The Low Down on Pet Vaccines

You can keep your pet healthier by maintaining core and noncore shots and administering monthly medication to abate flea, tic, heart worm and other parasites. Here is a closer look at the vaccine schedule for cats and dogs.

What Are Core and Noncore Vaccines?

Vaccines are regular shots given to pets for the prevention of common diseases. Core vaccines are the most important, with noncore vaccines representing the prevention of other common diseases.

Core vaccines are crucial to all dogs due to the risk of unprotected exposure, the voracity of a disease or the ease of transmission to humans. Core vaccines include rabies, distemper, canine parvovirus and canine hepatitis are core dog vaccines.

Non-core vaccines are recommended based on a dog's risk of exposure. These include vaccines against Leptospira bacteria. Bordetella bronchiseptica and Borrelia burgdorferi.

In cats, recommended core vaccines include are rabies, feline viral rhinotracheitis, feline panleukopenia (distemper) and feline calicivirus.

Most core vaccines are given every three years. Consult with your veterinarian to determine what is best for your cat versus what is recommended or mandated by the city or state where you live.

The noncore include frequent disease and approach treatment as a preventive tool. They include feline infectious peritonitis (FIP), Feline leukemia (FeLV), Bordetella and Chlamydophila. If you have an indoor cat with no exposure to these diseases, many guideline recommend NOT to vaccinate the cat.

Instead, kittens, which are the most susceptible to disease and parasites, should get all the required shots and then receive boosters for one year, three years or whatever is recommended.

Frequency of Vaccinations and Medication

Your veterinarian recommends a vaccine schedule based on your pet's medical history and lifestyle. Each state has laws to mandate rabies vaccinations. These are usually every 1 to 3 years. There are additional recommendations to provide an over-the-counter medication to prevent ticks, fleas and other parasites.

Prevention & Then Some

In addition to the shots and medication, your pet need all the love you can give them in order to be healthy and happy. Does your pet need a vet visit? Stop by Pet Kare Clinic in Steamboat Springs, CO!