Everything You Need to Know About Vaccinating Your Pet

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Does your best friend have four paws and a tail that wags when you come home? If you consider your pet to be your best friend, you are in good company. Surveys show that 66% of adults identify their dog or cat as their closest friend. Obviously, one of the greatest priorities of most fur-parents is to maintain happy and healthy pets. One important way to keep your animal healthy is by keeping up with their pet vaccines. Here are some common questions about pet vaccinations and their answers:

How Do Vaccinations Keep My Pet Healthy?
Vaccinations help protect your animal from serious illness by triggering their body’s development of immunities that fight off specific illnesses if they’re exposed to them in the future.

The specific vaccinations recommended for your animal depends on their breed and lifestyle, but the core pet vaccines protect against rabies, parvo, distemper, hepatitis, flu, and Lyme disease. The diseases that animals are commonly vaccinated for have terrible symptoms and could be deadly if an animal caught it. Keeping up with their vaccination schedule is an easy way to keep them safe.

How Often Should My Pet Be Vaccinated?
Your veterinarian can help you decide the ideal vaccination schedule for your animal. In general, young animals should be given a combination “5-in-1” vaccine at two, three, and four months of age. After that, an animal should be re-vaccinated once a year to reinforce their immunity levels.

Are There Risks Associated With Vaccinations?
Any medical treatment carries at least a minor risk of an adverse reaction. Fortunately, of the millions of pets that are vaccinated each year, the occurrences of negative reactions are extremely rare. To further protect your pet, your vet will carefully select their vaccine dosage and schedule based on their individual needs.

What Should I Expect After a Vaccination?
Your pet might experience some mild side effects after being vaccinated. These might include local discomfort at the vaccination site, a low-grade fever, and lower appetite and activity levels than normal. In rare cases, your animal could experience a more severe adverse reaction. Take your pet to a urgent pet care immediately if they exhibit any of the following symptoms:

  • Serious vomiting or diarrhea
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Swelling in the facial area or hives

How Effective Are Pet Vaccines?
Vaccinating your animal significantly lowers their chances of catching the serious diseases that pet vaccines protect against. In some cases, an animal could still catch an illness that they are vaccinated for though. This often occurs when the animal’s immune system isn’t functioning properly at the time of the vaccination or antibodies inherited from the animal’s mother interfere with the effectiveness of the vaccine.
Even in cases when pets catch illnesses that they were vaccinated for, the symptoms are often weaker and they have an easier time overcoming it than if they hadn’t been vaccinated.

Do you have any questions about pet vaccinations that we didn’t cover? Do you have input on pet vaccination that you think should be included here? Please leave us a comment below!