August is National Immunization Awareness Month, so we thought to get a jump start by providing you with the information that you need to know when it comes to vaccinating your pets. Vaccinating your family members is important, and that includes your furry friends.
Did you know that giving your pet the proper immunizations can prevent serious diseases? These include: distemper, hepatitis, rabies, parvo virus, rhinotracheitis, and calivirus. In addition to your pet contracting these diseases, some of these can be transferred from your pet to the humans in your family.
So you may be asking yourself, which vaccines should I give to my pet?
It’s different for each individual animal, however there are “core vaccines” (diseases that are easily transferable to humans or fatal to animals) that every cat or every dog should get.
According to the American Association of Feline Practitioners, cats should be given immunizations, every three years, for core diseases such as:
- Rabies - Rabies virus is fatal and all mammals are susceptible to infections. In most states, cats are required by law to receive the rabies vaccination.
- distemper - this vaccination protects against Viral Rhinotracheitis, Callcivirus, and Panleukopenia.
Dogs should be given immunizations for core diseases every one to three years:
- distemper - this vaccination protects against Distemper, Hepatitis, Para influenza, and Parvovirus.
- Rabies - Rabies virus is fatal and all mammals are susceptible to infections. In most states, dogs are required by law to receive the rabies vaccination.
Your pet can also receive vaccinations for non-core diseases. For cats, these include Bordetella, Chlamydophila, feline infectious peritonitis, and feline leukemia. For dogs, these include kennel cough, leptospirosis, and Lyme disease. Depending on your geographical location and pet’s lifestyle, your veterinarian may recommend other vaccinations.
For these vaccines, you should consult with your vet on how often your pet gets vaccinated because different factors such as breed, age, health, lifestyle (indoor vs outdoor, foods they eat, etc.), and travel habits can affect their recommendations.