As pet owners, we’re responsible for protecting our animals from deadly diseases. Thankfully, vaccinations allow us to minimize the occurrence of illnesses with high morbidity rates in the dogs and cats we call our family. As laws vary from state to state, it can be hard to know the specific required cat and dog vaccinations in California if you’ve just moved here or are a new pet owner.
Vaccinations for dogs
When it comes to required dog vaccinations in California, the only mandatory one is the rabies vaccine. State law dictates that dogs older than three months must receive the rabies vaccine. The law also states that once a dog gets vaccinated, they must wear the accompanying license on their collar at all times. Puppy owners must vaccinate their young dogs between the ages of three and five months. Depending on the type of rabies vaccine administered, your pup requires a new inoculation every one to three years.
Even though California lawmakers require only the rabies vaccination for dogs, veterinarians recommend that your canine companions receive a set of core vaccinations. This includes immunizations for parvovirus, distemper virus, adenovirus-2 and leptospira. There are also non-core vaccines that prevent other illnesses such as parainfluenza, Bordetella bronchiseptica, canine influenza virus and Lyme disease.
Vaccinations for cats
As it relates to our feline companions, there are no state-required cat vaccinations in California. However, that does not mean cat owners should skip vaccinating their pets against life-threatening diseases. The state and veterinarians recommend a cat receive, at a minimum, the rabies vaccine.
While there are no required cat vaccinations in California, your feline will thrive for years to come if they receive the core vaccinations. These shots protect your pet from the herpes virus, calicivirus, feline panleukopenia and feline leukemia.
The importance of pet vaccinations
Despite our best efforts, pets get sick or hurt themselves. It happens. Taking your dog or cat to a veterinarian for regular inoculations doesn’t simply prevent awful illness. Vaccinating your pet means you avoid the high cost of treating these diseases. You also prevent the spread of the disease between animals. Most importantly, you provide your favorite four-legged friend with the preventative treatments necessary for a long, happy life.
With younger pets, it’s important to complete the series of vaccinations administered during the puppy’s or kitten’s first visit to the veterinarian or at the rescue or shelter where you adopted them. Completing the full regimen prevents these vulnerable little ones from contracting diseases that their bodies cannot fight off because their immune systems haven’t fully developed yet.
When you bring home a dog or cat, you want to spend as much time with your new pet as possible. That means many years of cuddling, playing and bonding. As a pet owner, there’s numerous steps you can take to ensure your dog or cat lives a long, healthy life. That includes getting the required cat and dog vaccinations in California.
Do you need to bring your pet up to date on their rabies vaccinations? Not sure if your pet has ever received some of the core vaccines? Contact Sunnyside Pet Hospital now to make an appointment for your dog or cat.