Vaccination plays a key role in keeping your pets healthy. Vaccinating your pets can prevent the spread of certain disease such as kennel cough, rabies and hepatitis to your family.

Vaccinations are essential to protecting your furry family member by creating a defensive level of antibodies to build up immunity from communicable diseases. In the simplest sense, when a cat or dog is vaccinated, he receives a disease-enabling organism to stimulate his immune system and ‘communicate’ to the body how to fight those diseases in the future.

While no vaccine is 100 percent effective, the proper inoculations can help your pet resist illnesses or recover much more quickly if they do become infected.

Staying up to date on routine vaccinations is important even for pets that remain predominantly indoors. Some of the most common dog diseases, such as Canine Distemper Virus, Canine Parvovirus, Canine Coronavirus, and Canine Parainfluenza Virus, are potentially airborne or known to be transmitted by air.

While outdoor cats and felines living in multi-cat households are more prone to disease, indoor cats and ‘only cats can get sick too. There is always the risk of your pet accidentally slipping outside, where they could become exposed.

If your pet contracts a disease, it can be very difficult to treat. Even minor ailments can erupt into major health concerns. The good news is that most illnesses are easily preventable via routine vaccination.

Core Dog Vaccines

  • Distemper: a highly contagious and often fatal viral infection.It affects the respiratory and nervous systems.
  • Hepatitis: a viral infection of the liver which can lead to severe kidney damage.
  • Parvovirus: a highly contagious and often fatal viral illness that is characterized by severe vomiting and bloody diarrhoea leading to dehydration. Young puppies are especially susceptible.
  • Parainfluenza: a highly contagious repository virus that causes coughing, loss of appetite, lack of energy, nasal discharge and fever. Together, these 4 vaccines are often given in a single injection known as the DHPPI vaccine.
  • Rabies: a fatal disease that is contagious not only to other animals but to people as well.

Core Cat Vaccines

  • Feline Calicivirus and Feline Rhinotracheitis: the two viruses most commonly responsible for upper respiratory infections in cats and kittens. They are extremely common viruses and almost all cats will be exposed to them at some point in their lifetime.
  • Feline Panleukopenia: also known as ‘feline distemper,’ this type of virus can prove to be fatal for infected cats.
  • Rabies: It is a fatal disease that is contagious not only to other animals but to people as well.

When should I vaccinate my pet? Will they need a booster?

Pets need to be vaccinated while they are young to protect them. Vaccination programmes for kittens and puppies start from around eight weeks old.

Some adult pets may need to restart their first, or ‘primary’, vaccination course. This is usually the case when they’ve never been vaccinated, or you might not know if they have ever been vaccinated. Missed boosters also mean that your pet mightneed to start over with their vaccinations. Talk to your vet for advice on your pet’s needs.

After their first course, your pet will need regular boosters to keep them protected. Certain boosters usually need giving once a year, others less frequently. Your vet will be able to give you a vaccination plan specific to your pet so you can have peace of mind that they are covered.

Not every pet will receive the same vaccinations because they are not exposed to the same risks. By being well informed, you’re showing that you are serious about your cat or dog’s care. Be prepared to be assertive and confident.