At Old Orchard Animal Clinic, we encourage all pet owners to vaccinate their cats and dogs. Vaccination not only saves your pets from the pain and discomfort of disease, it also saves you from the cost of expensive treatments for preventable diseases. In addition, vaccines protect you and your other human family members from contracting zoonotic diseases which can be passed from animals to humans. Vaccines truly are good for your whole family.
How Does Vaccination Work?
Vaccinations work the same way for pets as they do for humans. When the vaccine is administered, a small portion of dead or partial virus is injected. The body’s immune system then reacts, creating antibodies to fight the virus without the patient ever becoming sick. Then the next time the patient encounters that same virus, his or her body will already have well developed immune defenses in place, preventing them from becoming infected.
What Vaccines Does My Pet Need?
Two categories of vaccines exist: core and non-core vaccines. Core vaccines include those required by law (rabies) and others which protect against diseases that are extremely common, contagious and life-threatening. Non-core vaccines include optional vaccines, which might be recommended based on your pet’s lifestyle and other factors such as: indoors or outdoors, wildlife exposure, climate, travel plans and the number of other animals they interact with.
Are There Any Risks Associated with Vaccinating Pets?
Like most medical treatments, vaccinations do not come completely without risks. On very rare occasions, a pet might experience an adverse reaction to a vaccination. These reactions, however, are uncommon and most often mild. The health benefits of vaccination by far outweigh any risks.
When Should Pets Be Vaccinated?
Between six and eight weeks of age, puppies and kittens should begin their schedule of vaccinations. During the first two years of their lives, they will require more frequent vaccinations and booster shots. After this time, pets typically require boosters every one to three years, depending on their individual schedule and vaccination type.
Schedule a Preventative Care Appointment at Old Orchard Animal Clinic
With the aim of keeping your pet well by preventing disease, rather than treating illness after it occurs, vaccinations are a critical component to every pet’s proactive wellness care plan. To update your pet’s vaccinations or begin your new pet’s vaccination routine, contact our office to schedule a wellness appointment today.