Vaccinations for Dogs and Cats

A vaccination, also known as an immunization, is a medication which stimulates an immune response to provide protection against a particular disease, or group of diseases. Vaccinations are commonly given to pets to protect them from specific diseases. Unless properly vaccinated, a pet may be at risk of contracting one of several, possibly fatal, infectious diseases. Vaccines are typically given to pets for the most serious and common of these diseases, and are usually extremely effective in fighting disease.

Most vaccines in animals are given annually, unless indicated differently by the veterinarian. Puppies and kittens require more frequent vaccinations to protect their immune system. Vaccinations also help to reduce virus transmission within the pet population. Routinely vaccinating a pet helps to protect a pet's immune system so it can lead a healthy life.

Vaccinations for Dogs

Routine vaccinations for dogs include:

  • Rabies
  • Distemper
  • Parvovirus
  • Hepatitis

Vaccinations for Lyme disease or Leptospirosis may also be recommended depending on the dog's environment.

Vaccinations for Cats

Routine vaccinations for cats include:

  • Rabies
  • Feline Distemper
  • Feline leukemia (kittens)
  • Feline rhinotracheitis
  • Feline calicvirus

Additional vaccinations may be recommended for both cats and dogs, depending on the environment they live in, genetics, health history and the advice of the veterinarian.

Side Effects of Vaccinations

Side effects of vaccinations are rare, but may include:

  • Swelling at the injection site
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fever
  • Lethargy

There is an extremely slight chance of the animals contracting the disease that they are being vaccinated against, however, the overall benefits of vaccinations greatly outweigh the risks.

Vaccinations are an important part of protecting a pet's health.

Additional Resources