Sometimes having a pet is like having children—it can seem like a never-ending job to keep them healthy and happy. It’s always worth it, though, to take the precautions necessary to ensure that the most vulnerable among us are protected from harm.
Vaccinating your pet is a relatively inexpensive but essential way to protect his or her health. In addition to preventing many life-threatening illnesses, vaccinations can keep diseases prevalent in wildlife from infecting your pet and being passed on to the humans in your household.
It’s important to administer vaccinations when your pets are puppies and kittens because their young immune systems are still developing and need protection to stay healthy.
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.
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)
- Lepto (dogs)
- DA2PPV – Distemper, Hepatitis, Adenovirus 2, Parvo, and Parainfluenza (dogs)
- FVRCP – Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, and Panleukopenia (cats)
Other non-core, but high-priority vaccinations for cats include FIV for feline immunodeficiency virus and FeLV to protect against feline leukemia. Bordetella and canine influenza shots are recommended for dogs 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 disease. Your Parkway Animal Center veterinarian can advise you which vaccinations are required or recommended for your pet based on age, health, and lifestyle. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call us at (707) 425-4050.