Keeping your pet healthy is essential to ensuring that they enjoy a long, happy life. But whilst you may get overwhelmed with the excitement of bringing them home, you may forget that they should always be protected against illnesses.
Dogs and cats of all ages may need vaccinations within the first few weeks of life. However, you may be confused with the selection of jabs available, the potential side effects and the reasons why your cat or dog needs vaccinations.
In this guide, we’ve shared the most important vaccinations that your new kitten or puppy should have, along with some tips on how to care for your pet:
When do I need to get my pet’s vaccinations?
When you’re getting a new pet, you should always check whether the breeder, shelter or previous owner has had the animal vaccinated. Full details of these can usually be found within their health records. Household pets will usually require a set of vaccinations when they’re old enough and may need top-up jabs to maintain the protection against any illnesses.
What vaccinations does my puppy need?
There are two types of dog vaccinations that your puppy should have at certain points in their life. These are:
The first puppy vaccinations are usually given when they’re around eight weeks of age to protect against severe health conditions and diseases such as rabies, canine hepatitis and distemper.
As the name may suggest, non-core puppy vaccinations aren’t essential but should be considered if you live in certain areas. For example, a non-core vaccination can protect your dog against Lyme disease, but the jab isn’t considered as essential for all puppies and may only be recommended for dogs living in rural areas, where there is a higher risk of contracting the bacterial infection.
Cat and kitten vaccinations
Cat vaccinations are required when kittens are around the age of eight or nine weeks old. Then, three or four weeks later, a booster vaccination is needed to fully protect the kitten against illnesses. Kitten vaccinations protect against conditions such as feline leukemia, viral infectious respiratory diseases (also known as cat flu’) and enteritis.
What are the side effects of pet vaccinations?
Although vaccinations given by your vet are very safe and reliable, some pets may experience side effects once the jabs begin to work. For this reason, you may want to keep your pet indoors for at least 24 hours to allow them to properly recover and rest.
As you can see, vaccinations for young pets are essential and help to ensure that your new furry friend is happy and healthy, with a limited risk of contracting potentially life-threatening illnesses. Remember that pet insurance for your dog or cat can help to reduce the financial stress of getting your new puppy or kitten vaccinated.