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Education on Pet Immunization Awareness Month

August is National Pet Immunization Awareness Month, which reminds pet owners to get their pets the proper immunizations. Vaccinations protect your pet from serious diseases, and can prevent the spread of these diseases to other animals and humans. Most vaccinations are administered to puppies and kittens, but adult pets need booster shots to maintain their immunity or protection. Your veterinarian can review your pet’s vaccination record and determine if he needs a booster shot. 

What are Pet Vaccinations? 

A pet vaccination is an injection of a killed or altered microorganism that stimulates the pet’s immune system, so it learns how to fight disease. If the pet encounters the disease in the future, his immune system will know how to fight it off more efficiently and effectively. Vaccinations can prevent infection, lessen the severity of the infection, and improve your pet’s chances of a full recovery. Your veterinarian will determine what vaccinations your pet needs based on his age, weight, medical history, risk level, and lifestyle. 

Which Vaccinations Should My Pet Get, and When? 

Pets should get their first vaccinations at 6-8 weeks old. These vaccinations continue every 3-4 weeks until the pet is 16 weeks old. Adult pets should then get booster shots every 1-3 years to maintain protection. All pets need core vaccinations, which protect against diseases that are common and easily transmitted. Core vaccinations for dogs are parvovirus, rabies, distemper, and hepatitis. Core vaccinations for cats include distemper, rabies, herpesvirus type I, and calicivirus.

What Other Protection Does My Pet Need? 

Your pet needs additional protection along with vaccinations. Monthly preventive medications can protect your pet from dangerous parasites. Parasites feed on your pet, and can transmit disease, cause infection or illness, and damage your pet’s blood or organs. Ask your veterinarian to prescribe monthly medication based on your pet’s risk levels, lifestyle, and habits. These medications can protect your pet from:

  • Heartworm
  • Hookworms
  • Roundworms
  • Whipworms
  • Tapeworms
  • Fleas
  • Ticks
  • Mites

Make an appointment with your veterinarian today to go over your pet’s vaccination record and schedule booster shots.