Which Vaccines Do My Pets Need?
Part of ensuring your pet’s ongoing health necessitates a yearly visit to your veterinarian, which also might include vaccinations and boosters. Here’s a breakdown of which vaccines you need, based on the type of pet.
Pet vaccines divide into two categories: core and non-core. All pets should have those in the first category, while the second depends on your pet’s lifestyle. Outdoor pets, or those who board often, might need additional vaccines to protect them.
What age should you get vaccines – and how young is too young? Most dogs and cats can have vaccines at 6 weeks of age. Core vaccines prevent your pet from suffering as a result of serious illnesses which are largely fatal if contracted. Discuss risk factors with your vet to determine which inoculations your puppy or kitten needs.
For dogs, core vaccines include rabies and boosters, distemper, parvovirus, and adenovirus (types 1 and 2). Dosages vary based on your dog’s age and, for puppies, are typically broken up into a series if received between six and 16 weeks old. Your vet might recommend some of the non-core vaccines – like parainfluenza, Bordetella, Lyme disease, leptospirosis, and canine influenza.
Similarly, cats need a series of vaccinations, and dosages for kittens (between six and 16 weeks of age) differ from those given to adults. For cats, they should receive all the core vaccines: rabies, feline distemper, feline herpesvirus, and calicivirus. Additional non-core cat vaccines are for feline leukemia virus and Bordetella.
Keep your cat or dog healthy long-term by following the recommended vaccination schedule! This will protect them from viruses and bacteria, other health issues, and can also boost their immune system. And indoor-only pets are not automatically excluded – they can catch airborne bacteria or germs through windows or doors, or carried in on your clothing. And inside cats can be escape artists, sneaking out the door under your feet.
Lastly, make sure to stay away from animals you know or suspect have infections as well as avoiding environments that might carry more diseases.