Young animals are like kids–it’s a never-ending job to keep them safe and happy. Vaccinating your pet is a relatively inexpensive but very important way to protect his or her health. In addition to preventing many life-threatening illnesses, vaccinations can prevent diseases prevalent in wildlife and those that can be passed to humans. It’s important to administer vaccinations when pets are puppies and kittens because their young immune systems are still developing and need protection to stay healthy.
Pets today can live longer, healthier lives than ever before—in part because of vaccines that help protect them from deadly infectious diseases. Over the years, vaccines against dangerous diseases have saved millions of pets and virtually eliminated some fatal diseases that were once common. Unfortunately, many infectious diseases still pose a significant threat to dogs and cats that are unvaccinated. Although vaccine programs have been highly successful and vaccines are considered routine today, we (as caregivers) and you (as pet parents) cannot afford to become complacent about keeping pets up-to-date on their vaccinations.
While any medical treatment involves some degree of risk, in the case of vaccinations, the benefits far outweigh any potential side effects. Adverse reactions are rare and usually mild and short-term when they do occur. We understand that your pet is unique and that no single vaccine program will be ideal for every pet in every situation. Our doctors and other staff members are well-educated about veterinary vaccines, and our goal is to give you the best advice for keeping your pet healthy. Let us develop a vaccination schedule and ongoing booster routine that accounts for your pet’s lifestyle, overall health, risk for exposure to infectious disease, and other factors.
Which vaccines should your pet have? “Core” vaccines are those recommended—and possibly mandated by law—for most pets. Core vaccines include:
- Rabies (dogs and cats)
- DA2PPV – Distemper, Hepatitis, Adenovirus 2, Parvo and Parainfluenza (dogs)
- FVRCP – Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus and Panleukopenia (cats)
Other non-core, but highly suggested vaccinations for cats include FIV for feline immunodeficiency virus and FeLV to protect against feline leukemia. For dogs, bordetella and canine influenza shots are recommended if they frequent dog parks, boarding kennels, or any place where they’re socializing with other canines.
It’s also important to note that even pets who live primarily indoors should be vaccinated, as they can still be exposed to a