Does my pet need to be vaccinated?

Should I get my pet vaccinated? 

Great question, pet parent! The short answer: YES! Vaccinations for your pet protects them from all sorts of diseases and illnesses that can be life threatening, as well as dangerous for you. Vaccinations protect your pet from highly contagious and deadly diseases and improve your pet's overall quality of life! The widespread use of vaccinations has prevented death and disease in millions of animals, protecting themselves, as well as the environment around them. It is routine for every new pet to go through a series of vaccinations at a young age so they can live out a healthy, happy life. 

What Are Pet Vaccinations?

Pet vaccinations are just like human vaccinations. They are medicines that help build our pet’s immune system against diseases such as rabies, parvo, and bordetella. They are usually implemented in series when the pet is a puppy or kitten, because young animals are highly susceptible to infectious disease, as their immune system is not yet fully mature.

What vaccinations does my pet need and how often do they need them?

Although there is no clear cut list for pet vaccinations, there is a general list that is typically recommended for our pets. There are “core vaccinations” that are either recommended or required, depending on where you live, and then “non-core” vaccinations, that are special to either your pet or your geography. It is important to bring your new pet in to get a doctor’s recommendation that will best serve your family. 

Below is a general guideline of the puppy vaccination schedule for the first year. Although going to the vet repeatedly over several months for vaccinations, and then for boosters or Titers throughout your dog’s life, may seem like an inconvenience, but the diseases that vaccinations will shield your pets from are dangerous, potentially deadly, and, thankfully, mostly preventable. Plus, these appointments are usually quick and easy!

Puppy vaccinations

Adult dog vaccinations

Kitten Vaccinations 

Adult cat vaccinations

Again, these are simply guidelines and typical schedules - each pet is different based on age, health history, and geography!

Are there side effects to my pet's vaccinations?

Although mild, it is common for pets to experience some or all of the following side effects after receiving a vaccine, usually starting within a few hours of the vaccination. It means their immune system is working! If these side effects last for more than a day or two, or cause your pet significant discomfort, it is important for you to contact your veterinarian:

  • Discomfort and local swelling at the vaccination site
  • Mild fever
  • Decreased appetite and activity
  • Sneezing, mild coughing, "snotty nose"
  • A small, firm swelling under the skin may develop at the site of a recent vaccination. It should start to disappear within a couple weeks. If it persists more than three weeks, or seems to be getting larger, you should contact your veterinarian. 

Although extremely rare, your pet may experience the following symptoms after a vaccination. If you notice these within minutes to hours after a vaccine, make sure to contact your veterinarian right away. 

  • Persistent vomiting or diarrhea
  • Itchy skin that may seem bumpy ("hives")
  • Swelling of the muzzle and around the face, neck, or eyes
  • Severe coughing or difficulty breathing
  • Collapse

In conclusion, vaccinations are a vital part of keeping your pet healthy and protected. Whether you welcome your new pet into your home at a very young age, or adopt them a bit older, it is always important to ensure they are up to date on all vaccinations recommended by your veterinarian. We are on a mission to keep your pet as healthy and happy as possible, so when it comes to vaccinations, we have your tail covered!

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