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.
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. Dog and cat vaccinations are important in maintaining your pet’s health.
What Pets Need to be Vaccinated?
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. Getting your pet their puppy shots or kitten shots helps them build protection against preventable diseases. It’s a cost-effective way to help them stay healthy and have a long life.
It’s also important to note that even pets who live primarily indoors should be vaccinated, as they can still be exposed to a disease. Your Heritage veterinarian can advise you which vaccinations are required or recommended for your pet based on age, health, and lifestyle.
Core Dog & Cat Vaccines
Which vaccines should your pet have? “Core” pet 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)
Highly Suggested Pet Vaccines
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.