Did you know that August is National Immunization Awareness Month for both humans and pets? Not only is it important for you to be aware of the immunizations that could protect you and your human family, it’s also important to be aware that vaccinations are important for your furry best friends.
What Are Pet Vaccines and Why Do They Matter?
Vaccinations are medicines that when introduced to your pet’s system create an immune response that can prevent certain diseases and lessen the severity of others. They provide protection for your pet from contagious diseases and those that can even kill them.
When Should I Vaccinate My Pet?
This varies by species and age, but initial vaccines are recommended once a pet has been weaned from its parent, around six to eight weeks of age. From there, your vet will provide you with a schedule for regularly updating vaccines to keep your pet protected. For routine vaccinations, you should expect yearly boosters.
What Vaccines Should My Pet Get?
This also depends on the pet and their age, but standard vaccines for dogs include rabies, distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parainfluenza, parvovirus and bordetella. For cats, you can expect vaccinations for rabies, feline leukemia and FVRCP (respiratory and distemper). WebMD has a recommended full schedule that you can check out here.
Should I Vaccinate My Indoor Pet?
If you have a pet that is always indoors, typically a cat, it may seem like they don’t need to be vaccinated. After all, they aren’t outdoors where they run the risk of contracting a disease, right? Even if your pet is indoors, some states mandate a rabies vaccination as a preventative measure, so check with your local laws. Additionally, some diseases can be brought into the home by you through contact with a diseased animal elsewhere. Plus, even the strictest of homebodies can sometimes make a getaway and find themselves outdoors, therefore it’s always best to play it safe and vaccinate your pet.
When was the last time your pet received their vaccinations? Is it time for them to have their biannual checkup and boosters? If you’re unsure, reach out to us to discuss your pet’s health and vaccination schedule.