If you want to protect your pet from contagious diseases, it’s essential to keep them current on their vaccinations. This is vital even if your cat or dog is mainly an indoor pet. Many contagious diseases are airborne which means your pet could even be exposed through an open window. There is also the possibility that your pet could slip out the door when you’re not looking and become exposed in that way.
The likelihood of your pet’s exposure to disease increases considerably if you take them to areas such as boarding kennels, grooming salons, daycare facilities, and dog parks. Be sure to talk with your veterinarian before taking your pet to any of these places to make sure that they have the proper vaccination coverage. You should also bear in mind that most pet vaccinations take at least a few days to become effective, with some even taking up to a few weeks.
Core Vaccinations for Dogs and Cats
There are two types of vaccines: core and non-core. Core vaccines are those that are considered to be essential for every pet. Non-core pet vaccinations are not essential but may be recommended by your vet based on your pet’s lifestyle and risk of exposure to certain diseases.
Here are the vaccinations that are considered to be essential for dogs:
- Rabies: Rabies is a virus that can be fatal. All mammals are susceptible to infection. Most states require that dogs receive regular rabies vaccinations.
- DHPP: This is commonly called the “distemper shot.” It’s a combination vaccine that provides protection against four diseases: distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza and parvovirus.
These are the core vaccines recommended for cats:
- Rabies: (See description above)
- FVRCP: This is a combination vaccine that protects against three diseases: feline viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus and panleukopenia (which is sometimes called “feline distemper”).
Your veterinarian might also recommend additional, non-core pet vaccinations depending on your pet’s lifestyle. For example, if you regularly take your dog for long hikes in the woods, they should be given a vaccine for Lyme, a common but devastating tick-borne disease. If your cat will be spending time outdoors, they should be vaccinated against feline leukemia.
If you have any questions about which vaccines your pet will require, feel free to give us a call at 228-872-1231. We’re happy to talk to you about your pet’s vaccination needs.