Immunizations to Keep Your Pet Healthy

September 2017

Experts agree that widespread use of vaccinations within the last century has prevented death and disease in millions of dogs and cats. Vaccinations protect your pet from highly contagious and deadly diseases and improve your pet’s overall quality of life.

Why vaccinate?

  • Vaccinations prevent many pet illnesses.
  • Vaccinations can help avoid costly treatments for diseases that can be prevented.
  • Vaccinations prevent diseases that can be passed not only from animal to animal but also from animal to human.
  • Diseases prevalent in wildlife, such as rabies and distemper, can infect unvaccinated pets.
  • In many areas, local or state ordinances require certain vaccinations for household pets.

For most pets, vaccination is effective in preventing future disease and only rarely will a vaccinated pet have insufficient immunity to fight off the disease. It is important to follow the vaccination schedule provided by your veterinarian to reduce the possibility of a gap in protection.

Any type of medical treatment has associated risks associated, but the risk should be weighed against the benefits of protecting your pet, your family and your community from potentially fatal diseases. The majority of pets respond well to vaccines.

To provide optimal protection against disease in the first few months of life, a series of vaccinations is scheduled. The vaccinations are usually given three to four weeks apart. For most puppies and kittens, the final vaccination in the series is administered at about 4 months of age. However, a veterinarian may alter the schedule based on an individual animal’s risk factors. Talk with your veterinarian about your pet’s specific needs and recommended vaccination schedule.

Source: American Veterinary Medical Association

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