The Importance of Vaccinating Your Pet
Just like proper nutrition and regular exercise are part of a healthy and balanced lifestyle for your best furry friend, keeping up with your pet’s vaccination schedule is just as important in ensuring your dog or cat’s health and wellness.
Vaccines are vital in helping to prepare your pet’s immune system to fight off the disease-causing organisms when they come into contact with them. The way vaccines work is that they contain antigens that stimulate the body’s immune system. So, if your pet is ever exposed to the disease or virus, their body is able to easily recognize what it is and fight it off entirely, or at the very least, reduce its severity.
The 2 most important vaccinations for dogs are:
- Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza and Parvovirus (DHPP). This is commonly referred to as the “Distemper Shot” and is usually combined to protect against all four of these diseases.
- Rabies. Since the rabies virus is fatal to both humans and animals, it’s actually required by law in most states that all dogs get this vaccination.
Other vaccinations that you should consider for your dog are:
- Bordetella (aka Kennel Cough)
- Lyme Disease
- Canine Influenza
- Corona Virus
The 2 most important vaccinations for cats are:
- Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus and Panleukopenia (FVRCP). This is commonly referred to the “Distemper Shot” and combines to protect against these three feline diseases.
- Rabies. Just like for dogs, most states require by law that cats are vaccinated against this virus.
Other vaccinations that you should consider for your cat are:
- Feline Leukemia (Felv)
- Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP)
Common Risks and Reactions
All medications, including vaccinations, come with some risks. However, if any reactions do occur, they are usually temporary and well worth keeping your best furry friend healthy for many years to come. Common symptoms caused by some of the vaccinations can include soreness at the injection site, fever, and mild allergic reactions.
When to Vaccinate
The best way to determine when to vaccinate your pet and which vaccines your pet needs is to talk to your veterinarian. Most vaccination schedules begin early in your pet’s life and continue on an annual basis. There are some versions of the rabies vaccine that are given every three years instead of yearly.
Apps Make it Easy
Vaccinating your pet is so important that smart phone technology now makes easy for you to keep track of your pet’s health and vaccinations. Several apps, including Cat Buddy, Dog Buddy, Vitus Vet and Pet Health Diary, are designed to help pet parents keep track of their best furry friend’s health and vaccine records. Download one of these apps today and you’ll never have to try to remember if your pet got a certain vaccine or if they’ve already gotten their annual booster shots.
Talk to your veterinarian about your pet’s vaccines, and don’t be afraid to ask questions about possible risks and reactions. Knowing how to keep your loving best furry friend healthy and happy for years to come is well worth the time and effort.