Pet Vaccinations | Why You Must Vaccinate Your Pet To Keep Them Safe

December 10, 2022

Author: Mark Ehrman

cat and dog

Vaccines are an important part of any pet owner’s responsibility.

Vaccinations are designed to prevent serious illnesses and infections in pets, ensuring their overall health and wellness. While some states require certain vaccinations for pet owners, vaccinating your pet is always the best way to ensure their safety and good health, even if a state does not.

It is essential that you understand why vaccinations are so important for your pet.

The Basics of Vaccinations for Pets

pet vaccine

Vaccines help your pet’s immune system recognise potential problems and respond quickly to them. When a vaccine is administered, it triggers the body to create antibodies which then fight off any disease, infection or infectious diseases that might be present.

The more vaccines your pet receives, the stronger their immunity will become in the long run. This means they will be better prepared to fight off any illness or infection that threatens their health in the future.

In addition, many diseases can be spread from one animal to another; therefore, administering a vaccine can help protect other animals and your pet from these diseases.

Why Vaccinate

Vaccines provide an effective way to protect young dogs and cats against potentially fatal diseases. Puppy vaccinations, such as those for canine cough, are often given in a series of three injections over several weeks when the puppy is between 6-16 weeks old. The same schedule applies to kitten vaccinations. Adult dogs may require booster shots every 1-3 years, depending on their health and lifestyle. Following your vet’s advice on how often to vaccinate your pet is important.

In addition to core puppy and kitten vaccinations, adult dogs may be vaccinated against other diseases depending on their lifestyle and environment. For example, if your dog goes into boarding kennels or regularly socialises with other dogs, it may need a kennel cough vaccine to protect them from this highly contagious viral disease. Similarly, if you live in an area where FIV is common among cats or ferrets, talk to your vet about your options for protecting your cat against this virus and feline leukaemia virus (FeLV).

The Difference Between Core Vaccines and Non-Core Vaccines


Core vaccines are those that are recommended for every pet, typically based on their species, age, and lifestyle. Non-core vaccines are typically recommended based on the individual pet’s risk of exposure to certain diseases due to their lifestyle and geographic location.

Common Pet Vaccines

Vaccinations have become a critical part of maintaining the health of our pets. As pet owners, it is important to know what vaccinations are available for your pet, which ones are core and non-core, and when they should be administered. A pet’s vaccination schedule needs to be tailored to the pet’s lifestyle, breed, and age. Let’s break down each type of vaccine for cats and dogs.

Dog Vaccines

The most common core vaccinations that your puppy will receive are canine distemper virus (CDV), canine adenovirus (CAV), and canine parvovirus (CPV-2). These three vaccines are essential in ensuring your puppy’s health and well-being. CDV helps protect against an infectious disease that affects the respiratory system and nervous system; CAV helps protect against a contagious liver infection; and CPV-2 helps protect against an infection that can cause severe gastrointestinal illness or death in puppies or adult dogs.

Other non-core yet recommended dog vaccinations include parainfluenza virus (PI), bordetella bronchiseptica (BB), and leptospira interrogan. PI helps protect against a viral respiratory infection; BB helps protect against kennel cough; leptospira interrogan helps protect against a bacterial infection spread through water contaminated with animal urine. When deciding which vaccine to give your dog, consult your veterinarian to determine what is best for them based on their lifestyle, breed, and age.

Cat Vaccines

Your kitten must be vaccinated against feline parvovirus (FPV), feline calicivirus (FCV), and feline herpesvirus-1 (FHV-1). FPV is a highly contagious virus that affects cats’ gastrointestinal systems; FCV is a virus that causes upper respiratory infections; FHV-1 is a virus that attacks the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, throat, etc. Kittens need these three core vaccines to develop immunity from serious illnesses caused by these viruses.

Other non-core yet recommended cat vaccinations include feline leukaemia virus (FeLV), chlamydia felis, and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV). FeLV helps protect against an infectious disease caused by a virus; Chlamydia felis protects cats from an eye infection known as conjunctivitis; FIV protects cats from contracting AIDS/HIV due to contact with infected saliva or blood. When deciding which vaccine to give your cat consult with your veterinarian to determine what is best for them based on their lifestyle, breed, and age.

Benefits of Vaccinating Your Pet

cat inspection

There are numerous benefits associated with vaccinating your pet(s). Some of these include:

  • improved longevity due to increased immunity against sicknesses and infections;
  • fewer trips to the vet due to less need for medical attention;
  • cost savings due to reduced costs associated with medical bills;
  • fewer worries since you know they won’t be at risk of contracting certain diseases;
  • peace of mind knowing they are protected against dangerous illnesses
  • and healthier overall because they’re less likely to get sick due to strong immunity against illnesses.

These benefits make vaccinating your pets an essential step in responsible ownership!

Final Thoughts

Pet vaccinations are one of the most important responsibilities for any responsible pet owner.

By ensuring that your furry friends have access to proper preventative care like vaccines, you can rest assured that they will remain healthy throughout their lives—and enjoy longer life spans too!

So don’t forget – keep up with those regular vet visits by scheduling an appointment today! That way, you can rest easy knowing that your beloved pets have received the necessary immunisations for optimal health and well-being!

About Matraville Veterinary Practice

Your pet isn’t just an animal to you but a family member. We care for all creatures, great and small – as if they were our family. At Matraville Veterinary Practice, we’re here to ensure your furry (and not so furry) loved ones have a long, happy, healthy life.

With our large team of friendly, dedicated staff, we’ll take care of your pet’s every need.

If you have questions regarding pet vaccinations or want to book an appointment, contact us today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Puppies Need 2 or 3 Vaccinations?

Vaccines are a very important part of keeping your puppy healthy, so discussing your pup’s vaccination schedule with a veterinarian is best. Puppies should typically receive two rounds of vaccinations, once at eight weeks old and again at 12 weeks old. The first vaccine will protect against parvovirus, distemper, hepatitis and leptospirosis. The second vaccine usually covers adenovirus, kennel cough and rabies. Depending on where you live or if your puppy is going to be visiting other areas with different disease risks, additional vaccines may be recommended.

How Many Times in a Year Does a Dog Need Vaccinations?

It’s important to discuss with your veterinarian how often your pet should receive vaccinations so you can keep them up-to-date on their shots for optimal protection. Generally speaking, most adult dogs need booster vaccinations every one to three years. However, this will depend on the vaccines they have received in the past and any other risk factors your vet may consider. For example, if you live in an area with high rabies exposure or your dog visits areas of high risk like kennels, a more frequent vaccination schedule may be recommended.

What Is Canine 5 in 1 Vaccine?

The Canine 5-in-1 vaccine, also known as the DHPP vaccine, is a combination vaccine containing five different antigens in one injection. These antigens are for canine distemper virus, canine adenovirus type 1 and 2 (hepatitis), parainfluenza (kennel cough) and parvovirus. This vaccine is generally given to puppies at eight weeks of age and again at 12 weeks. It may be necessary to give adult dogs a booster once a year or every three years, depending on their level of exposure to other dogs and the environment.

What Injections Do Dogs Need?

Dogs may need a variety of injections to help protect them from various illnesses. The most common types of vaccinations given to dogs include the Canine 5-in-1 vaccine (DHPP), rabies, leptospirosis, Lyme disease and bordetella (kennel cough). Depending on your area and risk factors determined by your veterinarian, other vaccines may also be recommended, such as canine influenza or rattlesnake bite prevention. It’s important to discuss with your vet what vaccinations are best for your dog based on its lifestyle and geographic location.

Is It Too Late to Vaccinate My Dog?

It’s never too late to vaccinate your dog! Vaccines help protect your pet from life-threatening illnesses; the earlier they are vaccinated, the better. Some pet vaccines require multiple doses to provide the best possible protection, so depending on your pet’s age, they may require additional boosters. Talk to your veterinarian to determine which vaccines are right for your pet and create a vaccination schedule that fits their needs.

Got a question?

We’re here to help you with any urgent enquiries or assistance you might need. Need a little extra help, or not sure if you should bring your pet in for a check-up? Give our team a call and we’ll happily answer your questions.