Video Center Printable Instructions


Many pet owners want to give their pet's vaccinations at home. Vaccinations are very important for your dog's health. When you take your dog to your veterinarian for his annual exam, ask what vaccines your pet should have, and how often. Vaccination types and frequency will depend on the age and health status of your pet, as well as the potential for your pet to be exposed to a particular disease, and how common the disease is in the geographical area where the dog lives or may visit.

Most vaccines are delivered subcutaneously, or just under the skin. Subcutaneous vaccines are easy enough to do at home. We recommend, however, that you take your pet to a veterinarian for intramuscular vaccines, those that must be injected into a muscle. Be sure to double check your vaccine before you order, and again once it arrives, to make sure it is supposed to be administered subcutaneously.

Your vaccine typically arrives with two separate tiny containers. The two vials must be mixed to activate the vaccine. Some dog vaccines, however, come in a single vial with no mixing required.

Some vaccine manufacturers include a needle and syringe, others do not. If the needle/syringe is not included in the vaccine you order, we have them available for purchase. Be sure you have separate needles/syringes for each pet in your home. Even though the typical vaccine dose size is 1 cc, a 3cc syringe is typically used for vaccines. For adult cats and dogs, a 22 gauge needle and 3cc syringe are standard. For kittens or puppies, you can use the smaller 25 gauge needle and a 3cc syringe. Remember, do not use your syringes or needles more than once.


Tighten the needle on your syringe and insert it into the liquid vial. Withdrawl all the liquid. Before you begin, make sure the needle is screwed tightly onto the syringe. Take the cap off the needle and set the cap next to you. You will need it later for disposal. Take care to avoid contact with the needle.

To begin, tighten the needle on your syringe and insert it into the liquid vial. Withdraw all the liquid.

Inject the liquid into the vial containing the freeze-dried or powdered vaccine.

Inject the liquid into the vial containing freeze-dried or powdered vaccine. Remove the needle and shake the vial for a few seconds to mix the liquid and powder well.

Then, insert the needle back into the vial and withdraw the entire mixed contents. Be sure to inject any excess air in the syringe back into the vial. You are now ready to give the vaccine.

Remove the needle and shake the vial for a few seconds to mix the liquid and powder well. Once you get your vaccination ready to administer, gather your pet and choose a location in your home that is comfortable for both of you. Make sure you have comfortable access to your pet. If your pet is extra energetic or excited, you may have to put him/her on a table or other elevated surface for vaccinations. This helps calm your pet; veterinarians occasionally use this approach with energetic pets.

Most vaccines are injected under the skin - not into the muscle. Gently stroke the loose skin over either shoulder.

By the way, there are differences in how you vaccinate your cat - so be sure to watch the cat vaccination video.

Lift the skin, insert the needle and inject the contents of the syringe. The vaccine should be delivered in the loose skin over either shoulder. When you lift the skin, it forms a triangle shape. Aim down into the lower portion of the triangle, at a 45-degree angle. Be careful not to push the needle all the way through the fold of skin and out the other side. Push the plunger and inject the entire dose of vaccine.

Then, recap the needle. To dispose of the needle, simply slide the needle back into the cap. Tip up the needle and push the cap into place. Do not dispose of the needle or syringe in your garbage. We suggest you take it to your local pharmacy or public health clinic for disposal.

If you are going to administer multiple vaccines, use the opposite shoulder for the second vaccination. That way, you will be able to identify the source of any problems that may occur at the site of injection.

Always monitor your dog for at least 2-3 hours after giving a vaccine. If you notice vomiting, hives, lethargy or breathing problems, contact your veterinarian immediately. Your pet may develop a small, painless swelling at the vaccination site. Do not rub it. This should disappear in several weeks; if not, consult your veterinarian.

It's that easy and safe. Your dog will hardly notice the injection.

Be sure to reward him with a small treat and lots of praise.