National Immunization Awareness Month serves to raise awareness about the need for immunizations. Just like humans, our pets need protection from diseases and illness. Vaccines are a proven way to help them develop immune responses and prepare them to fight off future illnesses. As a pet owner, there is no higher priority than ensuring your dog or cat's health and happiness. So let's dig in…
Vaccinations form the basis of your pet's complete wellness program since they guard against a variety of severe and highly infectious diseases. Most experts agree that the extensive use of vaccines over the past century has saved millions of animals from sickness and death. Due to the persistent presence of these dangerous disease agents in the environment today, vaccination continues to be strongly advised, even as once-common infectious diseases have now become uncommon.
Vaccines for dogs and cats are divided into two groups: core vaccines and non-core vaccines. Core vaccines are recommended for all pets either because the disease the vaccine protects against is extremely severe and/or especially common, or the disease is a threat to humans. Non-core vaccines are recommended only for those pets whose lifestyles or living situations place them at risk for the disease in question. Your veterinarian can advise you on what's best for your pet and why.
The sort of vaccines your pet receives will determine how frequently they must be given. Initial vaccines should be given to your puppies and kittens starting at six to eight weeks of age, with the final dose administered when your pet is 16 weeks old.
Studies indicate most pets have immunity to the illnesses for which they are vaccinated for at least three years following the first annual booster. In general, your pet's core vaccinations should be readministered every three years. Most of your pet's non-core vaccinations should be administered annually. But we always advise speaking to your veterinarian to establish an immunization regimen that is right for your pet.
To schedule an appointment for your dog or cat, call Onalaska Animal Hospital today. Dr. Nicole can give you more information on preventative care and how vaccinations can help your pet live a long and healthy life. We are eager to get to know you and your pet. Call us at (608) 668-6777 today to make an appointment for your pet's checkup!