When Should You Vaccinate Your Pet?

When Should I Vaccinate My Pet?

Just like people, there are serious diseases that can be prevented by following the proper cat and dog vaccination schedules. Some vaccines are considered essential for all pets of that species, while others are given depending on your pet's lifestyle. At New Hope Animal Hospital, your veterinarian in Durham and Chapel Hill, we speak to all of our clients about which vaccinations are right for their pet.

Importance of Timely Pet Vaccinations

Vaccinating your pet on a schedule is very important. Puppies and kittens get some immunity from their mothers, but over time this wanes. While their mother's immunity is in their system, your pup or kitten cannot develop lasting immunity from a vaccine. However, once their mother's immunity is gone, they are vulnerable to disease.

Following the proper vaccination schedule minimizes the risk of your puppy or kitten catching a serious disease. Adult dogs and cats also require boosters because immunity can wane over time. Any vaccinations that your pet did not receive as a puppy or kitten can be caught up on in adulthood.

Cat and Dog Vaccination Schedules

Vaccinations for dogs and cats are different, but they are usually given on a fairly standardized schedule. Puppies and kittens receive several doses of the core vaccines two to four weeks apart, starting at six to eight weeks of age. There are three core vaccines and a number of non-core vaccines for each species:

  • Distemper, parvovirus, and adenovirus are the core dog vaccinations.
  • Coronavirus, parainfluenza, bordetella, and leptospirosis are some of the non-core canine vaccines.
  • Feline distemper, calicivirus, and feline viral rhinotracheitis are the core cat vaccines.
  • Feline leukemia virus and bordetella are some of the non-core feline vaccines.

North Carolina law requires that both dogs and cats be vaccinated against rabies by a vet before they are four months old. A single dose given at close to 16 weeks of age and then boosted a year later is typical. After that, your vet will tell you if your pet needs boosters every year or every three years, depending on the vaccine type.

Meet Your Dog or Cat Vaccination Needs in Chapel Hill at New Hope Animal Hospital

Here at New Hope Animal Hospital, your veterinarian in Durham and Chapel Hill, we want your pet to have a long, healthy life. Vaccinations are one of the easiest, most cost-effective ways to protect your pet from illness. Call us today for an appointment to meet your dog or cat vaccination needs, or to see a vet for any reason. Our phone number is 919-490-2000.

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