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pet immunizationThe importance of pet immunization may not be something most pet owners consider, but the fact remains that immunization saves millions of lives. Infectious diseases that once plagued our animal companions are no longer as common, thanks to advances in veterinary medicine and the introduction of vaccines.

Vaccines are integral to the lifelong health of both cats and dogs. By following your veterinarian’s recommended vaccine schedule, you’re also reducing the spread of infectious diseases to others.

To observe National Pet Immunization Month, the team at Rutland wants to highlight some of the reasons vaccinations are so vital to the life of your pet companion.

Five Reasons Pet Vaccinations Matter

Keeping your pet vaccinated is one of the single most important steps you can take in your pet’s life. Reasons for vaccinating your pet include:

  1. It’s the law. When it comes to rabies, most states require immunization. Here in Rutland, the rabies vaccine and municipal registration is required for all dogs over the age of 6 months.
  2. Protect your pet from deadly illnesses. Just as with human vaccination against viruses, the “must-have” vaccines for puppies, kittens, and adult pets prevent the spread of infectious life-threatening diseases such as parvovirus and distemper.
  3. Build up your pet’s immunity. Particularly among young puppies and kittens, vigilance in the first year of vaccines and boosters is imperative. Most commonly, it’s the young or those pets with compromised immunity who run the highest risk of illness. Immunization introduces these viruses in very minute doses, which helps build a pet’s natural resistance to them.
  4. Protect your family and others. Many core and noncore (secondary) vaccines are recommended by distinguished professional organizations, such as the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) and the American Veterinary Medical Association. Illnesses such as rabies, leptospirosis, and giardia are all zoonotic diseases (spreadable to people), some of which are on the rise.
  5. Prevent the spread of infectious diseases. Being a responsible pet owner means not only providing your pet with the healthiest, happiest life possible, it also means being conscientious about the safety of other animals and humans. By maintaining your pet’s vaccine schedule, you’re helping safeguard those who come into contact with your four-legged friend.

Pet Immunization: A Matter of Timing

Vaccinations, like parasite prevention, require maintenance and follow-through in order for them to be effective. Puppies and kittens often require multiple boosters during their first year of life to build up their immunity. Adult pets typically need to be vaccinated annually, depending on the individual and type of vaccine selected.

At Rutland Veterinary Clinic and Surgical Center, we follow AAHA guidelines for safe, FDA-approved vaccines and tailor any secondary vaccinations to the lifestyle, health, and age of the individual pet.

We encourage all pet parents to stay current on wellness care appointments and immunization schedules. If we can address any questions or concerns, we’re always here to assist. Please call us to discuss your pet’s lifelong health and well-being.