Everything You Need to Know About Pet Vaccinations

Pet vaccinations are so important in the safety and well-being of your pet. From the time they are little, these vaccinations help protect them against both immediate and future dangers. You can contact your local veterinarian to find out more about the pet vaccinations and services their clinic offers and ask any questions you have about vaccines for your pet.

Why are Pet Vaccinations So Important?

Pet vaccinations help protect your pet from diseases and illnesses that could threaten their health immediately and in the future. Vaccines are designed to trigger protective immune responses and prepare your pet’s immune system to fight against potential infections from disease-causing agents. By vaccinating your pet, you are helping lessen the severity of some diseases, or in many cases, prevent certain diseases completely. You can help your furry friend live a longer, happier, healthier life by ensuring they get the necessary vaccinations they need.

Pet vaccinations can also save you hundreds and possibly thousands of dollars in the future by protecting your pet against severe disease that would require tests, surgeries, therapies, and more. Having your pet vaccinated protects them against all of that and saves you money in the long run.

Other reasons pet vaccinations are so important are: they can protect you and your family from diseases that can be passed between animals and humans; pets who are not vaccinated are more vulnerable to diseases in wildlife, like rabies; and pet vaccinations are required in many states and counties by law. As you can see, there are so many reasons pet vaccinations are important. Be sure to talk to your local veterinarian about their pet vaccination services before adopting a pet to protect them from unnecessary pain in the future.

When Should My Pet Get Their Vaccinations?

Most pet vaccinations are administered when a pet is young, usually around 6 weeks old because their immune systems are vulnerable and need extra protection. Animal babies receive antibodies from their mother’s milk, but this does not last long which is why vaccinations are required when pets are six to eight weeks old. There are other factors that play into deciding when a pet should get their vaccinations, like the pet’s weight, size, and other health factors, but your veterinarian will be able to give you a timetable and let you know which vaccines can be given when for your pet. The first round of vaccines helps strengthen and protect your pet’s immune system from viruses and bacteria, and future vaccinations further stimulate their immune system to produce important antibodies that they will need for a long, happy life.

Once the initial round of vaccines is administered when they’re young, your pet is usually protected for one to three years depending on the vaccine and your pet’s specific health needs. Every pet is different, so working with your local vet is important in the health and safety of your furry friend.

Which Vaccinations Are Important For My Pet?

With so many vaccines available for pets, and many being specific to regions based on diseases and threats from wild animals, the list for pet vaccinations can be long. We are going to focus on a few of both core pet vaccinations and non-core vaccinations. Core vaccinations are pet vaccines that every pet should receive for their overall health. Non-core vaccinations are dependent on diseases and threats in the region in which you live and your pet’s personal health history.

Some Core Vaccinations

  • Rabies – Rabies are the most common pet vaccinations because they are so important in protecting both indoor and outdoor pets. Even indoor pets need their rabies shots in case they ever get out of the house. All it takes is a quick encounter with a wild or stray animal who has rabies for your pet to contract it. Having the rabies shot will help protect them should this ever happen.
  • Canine Distemper – This vaccine for dogs helps protect them against several different diseases, including distemper, canine hepatitis, parainfluenza, and parvovirus. Each of these diseases is easily transmitted through animals and is extremely painful for pets and can be difficult to treat. This vaccine helps protect them against unnecessary pain and treatments.
  • Feline Distemper – This vaccine for cats helps protect them against feline rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, and panleukopenia (distemper). Cats are susceptible to each of these diseases, and all of them cause severe sickness and illness that can be difficult to treat. This vaccine helps protect them against unnecessary pain and treatments.

Some Non-core Vaccinations

  • Bordetella – Bordetella, or kennel cough, is highly contagious and can lead to mild to severe respiratory infection. This vaccine is recommended for pets who are exposed to other pets on a regular basis, such as at a dog park, groomers, boarding kennel or training classes.
  • Lyme Disease – As the threat of Lyme Disease continues to grow in both humans and animals through the increasing population of ticks, this vaccine for pets is very important. If you live in an area with lots of woods or your pet spends a lot of time outside, the Lyme Disease vaccine is a good option to help protect your pet.
  • Feline Leukemia – Feline Leukemia, or FeLV), is highly contagious to cats and can lead to immunosuppression and extreme illness. Outdoor cats or cats in a home where another cat has this have a higher risk of attracting this disease.

We hope this information helped you better understand the importance of vaccinations for your pet and when they should be administered. Every pet is unique, so talking to your veterinarian about your pet’s specific needs and health concerns is the first step. If you are in or around the Greensboro area and looking for a veterinary clinic you can trust, Guilford College Vet would love to meet you and your furry friend. We provide a full range of services and are happy to answer any questions you have. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment.


  • Zachary Tomlinson, August 25, 2020 @ 8:25 am Reply

    My friend is about to get a puppy next week, and she’s looking for advice on how to take care of it. Wow, I find it amazing to learn that several types of vaccinations are a must for pets, such as rabies or distemper. I’ll suggest that he take his puppy to a veterinarian as soon as she can for advice.

  • Victoria Addington, October 19, 2020 @ 10:42 am Reply

    It’s good that you explained the importance of pet vaccinations. I had no idea that one must be vaccinated as early as 6 weeks old since their immune system is vulnerable. Now that my puppy is around five weeks old, I guess I shall then find a vet clinic and have him vaccinated right away.

  • Eli Richardson, November 4, 2021 @ 11:43 am Reply

    It really helped when you talked about pet vaccines and how they’re a must for your family! Recently, my wife and I decided to adopt a puppy into our family. We’re super excited about our newest family addition, so we’ll be sure to find a vet to help us vaccinate her. Thanks for the advice on how vaccinations keep our pets safe!

  • Afton Jackson, June 9, 2023 @ 2:16 am Reply

    Learning about the difference between “core” and “non-core” vaccinations really helped me out. Distemper is really something I’d like to avoid if I can, so focusing on that will really allow us to get things in order with our dog. Once I find a pet vaccination clinic in the area, I’ll definitely ask them for some assistance with something like this.

  • Steve Smith, January 29, 2024 @ 9:42 pm Reply

    It’s interesting when you said that a proper vaccination could remove disease and illness for a safe living experience. A couple of days ago, my cousin told me she planned to have her pet vaccinated to prevent unwanted viruses and diseases. She asked if I had any idea what would be the best option to consider. I’ll tell her she can consult a well-known animal hospital as they can provide more information about the process of vaccination. I like this instructive pet vaccination guide article for the best planning approach.

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