We all love our pets dearly and want the best for them, which is why we take those trips to the vet, splurge on the best toys, and find ourselves at the store debating which treats they’ll find more delicious than the next. An important part of taking care of our beloved pets is to ensure they receive proper vaccines. August is National Immunization Awareness Month – the perfect time to bone up on all things vaccine!
Why vaccinate? It’s a great way to help provide your pet with as long and healthy a life as possible. Vaccines are products that produce immunity from disease by introducing antigens that look like disease-carrying organisms to the body, triggering the immune system to react. If your pet were to encounter a disease they’ve been vaccinated for, their body will now recognize and greatly lessen the severity and duration of the disease, or fight it off completely.
There are two types of vaccination protocols: core and noncore. Each of these have their own set of vaccines and unique timeframes for when its best to administer that are important to discuss with your veterinarian to provide the best possible protection for your pet. These include:
Core – Usually combined into one shot to minimize injection sites:
Noncore – Separate shots given individually:
- Bordetella/Kennel Cough (We utilize the oral vaccine at Grand Valley)
- Lyme Disease
Depending on where you live, you may also have a special set of rules and regulations to abide by when it comes to vaccinating your pet. For example, in Grand Forks pet owners are responsible for licensing any dog or cat over 6 months of age which must include a certificate from the vet with up-to-date rabies vaccine confirmation. (Here is a handy guide to our city’s rules, responsibilities and fines for any pets in city limits.
Besides helping to safeguard the health of your pet, the most important component to remember when discussing vaccines is to consult your trusted veterinarian. Not all vaccines are right for all pets, there are many factors to consider when deciding what is right for your pet including age, environment, lifestyle, and medical history. All of these details unique to your pet will help you and your veterinarian determine the proper vaccination regime.
As always, our entire team at Grand Valley Animal Hospital is happy to answer any questions you may have regarding the health and happiness of your pet. Take this National Immunization Awareness Month to get in touch with us to discuss the best vaccination schedule for your pet and schedule an appointment to ensure they are on the up-and-up with all their wellness needs.