WindsorEssexVets_PetVaccinations: Golden Labrador receiving a vaccination shot from a veterinarian

How Often Do Your Pets Need Vaccinations?

To keep your pet healthy and well, you devotedly bring him or her in to have an annual examination with your vet in Essex. But you may wonder if vaccinations are really necessary.

In short, the answer is yes. Just as with human vaccinations, your pet needs to be vaccinated against several potentially serious and, sometimes fatal, diseases.

How Often Should Vaccines Be Given?

The Ontario Veterinary Medical Association recommends that puppies and kittens get vaccinated at three months and again by the date specified on the vaccine package, usually one year later. After this initial year, there are essential and non-essential vaccinations needed every one to three years, based on your veterinarian’s recommendation.

Essential Vaccinations for Your Dog:

  • Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza and Parvovirus (DHPP). Commonly called the “distemper shot.” 
  • Rabies. The rabies virus in dogs is fatal and all mammals, including humans, are susceptible to infection.

Non-essential vaccinations depend on lifestyle factors, such as how often your dog is exposed to boarding kennels, dog parks and grooming salons. These are all places where your dog is likely to be exposed to contagious disease. Consult with your vet in Essex to determine if your dog needs Lyme disease, kennel cough or leptospirosis vaccines.

Essential Vaccinations for Your Cat:

  • Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus and Panleukopenia (FVRCP). Commonly called the “feline distemper” shot, this combination vaccine protects against feline viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus and panleukopenia.
  • Rabies. Just as with dogs, cats can contract rabies and spread it to humans.

If you allow your cat outdoors, non-core vaccinations may be required. Cats with auto-immune conditions may be better off not being vaccinated, but only your veterinarian can determine if that’s the case

What Happens if Your Pets Don’t Get Their Vaccinations?

Vaccinations not only protect your pet’s health; they also help keep the human members of your family safe as well.

Even indoor city-dwelling pets should be vaccinated against rabies. The disease can be spread by common urban animals such as bats, raccoons, rats, mice and others. The disease causes damage to the carrier’s brain which causes violent and irrational behaviour. The virus spreads to the salivary glands in the mouth and is easily transferred by a bite.

If your pet encounters an animal you think may be rabid, it is vital to go to an emergency or 24-hour vet in Essex as soon as you can.

Walk-in Vet Care in Belle River and Essex

At Windsor-Essex Vets, our veterinarians understand that your pet is a part of your family. That’s why we are always close with our four convenient locations. If you have an emergency or question about your pet's health, contact us today!