Yearly vaccines: What your pet needs

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A sick dog with pet insurance waits for treatment.

Annual vaccines are a part of your pet’s annual check up. Vaccines help boost your pet’s immunity and protect them from common pet illnesses, some of which can be deadly.

To help with the cost of annual vaccinations for your pet, make sure your pet has a pet insurance plan that covers annual vaccinations. Pet health insurance companies like Pets Best Insurance offer supplemental wellness plans.

Annual dog vaccinations generally consist of the distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parvovirus, parainfluenza, coronavirus, and rabies vaccines. Distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parvovirus, parainfluenza and coronavirus are usually given as a combination vaccine know as DHLPP-C. Many pet insurance companies help cover this if you have a wellness package.

Other vaccinations may include the bordetella and Lyme disease vaccine. If your dog is around other dogs frequently, your veterinarian will likely recommend that your dog get vaccinated for bordetella, more frequently known as kennel cough. If your dog goes camping or hiking, or you live in an area that is prone to ticks, then your veterinarian will likely recommend the Lyme disease vaccine. Lyme disease is transmitted by ticks and can cause serious neurological side effects.

Annual cat vaccinations generally consist of the feline viral rhinotracheitis, feline calicivirus, feline panleukopenia, and rabies vaccines. The vaccines for feline viral rhinotracheitis, calcivirus and panleukopenia are given as a combination vaccine known as the FVRCP vaccine.

If your cat goes outdoors at any time, then your veterinarian will likely recommend that your cat be vaccinated against feline leukemia. The feline leukemia vaccine is generally not recommended for strictly indoor cats.

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Your pet’s annual vaccine protocol will depend on where you live, your pet’s age, and their health. Your veterinarian will discuss which vaccinations are right for your pet.

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