We all want to be responsible pet owners, and that involves ensuring our pets get their required shots and other healthcare needs met. But the cost of these can add up—particularly when it comes to puppy shots! Our puppies need to have quite a few shots over the course of several months, so it could be a big expense depending on where you go.
Luckily, you have a few options on where you can take your puppy to get its shots. You could just go to the vet (probably the most expensive option), but you could also go to a shot clinic or a pet store partnered with a local animal hospital that provides cheaper pet healthcare. PetSmart1 is one such store.
PetSmart has been partnered with Banfield Hospitals2 for quite a while to provide you with lower-cost healthcare. More recently, the company has partnered up with ShotVet3, which is a mobile vaccination clinic. And some PetSmart stores have independently owned and operated vet clinics inside them. Since PetSmart can be found in over 1,500 locations, there’s likely one near you. But how much do puppy shots cost at PetSmart?
The Importance of Vaccinations for Your Puppy
Vaccines for our pups are necessary to keep them in the best health possible, as vaccines help ward off specific illnesses and diseases. Younger animals especially need the help of vaccines as their immune systems aren’t yet fully functional, making them more susceptible to getting ill. Puppies will require their first shots around 6–8 weeks (though if you’re purchasing through a breeder, the breeder probably covered this round). Then shots are given approximately every 2–4 weeks, often up till the age of 16–20 weeks. After all the original shots are given, your dog will only need booster shots every couple of years.
Some vaccines your puppy will require will be distemper/parvo and rabies. Other vaccines will be given depending on where you live and the state of your puppy’s health (these are known as non-core); they include parainfluenza, Bordetella, leptospirosis, Lyme disease, and canine influenza.
So, vaccinations can save your little one’s life and save you a whole lot on vet bills in the long term!
How Much Do Puppy Shots Cost at PetSmart?
Getting your puppy its shots through PetSmart will vary in cost depending on whether you go through Banfield, a vet clinic in-store, or ShotVet, as well as your geographical location, and which shots your pup is required to receive.
To set up an appointment for shots with ShotVet, you’ll go to ShotVet’s website and choose a clinic at your PetSmart. Then you’ll save an appointment date and time to show up (there is an option to pre-purchase packages of shots, but you can pay at the store as well). The ShotVet website lists the same prices across the board for shots, so it doesn’t seem to matter where you’re located in the U.S.
*Proof of previous non-expired rabies required
**Booster required 4 weeks after first vaccine
ShotVet also offers packages of shots for puppies and dogs that could save you a few bucks. The puppy packages are:
- Puppy A (DA2PP & strategic deworm) for $67
- Puppy B (DA2PP & strategic deworm & Influenza (H3N8)) for $84
- Puppy C (DA2PP & strategic deworm & Influenza (H3N8) & Bordetella & rabies) for $99
- Puppy Club (all 3 series of puppy shots) for $179
Vaccinations done at Banfield Hospitals through the PetSmart partnership work a bit differently as you’ll have them done at the hospital. Prices are close to (though a bit cheaper in some areas) than the prices of ShotVet. They offer fewer shots than ShotVet, though most of the shots they don’t carry are non-core. Banfield Hospitals also doesn’t separate puppy from dog on their website, so prices should be the same no matter your dog’s age.
Here are estimated costs for the core geographical regions in the United States.
|Shot Type||West Coast||East Coast||Midwest||Southern U.S.|
Prices for PetSmart’s in-store clinics are a bit harder to track down, but we did locate the average prices for puppy shots. Costs and shot availability will vary by location, though. These clinics offer the following puppy packages.
There’s also a package of shots listed under dog & cat care that includes rabies, lepto, Bordetella, DAPP, and an office fee for $140.
Additional Costs to Anticipate
You really shouldn’t need to pay any additional costs when you’re getting puppy shots. There’s a rare chance your pup could need some bloodwork or tests before it’s allowed to get the vaccines. And depending on where you’re located, you might need to get some of the non-core vaccines (such as the rattlesnake one), which could add to the cost.
Overall, though, there shouldn’t be any additional costs to you, just the costs of the puppy shots.
How Often Should I Get Puppy Shots for My Dog?
As we said previously, your pup should receive its first set of shots between 6–8 weeks old. If you’re purchasing your dog, you likely won’t have to take care of this one yourself. But after that first round of shots, your pup will require shots every few weeks until it’s 16–20 weeks. If your puppy is already over the age of 16 weeks or you just aren’t sure how old it is, your vet may vary this and make the shot series shorter.
After the initial puppy vaccinations, your dog should only need booster shots. The DHP booster is given yearly, while the rabies booster is given every 1–3 years (state laws vary on how often a booster for this is required).
Does Pet Insurance Cover Puppy Shots?
The majority of regular pet insurance plans cover puppy shots, as traditionally, pet insurance doesn’t cover routine care. But most pet insurance companies do offer add-ons that cover preventative care, and vaccinations are sometimes included. This really depends on what pet insurance company you’re using, though.
However, if you go with Banfield Hospital to get your puppy’s shots, you may want to take advantage of their Optimal Wellness Plans. These plans do cover vaccinations along with a host of other healthcare-related items. You’d be making monthly payments for these wellness plans, and these payments will vary by location, but they tend to start at around $26/month.
Can My Puppy Go Outside Without Puppy Shots?
Letting your puppy go outside without vaccinations risks your pet catching illnesses or even fatal diseases such as rabies. Because a puppy’s immune system isn’t fully developed, it’s more likely to become ill than a fully grown dog. That doesn’t necessarily mean your pet can’t go outside until it’s had all its shots, though.
While many vets do recommend that puppies stay inside until all their vaccinations are done, others do not. So, speak with your vet about when they advise letting your pup outside for the first time after their vaccinations.
The cost of puppy shots can add up, but there are ways to save money. Rather than taking your puppy to the vet to get its shots, you could try going through PetSmart. PetSmart offers multiple options for getting puppy shots, including in-store clinics, a partnership with Banfield Hospitals, and ShotVet. All are comparable in price, though prices will vary by where you live in the U.S. Using Petsmart to get puppy shots should save you a bit of money, though!