Did you know it was possible to vaccinate your dog at home? Through products like Canine Spectra 5 or Canine Spectra 9, you can protect your dog from either five or nine common diseases while at home. You not only save money, but you save time.

Who Can Vaccinate Dogs at Home?

There are many groups of people who choose to give dog vaccinations at home. Dog rescues, doctors, nurses, dog breeders, and many people who own dogs are just some of the groups of people who choose to give dog vaccinations at home. Once you become familiar with how to administer the dog vaccination, it becomes an easy thing you do once a year.

What Diseases Do Home Dog Vaccinations Protect Against?

Canine Spectra 5 and Canine Spectra 9 protect against many of the common dog diseases.

Canine Spectra 5 provides 5-way protection and is an ideal first shot for puppies. Spectra 5 vaccine is a combination of immunogenic, attenuated strains of: Canine Distemper, Canine Adenovirus Type 2 (CAV-2), Canine Parainfluenza, and Canine Parvovirus Type 2b. In addition, the CAV-2 cross protects against respiratory infection caused by infectious canine hepatitis (CAV-1). Canine Spectra 5 is ideal for puppies because it can be given at 6 weeks of age.

Canine Spectra 9 provides 9-way protection for dogs 9 weeks of age and older. Spectra 9 vaccine is a combination of immunogenic, attenuated strains of Canine Distemper, Canine Adenovirus Type 2 (CAV-2), Canine Parainfluenza, and Canine Parvovirus Type 2b. In addition, the diluent contains killed antigens for Leptospira Canicola-Grippotyphosa-Icterohaemorrhagiae-Pomona bacterial extract. The CAV-2 fraction cross-protects against respiratory infection caused by infectious canine hepatitis (CAV-1). Canine Spectra 9 is recommended to start at 9 weeks of age and become the annual booster at/after 18 weeks of age.

Canine Spectra Vaccinations are USDA approved for purity, potency, and efficacy.

The Rabies vaccine is not one that can be given at home. You must go to your local veterinarian in order for your dog to receive this vaccination.

How Do I Vaccinate My Dog?

It is fairly easy to give your dog vaccinations at home, once you get used to the process.

Canine Spectra 5 Vaccination Administration:

For Canine Spectra 5, there are three different administration sites you can use, as Spectra 5 can be injected intramuscularly (in the muscle, in this case on the hind limb) or subcutaneously (under the skin).

Basically, you open the syringe by twisting or tapping the cap against a hard surface. This will break the heat weld. You prepare the Spectra 5 vaccination by injecting the diluent into the vial containing the desiccated vaccine cake. After your shake the contents together, making sure they are well mixed, you withdraw all the contents in the vial into the syringe. When the syringe is ready, you need to thoroughly prepare the injection site with antiseptic.

If you choose to administer the Spectra 5 subcutaneously (under the skin), you lift the loose skin behind your dog’s neck or behind your dog’s front leg. Before you inject the dog vaccine, you need to pull back slightly on the syringe plunger to make sure blood does NOT enter the syringe freely! If blood enters freely, you need to choose another injection site, as you are in the area of a blood vessel. Once you know you are not going to inject the vaccination in your dog’s blood vessels, you inject the entire contents of the syringe. And, you are done!

If you choose to administer the Spectra 5 intramuscularly, you insert the needle into the muscle of the hind limb. Before you inject the dog vaccine, you need to pull back slightly on the syringe plunger to make sure blood does NOT enter the syringe freely! If blood enters freely, you need to choose another injection site, as you are in the area of a blood vessel. Once you know you are not going to inject the vaccination in your dog’s blood vessels, you inject the entire contents of the syringe. And, you are done!

Healthy puppies that are 9 weeks or younger should be vaccinated at 3-4 week intervals until they are 16 weeks of age for at least 3 doses. Puppies that are over 9 weeks or adult dogs should receive a minimum of 2 doses at 3-4 week intervals, and annual re-vaccination with a single dose is recommended.

Canine Spectra 9 Vaccination Administration:

For Canine Spectra 9, there are two different administration sites you can use, as Spectra 9 can only be injected subcutaneously (under the skin).

The steps to inject the Canine Spectra 9 vaccination are fairly similar to the Spectra 5 vaccination. Basically, you open the syringe by twisting or tapping the cap against a hard surface. This will break the heat weld. You prepare the Spectra 9 vaccination by injecting the diluent into the vial containing the desiccated vaccine cake. After your shake the contents together, making sure they are well mixed, you withdraw all the contents in the vial into the syringe. When the syringe is ready, you need to thoroughly prepare the injection site with antiseptic.

Since you only have the choice to inject subcutaneously with Spectra 9, you lift the loose skin behind your dog’s neck or behind your dog’s front leg. Before you inject the dog vaccine, you need to pull back slightly on the syringe plunger to make sure blood does NOT enter the syringe freely! If blood enters freely, you need to choose another injection site, as you are in the area of a blood vessel. Once you know you are not going to inject the vaccination in your dog’s blood vessels, you inject the entire contents of the syringe. And, you are done!

A recommended dog vaccination schedule should start at or about 6 weeks of age, since the presence of maternal antibody is known to interfere with the development of active immunity. Puppies should be vaccinated every 2-3 weeks until 16 weeks of age, starting with Spectra 9 at 9 weeks of age. Dogs over 12 weeks of age should initially receive one dose of Spectra 9, with a second dose 2-3 weeks later. Annual re-vaccination with a single dose after that is recommended.

What Are the Benefits to Giving Dog Vaccinations at Home?

One big benefit to giving dog vaccinations at home is the monetary savings. Dog vaccinations are relatively cheap when purchased online. In addition, a healthy dog does not necessarily need to see a nurse or veterinarian. Add up the costs of going to the vet for vaccines vs giving vaccinations at home, and there is quite a bit of money that you could save. If you have multiple dogs, the savings for home vaccinations can really add up!

Giving dog vaccinations at home also puts less stress on your dog. Some dogs get extremely stressed when they have to go to the veterinarian’s office. Instead, home vaccinations allow your dog to be in a relaxed and natural place while receiving the injection.

Is There Anything Else to Know About Dog Vaccinations?

    • As with any vaccination, there is rare chance that your dog may have severe allergic reactions (anaphylactoid) that require immediate veterinary care.
    • Dog vaccinations need to be refrigerated. When you order a vaccine from PetSolutions, it is required to be shipped via 2nd Day Air so the ice packs will be effective during the transport of the vaccine. When you receive the vaccine, you must also keep it in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it.
    • Syringes and sterile needles from giving dog vaccinations at home should only be used once. After you are finished with the vaccination, the syringe and other vaccine products need to be safely disposed of.
    •  If you would like to see a video on how to give your dog vaccinations at home, Spectra has a video you can watch.

Please note, I am not a veterinarian. I recommend that you conduct your own research and check with your local veterinarian before administering any vaccines.

About The Author Kristen Sydelko

Kristen is the Web Coordinator at PetSolutions. She has over 5 years of experience working in the pet care industry, with many more years of pet ownership experience! When not at PetSolutions, Kristen enjoys spending time with her family (which includes an extremely spoiled Lab mix), crafting, and trying to decide when to set her fish tank back up.

comments (22)

  • What if your a beginner and inject into blood vessel should I be worried? Can anything bad happen? How do you know?

  • Hi Tears – As long as you follow the directions and check to make sure no blood is entering the syringe freely, you are fine. If you pull back, and blood starts flowing into the syringe without you having to pull on it, then you know you have inserted into a blood vessel. The vaccine is not meant to go into a blood vessel.

    If you are worried you are going to do it wrong, I suggest you have your vet administer vaccines rather than trying to do it yourself.

  • Hello, I just got a 6 week old German Shepherd Lab puppy and she hasn’t been wormed yet. I plan on worming her immediately, do I have to wait a specific time period to administer the vaccine? And should I use the spectra 5 or 9?

    • Hi Halle,

      Congratulations on your new puppy! With regard to the vaccines, your best bet is to check with the manufacturer or your vet to see what the guidelines are. That is not a product we sell, so I do not have the familiarity with it that your vet or the manufacturer of the product will in order to answer your question accurately.

  • I have a 5 month old mini schnauzer and she had only been vaccinated once with Spectra. What vaccine should I use on her?

  • I have a female with three week old puppies, can I administer this vaccine to the nursing mother?

    • This is a question which is better off left for your veterinarian. I would never recommend giving anything to the mother dog with puppies which might be questionable without the expert advice from a doctor.

  • I gave my black lab the Spectra 9. When I mixed it and used the syringe to draw the liquid it into the syringe there was still a little left in there I could not get out. Is this ok?

  • I am trying to administer the shots myself. The first shot says desiccated vaccine cake. It is like a sponge and I get nothing in the syringe. How do I go about doing this?

  • How long after the vaccine is mixed together in the syringe do I have to use it will it go bad in a few hours??

  • I have a 9 weeks old puppy and she should be traveling internationally with me in 2 weeks. can I give her her rabies shot now? what are the consequences?

  • My puppy received the spectra5 at 6 weeks old. Do we continue with the spectra5 for 3 doses, 3-4 weeks apart? or do we need to switch to the spectra9? Also, would it be ok to use spectra6 for he next 2 doses, if the spectra9 is not needed?

  • Will a vaccine that’s left in the heat still work?

  • I have a 7 month old husky, I just gave her 1 dose of the spectra 5. I didn’t know that since she is over 9 weeks to an adult that she would need 2 doses. Is that going to interfer with the shot not working properly the first time? Would i be able to do 2 with the 3-4 week interval?

comments (22)

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>