Vaccines are an essential part of your pet’s preventative care and can help protect against infectious diseases. This month, Cloquet Animal Hospital is celebrating National Immunization Awareness Month by sharing some important information about your pet’s health. 

In this article, we’ll discuss what you need to know about pet vaccines and answer some of the most common questions about getting your pet vaccinated. 

Why Vaccines are Important

Throughout your pet’s life, they will be exposed to various diseases from wildlife, insects, and other pets. Unfortunately, some of these diseases can be extremely dangerous and affect your pet’s long-term health. Vaccines are designed to boost your pet’s immunity and protect against some of the most common diseases your pet may encounter. Diseases such as rabies can be fatal so protecting your pet is essential. 

When to Get Your Pet Vaccinated 

Both cats and dogs are born without a fully functioning immune system. During their first few weeks of life, their mother’s milk provides antibodies that provide some level of protection. However, as your pet gets older, these maternal antibodies fade and make them more susceptible to disease. 

Because of this, your pet should receive their first round of vaccines between 6 and 8 weeks of age. This set of vaccines will prime your pet’s immune system. However, additional shots are needed to ensure your pet is fully protected. Booster shots are administered every few weeks until your pet is 14-16 weeks of age. This is essential for building your pet’s immune system and providing long-term protection.

Keep in mind that immunity will fade, and additional vaccines will be necessary throughout your pet’s life.  How frequently your pet will need to be vaccinated will depend on the specific vaccine they receive. Some vaccines can provide protection for several years, while others are required annually.

What Vaccinations Does Your Pet Need

Knowing which vaccines your pet needs can be confusing for many pet owners. Luckily, our team at Cloquet Animal Hospital is here to help. Your pet’s vaccines are typically broken down into two categories: core and non-core vaccines. Core vaccines are vaccines that we recommend for all pets. Non-core vaccines are additional vaccines that may be recommended based on your pet’s lifestyle and disease risk. 

In dogs, core vaccines include: 

  • Rabies 
  • Canine Distemper
  • Canine Parvovirus 
  • Canine Adenovirus

In cats, core vaccines include: 

  • Rabies
  • Feline Calicivirus
  • Feline Herpesvirus 
  • Feline Panleukopenia 
  • Feline Leukemia 

Some common non-core vaccines include vaccines for Lyme Disease, Leptospirosis, and Canine Bordetella. When your pet comes in for their vaccine appointment, we can discuss your pet’s disease risk and make recommendations based on their unique needs. 

Final Thoughts 

Vaccines are critical for your pet’s long-term health. We hope this information has given you a better understanding of your pet’s needs and why vaccines are so important. If you have additional vaccine questions or would like to schedule a vaccine appointment, please give us a call at 218-879-9280.

We look forward to hearing from you and getting your pet vaccinated!

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