August is National Immunization Awareness Month, a time dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of vaccinations, not just for humans but also for pets. It’s the perfect time to double-check that your pet is up-to-date with their vaccinations!
Why Vaccinate Your Pets?
Regularly scheduled wellness exams and vaccines keep your pet healthy. Vaccinating pets is an ongoing process, starting when they’re young and continuing throughout their lives. Vaccinations help to prevent diseases.
Pet vaccines are usually split into two categories:
Core Vaccines are vaccines that are considered essential and are recommended for all pets. They protect pets from severe life-threatening diseases caused by viruses that have a global distribution.
- Core vaccines for dogs: Parvo, Distemper, Hepatitis (adenovirus), Rabies
- Core vaccines for cats: Feline panleukopenia (distemper), Feline calicivirus, feline herpesvirus (rhinotracheitis), Rabies, Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) (considered core in kittens)
- In fact, current rabies vaccinations are required in many states to protect people and pets.
Non-core Vaccines are considered optional and given based on your pet’s lifestyle (staying inside, meeting with other pets, etc.), where you live, and your pet’s medical history. Several non-core vaccines protect against highly contagious or potentially life-threatening diseases.
- Non-core vaccines for dogs: Bordetella, Borrelia, Leptospirosis, Influenza
- Non-core vaccines for cats: Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) (considered noncore in adults), Bordetella, Feline chlamydiosis
When Should Your Pet Get Vaccinated?
The vaccination schedule for cats and dogs can vary, but typically kittens and puppies get their first vaccines when they’re around 6-8 weeks old. After that, they receive additional vaccines every 3-4 weeks until they’re about 16 weeks old. Once this initial series is completed, boosters are generally given annually or every three years, depending on the vaccine and the pet’s risk factors.
As a responsible pet parent, it is vital to actively participate in the vaccination process. Regular vet visits ensure your pet receives their vaccines and stay healthy. A happy pet starts with good health, so take a moment to check if your fur babies are up-to-date on their vaccinations so they can live a long and joyful life.
If your pet needs vaccines, book an appointment at our Wellness Clinic. Our clinic offers weekday appointments for routine veterinary care and vaccinations. Book today.