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Keep Your Pet Healthy With Vaccinations

Owning a pet can be a huge responsibility and one important responsibility of all pet owners is keeping up to date on vaccinations. Vaccinations are essential for protecting pets against contagious diseases. There are several vaccinations that both puppies and kittens need to be given to ensure their health and safety. Proof of vaccinations is also normally required in order to register your pets and is another reason to stay up to date.

Vaccinations for Dogs

As soon as you bring a dog home, the first thing you should do is schedule an appointment with a veterinarian to get your pet checked out. While many puppies will come to you with their first set of shots, it is still important to visit a vet and stay on schedule, as they may need boosters. Two important vaccines that all dogs should have are the rabies vaccine and the DHPP vaccine. Rabies is a fatal virus that can be carried by many animals so dogs should always be vaccinated against rabies. Rabies vaccinations are normally good for anywhere from one to three years. The DHPP vaccine is the Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, and Parvovirus vaccine, which is also commonly known as simply the distemper shot. The distemper shot is incredibly important as it will protect your dog against all four dangerous diseases.

Your vet may also recommend other vaccinations for your dog depending on several factors including their lifestyle, and even where you live. Some vaccines that might be recommended by a veterinarian include,

  • Bordetella vaccine - Bordetalla is an upper respiratory infection that is highly contagious. The virus is also commonly known as kennel cough. Veterinarians will often recommend the Bordetella vaccine for pets that spend time in kennels, doggy daycare, and other such places.
  • Leptospirosis vaccine - Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection that is often found in moist climates and areas with slow moving, or standing water. Often, the Leptospirosis vaccine is included as part of the DHPP vaccine, making it known as the DHLPP vaccine. Leptospirosis can be passed from animals to humans.
  • Corona Virus vaccine - The Corona virus is prevalent mainly in the southern part of the United States. Veterinarians may recommend that pet owners who live in the south get this vaccination.

Vaccinations For Cats

Just as with dogs, as soon as you bring home a new cat or kitten, you should schedule a visit with the veterinarian. Cats and kittens should be vaccinated against rabies, which is fatal to any animal who becomes infected. The other essential vaccination for cats is the FVRCP vaccine. The FVRCP, or Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus and Panleukopenia is often referred to as the feline distemper shot. The vaccine protects against the three diseases listed in the name. Cats should always be up to date on both their rabies, and distemper vaccines.

In addition to the two imperative vaccines for cats, veterinarians may recommend other vaccinations as well. Some of the vaccines that might be recommended include,

  • Feline Leukemia vaccine - Feline leukemia, of Felv, is a viral infection that can be transmitted by close contact. This vaccine is normally recommended only for cats who spend time outdoors.
  • Bordetella - Cats that spend time in a boarding kennel or at a groomer should probably have the bordetella vaccine as it protects against upper respiratory infections that can be highly contagious.
  • Feline Immunodeficiency Virus vaccine - Feline immunodeficiency virus, or FIV, is a viral infection spread by close contact. It is also generally only recommended for cats who spend time outdoors.

Making sure your pets are up to date on all their vaccinations and visiting their veterinarian regularly is just one of the responsibilities of owning a pet. Pet owners need to feed their pets a healthy, natural diet, make sure they are getting adequate exercise, and more. Potential pet owners should do lots of research to ensure they are ready to give a pet a good home and should consult with a veterinarian regarding any pet ownership questions that may arise.