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.
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)
- DHP – Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus (dogs)
- FVRCP – Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, and Panleukopenia (cats)
Other non-core, but highly suggested vaccinations for cats include FeLV to protect against feline leukemia virus.
Non-core vaccines for dogs are recommended based on their lifestyle. Bordetella and Canine Influenza vaccines are recommended if they frequent dog parks, boarding kennels, or any place where they’re socializing with other canines. Community Pet Healthcare recommends that dogs with access to bodies of water—such as lakes, streams, ponds, or puddles—are vaccinated against Leptospirosis, which is a bacterial disease that can affect animals and humans. The Lyme vaccination is recommended for dogs that have frequent tick exposure—such as dogs that go hiking, camping, or hunting. Ticks can transmit multiple diseases, such as Lyme disease, and they are often found in wooded areas and tall grass.
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 Community Pet Healthcare 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 317-344-0906.
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