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Which Immunization Does Your Pet Need?

Did you know that it’s National Immunization Awareness Month? Every pet deserves to live a happy, healthy life. You can help your pets stay well by making sure they get the right vaccinations. These simple injections can help prevent harmful diseases and keep your pet living their life to the fullest for years to come. Read on to find out why pet vaccinations are important and how your pet can get them!  

How Vaccines Work

You can think of vaccines as training for your pet’s immune system. They contain harmless versions of a disease-causing virus or bacteria. Even though it’s harmless, it will still produce a response from your pet’s immune system. These ‘faux diseases’ teach the immune system how to fight off the disease without having to expose the body to the real thing. For example, a rabies vaccine would contain a harmless version of the rabies disease, and your pet’s body will learn how to defend itself from rabies without actually getting infected. 

The Vaccines Your Pet Needs

Both cats and dogs are required to have certain immunizations by law. These vaccines, known as ‘core vaccines,’ are required because the associated diseases can be spread to humans. Dogs require immunizations against diseases like rabies and canine distemper, while cats need shots for rabies, feline distemper, and feline calicivirus. Beyond these core vaccines, your pet may also need additional medicines depending on their risk. For example, if your dog goes on frequent hikes, they may need to be vaccinated for leptospirosis, which may be carried by wild animals and spread through their urine or through animal bites. 

Not sure if your pet’s vaccinations are up to date or what your local regulations are? Your veterinarian is your best resource. Not only will they have all the current information regarding local laws, they can also review your pet’s potential health risks to determine if they need any additional vaccines for optimal health. Contact your veterinarian today to get started!