for Bordetella?

The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) recommends that all dogs receive the Bordetella vaccine. The vaccine can be administered as early as 6 weeks of age and should be given annually, although some veterinarians recommend every 6 months for dogs who are at higher risk of exposure, such as those who frequently visit dog parks or daycare facilities. The vaccine can be given as an injection or as a nasal spray.

Are There Any Side Effects of Bordetella Shots?

Like any vaccine, Bordetella shots can have some mild side effects. The most common side effects include soreness or swelling at the injection site, lethargy, and reduced appetite. These side effects usually last for only a few days and are not serious. Some dogs may experience an allergic reaction to the vaccine, which can include hives, facial swelling, and difficulty breathing. If your dog has a history of allergic reactions to vaccines, be sure to let your veterinarian know.

How Can You Reduce Your Dog’s Risk of Bordetella Infection?

In addition to getting your dog vaccinated, there are several steps you can take to reduce their risk of Bordetella infection. These include:

  • Avoiding crowded places where dogs congregate, especially if your dog is not fully vaccinated yet.
  • Washing your hands and changing your clothes before and after handling other dogs.
  • Disinfecting toys, water bowls, and other items that may have come into contact with infected dogs.
  • Keeping your dog healthy and well-nourished to maintain a strong immune system.


Bordetella is a serious infectious disease that can be easily prevented through vaccination. Getting your dog vaccinated for Bordetella is an important part of their overall health care. By taking steps to reduce your dog’s risk of exposure, you can help keep them healthy and happy. Talk to your veterinarian about the best vaccination schedule for your dog, and protect your pup from Bordetella today.


Sure! Here are three popular FAQs about Bordetella shots for dogs, along with their answers:

What is Bordetella and why should I vaccinate my dog against it?
Bordetella is a highly contagious bacterial infection that can cause respiratory problems and a persistent, hacking cough in dogs. It is commonly known as “kennel cough” because it can spread quickly in places where dogs congregate, such as kennels, grooming facilities, dog parks, and obedience classes. Vaccinating your dog against Bordetella is an effective way to reduce the risk of infection and protect your pet from illness.

How often does my dog need a Bordetella vaccine?
The frequency of Bordetella vaccinations can vary depending on your dog’s age, health status, lifestyle, and exposure to other dogs. Puppies usually receive their first Bordetella vaccine at around 8-12 weeks of age and require booster shots every 2-4 weeks until they are 14-16 weeks old. After that, adult dogs typically need a vaccine booster annually, but some dogs may require more frequent boosters if they have a higher risk of exposure to Bordetella.

Are there any side effects to the Bordetella vaccine?
Like any vaccine, the Bordetella vaccine can cause mild side effects such as soreness at the injection site, mild fever, and lethargy. These side effects typically resolve within a day or two and do not require treatment. In rare cases, dogs can have more serious reactions such as an allergic reaction, facial swelling, or breathing difficulties. It’s essential to monitor your dog closely after a vaccination and contact your veterinarian if you notice any signs of an adverse reaction.

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