Sometimes having a pet is like having children—it can seem like a never-ending job to keep them healthy and happy. Vaccinating your pet is a relatively inexpensive but essential way to protect his or her health. In addition to preventing many life-threatening illnesses, vaccinations can prevent diseases prevalent in wildlife and those that can be passed to humans. It’s important to administer vaccinations when pets are puppies and kittens because their young immune systems are still developing and need protection to stay healthy.
While any medical treatment involves some degree of risk, in the case of vaccinations, the benefits far outweigh any potential side effects. Adverse reactions are rare and usually mild and short-term when they do occur.
Which vaccines should your pet have? “Core” vaccines are those recommended—and possibly mandated by law—for most pets. For dogs, they include:
- DA2PPV – Distemper, Hepatitis, Adenovirus 2, Parvo, and Parainfluenza
For cats, we recommend Rabies and the FVRCP or Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, and Panleukopenia vaccine as well as FeLV for all kitties — even indoor ones — for the first year to protect against feline leukemia.
It’s also important to note that even pets who live primarily indoors should be vaccinated, as they can still be exposed to disease. Your Mercer Street veterinarian can advise you on which vaccinations are required or recommended for your pet based on age, health, and lifestyle. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call us at (206) 285-0395.