Pet vaccinations are an essential part of pet health and veterinary carePet owners are generally aware of the importance of vaccines for puppies and kittens, but many don’t realize that vaccinations are still needed for older pets. Pet vaccinations continue to be one of the most effective ways to prevent deadly communicable diseases. They play a crucial role in the long-term health of every pet.

Pet Vaccinations

Vaccines are designed to stimulate the immune system to produce antibodies against a specific disease. That way, if the pet ever comes into contact with that particular illness, the body is prepared to defend itself.

Although pet vaccinations are considered safe, nothing is completely without risk. Your veterinarian will take into account your pet’s age, health, lifestyle, and other factors before making any recommendations.

Keeping the Whole Family Healthy

Vaccinating your pet can also help protect the entire family. Several of the diseases for which we routinely vaccinate against are considered zoonotic, meaning they can be passed from animals to humans.

Rabies is one of the most serious zoonotic diseases, and because there’s no cure, it’s always fatal. Due to the extreme danger of the disease, the rabies vaccine is required by law for all pets.

What About Indoor Pets?

It’s easy to assume that indoor-only pets aren’t in need of routine vaccinations, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Even the most docile indoor pet can slip out the door or window and be exposed to any number of diseases. Indoor pets who become lost may end up in an animal shelter, where they will likely come into contact with sick animals. Stress can also cause diseases to flare up in pets who came into contact with something at an earlier age (e.g., feline herpesvirus).

Setting the Schedule

Many pet vaccinations can and should be administered as early as 6 weeks old. Boosters will continue in 3-4 week intervals until the pet has reached 16 weeks of age.

At True Care Veterinary Hospital, we understand that pet owners may be concerned about over-vaccinating their pets. By adhering to your pet’s regularly scheduled wellness exams, you ensure your pet receives only the vaccines they need, when they need them. Please don’t hesitate to contact your Howell NJ vet with any questions or concerns!