August is National Immunization Awareness Month, providing the perfect opportunity to spread the word about the importance of immunization. Many people aren’t sure what shots their cat or dog needs, especially if they are first-time pet-owners. Learn more with these frequently asked questions about cat and dog vaccinations.
FAQ About Cat & Dog Vaccinations
Why are vaccinations important?
Vaccines protect your pet against contagious and potentially fatal diseases. So-called zoonotic diseases, like rabies, can also be transferred to people. By vaccinating, you thus protect your pet and yourself.
What vaccines does your pet need?
Essential vaccines for dogs include canine parvovirus infection, canine hepatitis, and canine distemper. Recommended vaccines for cats include rabies, feline viral rhinotracheitis, feline pan-leukopenia, and feline calicivirus infection. Your veterinarian may make additional recommendations, like feline leukemia or canine kennel cough, depending on your cat’s or dog’s needs.
When should your cat or dog be vaccinated?
Certain vaccines need to be given when animals are still puppies or kittens, such as shots for feline leukemia or parvovirus, while other vaccines need to be updated annually. The AVMA recommends updating rabies shots annually, for example. Talk to a veterinarian to create a custom vaccine program for your pet. This can be combined with a larger preventive care plan, such as parasite prevention to guard against heartworms.
What can you expect from your cat or dog vaccination appointment?
Vaccines are usually administered via a shot. You should also be prepared to soothe your pet, which could include bringing in their favorite toy or security blanket, for example. Afterward, the animal may experience mild side effects like tiredness.
In rare cases, the cat or dog may develop an allergic reaction. Even though it’s exceptionally uncommon after treatment, if your pet experiences vomiting, diarrhea, hives, coughing, or collapses, see a veterinarian immediately.
Hayward Animal Hospital of Sawyer County, WI, has been serving Northern Wisconsin with top-quality pet care since 1990. They are known for their friendly and knowledgeable team, who treat each pet as if they were their own. In addition to general veterinary care, they provide internal medicine services and surgical procedures. Visit their website to review their full range of services, from cat and dog vaccinations to pet boarding, or call (715) 634-8971 to schedule an appointment.