When Should I Get My Pet Vaccinated?

The first few months of a pet's life are the most crucial. During this time, they get to meet humans and interact with their surroundings. To ensure long and healthy pet life, you should make sure they are vaccinated following a proper schedule.


Pet vaccinations activate your pet's immune system against diseases. If your pet is exposed to the real disease, their immune systems will recognize it and reduce its effects. There are vaccines that all pets must receive. Others can be more specific to your pet's lifestyle and location.


Core Vs. Non-Core Vaccinations


Core vaccinations are given to all pets, no matter their lifestyle or habits. Non-core vaccinations are those given only to pets who risk catching specific diseases. For instance, all pets must receive the rabies vaccine as a core vaccination. Feline and canine distemper are other examples of core vaccinations. In some cases, pets may receive non-core vaccines for illnesses such as Lyme disease or Bordetella. These are only given in certain situations.


How to Start Vaccinating Your Pet


Generally, you should begin vaccinating your puppy upon receiving it (usually between 6 and 8 weeks of age). Shots should follow every three weeks until the pet reaches twelve months, which is when the final dose will be given. As long as the mother's immune system is healthy, the puppy is likely to receive antibodies from her milk when nursing. A puppy can start vaccinations after being detached from its mother's milk.


How to Vaccinate Your Pet After 16 Weeks


After one year, dogs should receive their next vaccination, and then every three years after that. Provinces and states set their regulations regarding rabies vaccination frequency — some annually, others every three years.


Similarly, cats should also receive vaccinations at least once a year; after that, schedules may differ. For vaccines that induce a lower immune response, you should administer each vaccine once per year. In comparison, those that induce a higher response need to be administered every three years. Your veterinarian can advise you better based on your pet’s lifestyle.


When Should You Avoid Vaccinating Your Pet?


Vaccination is generally not recommended for pregnant or unhealthy pets. Also, avoid vaccinating those who have undergone surgery.


When Should You Not Avoid Vaccinating Your Pet?


Vaccines last for a certain period. We must stay on schedule, or the pets may not be completely protected and pick up harmful diseases. The same goes for adult dogs, though they are able to keep their immunity longer. In any case, we do not want to miss their vaccines no matter the dog's age and the circumstances.


We at Community Pet Outreach strive to keep the community pets healthy. We help avoid serious diseases for pets in the area by teaching owners about the importance of pet vaccinations and tracking their vaccination schedules. Please call Community Pet Outreach in Lewisville, Texas, at 972-848-8930 for more information on pet vaccinations or schedule your pet's vaccination.

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