The proper administration of vaccines is a vital aspect of keeping your dog or cat healthy. Vaccines keep pets free of many serious infectious diseases.
For vaccination protocols, we follow recommendations established by The American Animal Hospital Association or AAHA, an organization that sets the standard for veterinary excellence. AAHA’s guidelines divide vaccines into two categories:
Every pet should have these and some are even required by law. Core vaccines address severe (some fatal) diseases and those that may spread to and infect humans or other animals.
- Core vaccinations for dogs include distemper, parvovirus, parainfluenza, adenovirus, and rabies.
- Core vaccinations for cats include rabies, panleukopenia, rhinotracheitis, and calicivirus.
Core vaccinations can be given every three years, as long as the booster has been given within 365 days of the initial vaccine.
Pets should receive these depending on their exposure risk. Many vaccines are available for use in dogs and cats, but not every pet needs every available vaccine. For example, the needs of a young hunting dog will be much different from an elderly lap dog.
- Non-core vaccinations for dogs include bordetella, leptospirosis, Lyme, rattlesnake, and influenza.
- The leukemia vaccine is recommended for all outdoor cats.
Non-core vaccines require annual boosters.
Puppy and Kitten Vaccinations
Vaccinations for puppies and kittens start at approximately six weeks of age and boosters are given every three weeks until they are 15 to 17 weeks of age. The rabies vaccine is administered at the last puppy/kitten visit. In addition to vaccines, we will also recommend protocols to protect your pet against parasites, fleas, and heartworm. Preventive products should be started between six to eight weeks of age.
A Lifetime of Protection
Vaccines will be given throughout your pet’s life, either on a regular schedule typically at wellness exams or when exposure to specific diseases is heightened, like at a boarding kennel. Again, we will customize a vaccine protocol for your pet based on the risk of exposure. Count on us to do “all the homework” to make sure your pet is protected.
Recommendations and Reminders
Vaccine recommendations can change throughout a pet’s life, as travel habits and other variables change. We will consider all these factors as we determine which vaccines your pet should receive.
Sometimes it is difficult to keep pet vaccination schedules straight—what types and when are they due? This is especially true in today’s busy family lives and more so if you have multiple pets. You can count on us to monitor what is due and when and to provide timely advance reminders.
Reminders can be emailed, texted, or mailed. Just let us know what you prefer! Feel free to check your pet’s health and vaccine history on our pet portal, which also includes vaccine due dates.
Call our hospital today to set up an appointment to discuss your pet’s vaccination needs.