As pet parents, there are lots of things we worry about when it comes to keeping our fur-babies safe: ‘Is the gate locked?’, ‘Are there any holes in my fence?’, ‘Should my cat eat that?’ Most of the time, the worries stem from leaving pets on their own and what they’ll get up to while we’re gone.
What we sometimes forget is that there are dangers to our buddies when they’re right there with us: spending time outdoors, playing at the dog park, on a walk.
Invisible, dangerous diseases that can be debilitating, or deadly, if your pet is not vaccinated.
Here, Doctor Bronwen Slack of PETstock VET explains why it is vital to keep your pet’s vaccinations up to date and how you can prevent your pet from contracting deadly diseases.
“Vaccinations can help protect your puppy, dog, kitten or cat from some of the most dangerous diseases in the animal world,” says Dr Bronwen. “The scary thing is that these diseases are highly contagious – they can be spread by a simple cough or by close contact with another pet.”
If you’re thinking your unvaccinated pet will be safe from diseases simply by avoiding sick pets, think again. “Infectious viruses and bacteria can be left behind where a sick animal coughed or sneezed and if your pet then sniffs or licks that area soon after, they may be vulnerable to infection,” says Dr Bronwen.
What do Dog and Cat Vaccinations Actually Do?
Vaccinations contain inactive strains of certain viruses or bacteria and help your pet’s immune system create antibodies to fight off the same virus or bacteria should they ever come in contact with it again.
In Australia, dog vaccinations help protect your dog or puppy from:
- Canine Parvovirus
- Canine Distemper
- Canine Hepatitis
- Canine (Kennel) Cough
In Australia, cat vaccinations help protect your cat from:
- Canine Parvovirus
- Feline Respiratory Disease (Cat Flu)
- Feline Leukaemia Virus (FeLV)
- Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV / Feline Aids)
- Feline Chlamydiosis
The Rabies virus is not present in Australia and does not need to be vaccinated against.
Dog and Cat Vaccination Schedule
“If you’re the parent of a new puppy or kitten, they’ll require three initial vaccinations at eight, 12 and 16 weeks of age. From then on, they’ll require a yearly booster vaccination for life, to ensure they’re fully protected.” Says Dr Bronwen.
After their first vaccination, it’s considered safe for your pup to visit controlled environments, like puppy school, as long as all other puppies are all vaccinated and wormed. It is advised to avoid socialising your puppy with any unvaccinated dogs until at least five days after their third vaccination. Kittens should be kept indoors until they’re fully vaccinated.
PETstock VET clinics are equipped to vaccinate your pet with vaccinations that are made to the highest standards of safety and effectiveness.
If you’re unsure about your pet’s vaccination status, chat with your vet for a recommendation.
The common types of vaccinations for dogs include:
- C3 Dog, covering parvovirus, distemper, hepatitis
- C5 Dog, covering parvovirus, distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza, bordatella
The C5 vaccination is the most common option for puppy owners and required by most boarding kennels and dog clubs.
The common types of vaccinations for cats include:
- F3, covering enteritis, calicivirus and rhinotracheitis
- F4, covering enteritis, calicivirus, rhinotracheitis and chlamydiosis
How much will it cost to vaccinate my dog or cat?
The cost of vaccinating your dog or cat will depend on the practice and vaccinations being administered.
Pop in to your local PETstock VET clinic to chat with a team member about this in more detail.
“Vaccinating your pet is the best way to keep them safe from diseases that can make them very sick or even take their life,” says Dr Bronwen.
“After their initial course of injections, it’s important that your fur-baby receives an annual booster vaccination; not only will your yearly appointment give you an opportunity to chat with your vet and discuss any other health or behavioural concerns you may have, it’ll help ensure you and your buddy continue to live a long and happy life together!”
In addition to vaccinating your dog or cat, ongoing health care should include keeping their worm treatment up to date.