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Vaccination and Your New Pet

Pet vaccinations, similar to human vaccinations, protect animals from life-threatening illness. Using parallel methods of protection as in humans, pet vaccines initiate defensive immune response, preparing the animal’s body to fight a potential future infection. Depending on your pet type and geographical location, the veterinarian will recommend vaccinations based on their need for protection. Pet vaccinations, especially for young pets, are highly recommended.

Why vaccinate pets?

It is important to vaccinate pets for the same reasons it is important to vaccinate humans. Pets, especially those kept outdoors, are highly susceptible to numerous health risks, some of which may even cause death. In majority of cases, vaccination prevents these illnesses, averting the spread of infection. Within the last few years, the occurrence of numerous diseases has lessened due to the increase in pet owner awareness and the increase in pet vaccination.

Risks of pet vaccinations

Vaccinations carry very little risk, though some pets may experience adverse, mild and temporary reactions. The most common side-effects are: 

  • Fever
  • Lethargy 
  • Pain or swelling at the injection site
  • Reduced-appetite

The following side-effects should be promptly communicated to the veterinarian:

  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive pain or swelling lasting longer than two days 
  • Inability to sleep
  • Itching
  • Swollen legs or face
  • Trouble breathing
  • Vomiting

When should my pet be vaccinated?

After purchasing your new pet, contact your veterinarian to inquire about creating a vaccination schedule. Pets are vaccinated on a routine schedule, with younger pets requiring multiple series of vaccines to gradually build up immunity. Also, younger pets are more susceptible to infection because their immune systems are less developed, thus a series of vaccinations is critical. The veterinarian will implement a vaccination schedule according to local regulation, as well as protecting your new pet from common diseases within your locality.