For most pet owners, pets are like family. They are loyal companions, and we want them to live vibrant and playful lives. We spend a lot of time walking, feeding and playing with our pets to ensure they stay healthy and happy. In addition to these responsibilities, pet owners need to look out for their pet’s health. This is where pet vaccinations come in, playing a vital role in preventing unnecessary and dangerous diseases. Whether you’re a dog or cat owner, giving your pet routine vaccinations is essential for maintaining their good health. Additionally, it’s important to stay informed about pet vaccines. Let’s look at the benefits and the risks of cat and dog vaccination schedules, as well as their role in your pet’s health and wellness.


About Pet Vaccinations

Pet vaccinations provide immunity for many infectious diseases affecting pets. Vaccines contain an agent similar to the disease-causing microorganism. When injected, the body recognizes a threat and builds an immune response. If the body encounters the disease in the future, the immune system will be prepared to fight. Vaccines are not a cure for disease, however, but rather work in a preventative manner. It’s recommended that you schedule your pet for a wellness exam at least once a year for routine vaccinations.


Types of  Pet Vaccines

There are two types of pet vaccinations: core and non-core vaccines. Core vaccines are those which every cat or dog should receive regardless of their age, habits, breed, or environment. Core vaccines prevent animals from contracting fatal diseases, as well as spreading disease to other animals. Non-core vaccines are those required based on the context of each pet’s life, including geographic location, environment and lifestyle.


Cat and Dog Vaccination Schedules

Vaccination schedules are unique to each animal, which is why it’s important to have your veterinarian prescribe a specific vaccination protocol for your pet. For puppies or kittens, the first round of immunizations are given between 6-8 weeks. The final vaccine shouldn’t be given before your pet turns 16 weeks, due to the interference of antibodies from mother’s breast milk.  In order to see whether your cat or dog requires a vaccination, a titer test is sometimes done. This is an easy test which determines the level of antibodies in your pet’s system, revealing the need for an immunity booster. Your vet can provide you with more info on titer testing.