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Pets need vaccinations just like humans do. They prevent contagious diseases from harming the health of your pet. In some cases, vaccinations for pets are required by law. What are the required vaccinations for your dog? For cat owners, what vaccinations does your cat need?

Read on to learn all about the vaccines that protect your pet.

What are the required vaccinations for my dog?

There are several required vaccinations for dogs, but there are some nonessential vaccinations, too. Essential vaccinations are those that prevent distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza, parvovirus and rabies.

The distemper shot protects against distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza and parvovirus, and the rabies shot is administered alone. Rabies vaccinations are required by state law for dogs, and your pup will have to wear a rabies tag to show proof of vaccination. That way, if your pet ever bites someone, the vet who administered the shot can be contacted to prove your dog doesn’t have rabies.

There are also a whole host of nonessential vaccines that protect the health and wellbeing of your dog. They cover a wide range of diseases that may not be fatal for your pet, but that you want to avoid nonetheless. They include:

  • Leptospirosis: Dogs aren’t picky about the water sources they drink from, which can cause disease. It’s wise to vaccinate your pup for Leptospirosis, a bacterial infection common in most areas where there’s plenty of standing water. This disease can jump from dogs to humans, so vaccinating your dog also protects you.
  • Canine influenza: Similar to Bordetella (or kennel cough), canine influenza is a more dangerous upper respiratory disease. Outbreaks are common for dogs boarded at shelters and kennels.
  • Lyme disease: If you camp often with your pet or let them roam free in open fields or woods, consider a Lyme disease vaccine for your dog to protect against the harmful effects of tick bites.

What vaccinations does my cat need?

Cats also need several essential vaccinations to protect their health. Necessary vaccines include those that fight feline viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus and panleukopenia. The three shots combined are referred to as the feline distemper vaccine, much like the one available for dogs.

Rabies is also a concern for cats and, like with dogs, is administered alone. State law requires every cat be vaccinated against rabies, and cats must wear a tag that indicates they’ve received the shot.

Nonessential vaccines are also important when it comes to protecting the health of your cat. They include:

Feline chlamydial conjunctivitis: This vaccine guards the conjunctiva, the thin membrane that shields the eye.
Feline immunodeficiency: Cats get viral infections just like people do, but this vaccine is typically only administered to outdoor cats.
Bordetella: Also known as kennel cough, this virus causes upper respiratory infections and is spread from cat to cat. If you board or groom your cat, seriously consider this vaccine.

Now that you understand the required vaccinations for your dog or cat, make sure your pet stays up to date on their shots to protect their health. Make your appointment at Sunnyside Pet Hospital today to show your furry friend how much you care.