Vaccinating your pet is a relatively inexpensive but very important 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 our pets are puppies and kittens because their young immune systems are still developing and need protection to stay healthy, but we also have to maintain their immunity and prevent major diseases by vaccinating as recommended throughout their life as well.

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.

Core vaccines include:

  • Dogs
    • Rabies
    • DA2PPV – Distemper, Hepatitis, Adenovirus 2, Parvo and Parainfluenza
    • Leptospirosis
  • Cats
    • FVRCP – Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus and Panleukopenia
    • Feline Leukemia (FeLV)

Other recommended vaccines based on lifestyle for dogs may include bordetella and canine influenza. These vaccines are recommended if they frequent dog parks, boarding kennels, grooming facilities, or any place where they’re socializing with other canines or sharing water bowls/food bowls/toys.

It’s also important to note that even pets who live primarily indoors should be vaccinated, as they can still be exposed to a disease. Your Elberton Animal Hospital veterinarian can advise you 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 706-283-2761.