Why Vaccinate Your Pet
Most pet owners know that it’s important to vaccinate their dogs and cats, however, a surprising number of pets go unvaccinated. Failing to get your pet their recommended vaccines can leave them vulnerable to some serious disease that, in many cases, can be fatal.
Getting your pet vaccinated regularly is vital to helping them live a long and healthy life. Some of the illnesses vaccines can protect your pet from include:
- Canine Distemper
- Bordetella (Kennel Cough)
The specific vaccines your pet needs as well as the frequency between vaccines will depend on your pets age and other factors. If you’re unsure which vaccines your pet needs, it’s important that you seek the advice of a veterinarian right away.
Are Pet Vaccines Safe?
Many of our patients come in with concerns about whether or not vaccinations are safe for their pet. There is a great deal of misleading and unreliable information out there that had some pet owners concerned about the safety of vaccinations. The truth is that negative reactions to vaccinations are not unheard of, however, they are rare. Generally, these reactions including irritation at the injection location or a mild fever. Typically, these symptoms subside within a day or so of being vaccinated.
In very rear cases, an animal may experience an allergic reaction to a vaccination. If you suspect that your pet is having an allergic reaction to a vaccine, you should contact our office immediately. Luckily, these types of reactions or incredibly uncommon, however, in the event that your pet does experience an adverse reaction to an animal vaccine, our team is more than capable of remedying the issue quickly. Ultimately, adverse reactions to a pet vaccine are very uncommon and are rarely serious. The disease that they protect your pets from, however, can be life-threatening.
What Vaccines Does My Pet Need?
When your pet is very young, they should begin getting a series of core vaccines. The recommended schedule for cat vaccines and dog vaccines are different, so be sure to talk to your veterinarian about which vaccinations your pet will need if you’re thinking about bringing a puppy or kitten into your home. Dogs are typically vaccinated for rabies, adenovirus, parvovirus, and distemper. After their initial vaccinations, your vet may recommend that you continue to vaccinate your pet for at least some of these diseases annually. Other vaccinations, such as rabies, can be done every few years depending on your city’s licensing requirements.
If you live in a rural area, or if you do a great deal of traveling with your dog including hunting and camping trips, we may recommend that your pet receives some additional vaccinations. Some of these less common vaccinations can include protection against Lyme disease and rattlesnake bites. When you bring your pet in for their regular checkup, talk to one of our staff members about your particular lifestyle and whether or not your pet may benefit from specialized vaccinations.
How Often Should I Vaccinate My Pet?
If you’re a new pet parent, it’s very important that you start your dog or cat’s life out right by ensuring that they receive their first serious or core vaccinations. Puppies and kittens are particularly susceptible to getting sick as their immune systems are still developing. Common illnesses in puppies, such as parvovirus, can be life threatening so we recommend that you avoid any trips to the dog park or large crowds until your puppy has been fully vaccinated.
After their core vaccinations, your pet will likely require at least some vaccinations at least once a year. In rare cases, such as with dogs that are boarded often, we may recommend that you vaccinate them for common illnesses such as kennel cough more often.
There are some pet owners who maintain that they want to avoid vaccinating their pet as much as possible. In some cases, it may be okay to extend the time in between your pet’s vaccines, however, it’s important that you talk a veterinarian so that you can make an informed decision about your pet’s vaccine schedule. If preferred, we can conduct a titer test to determine if a sufficient amount of antibodies for a disease are still in your pet’s system in lieu of a vaccination. If you do decide to take more time in between vaccinations, it will be that much more important that you bring your pet in for regular examinations by a vet.