Vaccines are an easy way to protect your pet from preventable illness and should be kept up to date throughout your pet’s life.
Core vaccines are those that are given to every pet, regardless of lifestyle. Core vaccines for dogs include DA2PP (Distemper, Adenovirus, Parvovirus and Parainfluenza) and Rabies. Other vaccinations are optional based on the lifestyle of your dog. These are Lyme, Leptospirosis, and Bordetella (commonly called Kennel Cough).
Is there a schedule for how often a dog needs vaccines?
The vaccine protocol is the same for all dogs. A series of three puppy vaccinations are given one month apart at 8 weeks of age, 12 weeks and 16 weeks. One year from the last puppy vaccine, they receive a booster. The core vaccines are administered once every three years after that. The other vaccines are given yearly.
Are checkups required if my pet is up-to-date on all vaccines?
Yes! Just like humans, we recommend yearly exams even if vaccines are up to date. An annual exam and thorough history is one of the most important tools we have at our disposal. Even if your pet appears healthy, a physical exam will allow us to evaluate them for subtle changes. Early detection is the key to successful outcomes and prolongs the length and quality of life for our pets.
The Core vaccine for kittens is FVRCP (feline viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, and panleukopenia). It should be given at 8, 12 and 16 weeks. Because some cats spend their lives indoors, further vaccinations are dependent on lifestyle and risk. We recommend FVRCP and Rabies to all cats throughout their lives, but the leukemia vaccine is typically only given to outdoor cats.