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Pet health: Does my pet need to be vaccinated?

Posted on: September 30th, 2010 by

Posted by: H.R.
Pets Best Insurance Editorial Manager
A veterinarian holds a small dog.

Pet owners often ask themselves why they should vaccinate their pets. According to Dr. Gloria Dorsey, DVM, MPH, and director of medical services at the Atlanta Humane Society, “While responsible pet ownership is not always cheap, you owe it to your new best friend to make sure that they are kept healthy throughout their lives.”

Keep pet health a top priority by keeping them up-to-date on vaccinations. Vaccines are important because they can protect your pet from getting diseases– many which can be life-threatening. Puppies and kittens should get a series of vaccines in the first year of life to ensure proper pet health and that they are protected from dangerous diseases.

Mother animals pass their immunity on to their offspring via the colostrum in her milk. The immunity from the mother usually loses its affect around 5 weeks. Puppies and kittens are given vaccines to help build up their immunity to common diseases. The vaccines are usually repeated every 3 to 4 weeks, until they are 5 months old, to make sure that the animal is fully covered by the vaccines.

Rabies is a disease that affects both cats and dogs. Humans can also be infected with rabies by being bitten by an infected animal. Domestic animals will usually contract rabies from wild animals like foxes and raccoons. The rabies vaccine is the only vaccine that is required by law in most states. Low-cost pet vaccinations are available through some local animal groups and low-cost vaccine providers. By ensuring your pet gets vaccinated, you will be setting them up for long-term cat and dog health care benefits.

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