Immunization Awareness and Pets

With all of the talk about Covid-19 and a vaccine, you may have forgotten about your regular immunizations. Since August is National Immunization Awareness Month, this is the perfect time to check your records and make appointments for both you and your pets.

Giving your pet the proper immunizations can prevent serious diseases, such as distemper, hepatitis, rabies, parvovirus, rhinotracheitis, and calicivirus. In addition to your pet contracting these diseases, some of these can be transferred from your pet to the humans in your family.

Which vaccines should you give your 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:
• Rhinotracheitis
• Calicivirus
• Rabies
• distemper

According to the American Animal Hospital Association, dogs should be given immunizations for core diseases every one to three years:
• distemper
• rabies
• adenovirus
• Bordetella (parvovirus)

Your pet can also receive vaccinations for non-core diseases as well. For cats, these include Bordetella, Chlamydophila, feline infectious peritonitis, and feline leukemia. For dogs, these include kennel cough, leptospirosis, and Lyme disease.

For these vaccines, you should consult with your veterinarian on how often your pet requires the vaccine because factors such as breed, age, health, lifestyle (indoor vs outdoor, foods they eat, etc.), and travel habits can affect their recommendations.

So during this month of Immunization Awareness, take time to check your pet’s records and see if they are due for a vaccine.

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