One of the most responsible choices pet owners can make is vaccinating their furry friends. Vaccines protect against significant illnesses that put your pet’s life at risk. Some vaccines, such as the rabies vaccine, are required by law to keep the larger animal and human community safe. Family and Friends Veterinary Care in Fort Collins, CO, provides core vaccinations and recommends non-core vaccinations to ensure the health and well-being of our pet patients. We are here to tell you about the importance of vaccinations and when to schedule them for your pet.


The Importance of Vaccinating Your Pet

Your top priority as a pet owner is ensuring your pet remains safe and protected from significant and life-threatening diseases. Vaccines are the best way to do this. Diseases like rabies and distemper are often deadly in unvaccinated pets. Some viruses may not be fatal for pets, but they can cause ongoing health issues if your pet is not vaccinated against them.

Vaccines help your pet’s immune system learn to identify and attack specific pathogens. Pets often receive shots with inactive or weaker forms of these germs to teach their immune system how to protect itself. While vaccines do not make pets sick, they can sometimes cause side effects like soreness and a mild fever. However, these symptoms are typically mild and resolve quickly.

Which Vaccinations Should Your Pets Get?

The two vaccine types are core and non-core vaccines. Core vaccines are vaccinations all pets should receive, while our veterinarians only recommend non-core vaccines based on your pet’s age, species, environment, and lifestyle. For example, our veterinarians will suggest your pet get the Bordetella vaccine if you plan on boarding it since most boarding facilities require this vaccination.

Core vaccines for dogs include rabies, distemper, parvovirus, and hepatitis, while core vaccines for cats include rabies, calicivirus, panleukopenia, and feline rhinotracheitis. Our veterinarians recommend the following non-core vaccines for your pet:

•             Bordetella for cats and dogs

•             Influenza for dogs

•             Leptospirosis for dogs

•             Parainfluenza for dogs

•             Leukemia for cats

When to Schedule Vaccinations

The schedule for your pet’s vaccinations varies based on its age, species, and vaccine type it receives. In general, our veterinarians recommend the following cat and dog vaccination schedule:

•             Puppies and kittens receive a series of booster shots during their first year

•             Adult dogs and cats may need updated vaccines each year

•             Some vaccines last for a few years rather than just a year

Schedule Your Pet’s Vaccinations at Family and Friends Veterinary Care

Vaccines are vital for the health and well-being of your furry friend, so don’t hesitate to contact Family and Friends Veterinary Care in Fort Collins, CO, to schedule your pet’s vaccinations. We can recommend vaccines based on your pet’s environment and lifestyle to ensure it lives a long, healthy life. Call us and schedule a pet exam today at (970) 493-0204 to update your pet’s vaccinations.

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