Pet immunizations are a controversial topic right now. Pet owners feel as though if parents have the right to refuse vaccinations for their children they should be able to refuse immunizations for their pets. However, when pet outbreaks occur it is automatically assumed that it is because pet owners are hesitant about immunizations.
In February, it was mentioned that an Anti-Vaccination movement might be spreading to pet owners. Currently, dog flu is spreading in the Midwest.
The Laws on Pet Immunizations
By law, your pet has to have the rabies vaccine. However, many pet owners feel that the other vaccinations offered by vets are not needed and they avoid them. Usually, the vaccinations that the veterinarian offers in addition to the required rabies vaccine varies based on the current pet population and the current diseases.
You should follow your states guidelines because if your pet bites someone and they have not been vaccinated they will be quarantined
How to Avoid Over Vaccinating Your Pet
Your vet has the ability to run a blood test on your pet to see if a prior vaccine protects them. This will allow you to decide which vaccinations your pet should receive.
How Often Should My Pet be Vaccinated?
You should always discuss your pet’s health and particular needs with your veterinarian.
The following general guidelines are appropriate for most animals:
1. All puppies should receive a 4-in-1 DA2PP vaccine starting at six to eight weeks of age and repeated every three to four weeks until the puppy is at least 4 months old.
2. Adult dogs not previously vaccinated as puppies should receive a 4-in-1 DA2PP vaccine twice three to four weeks apart.
3. All kittens should receive a 3-in-1 FVRCP vaccine starting at six to eight weeks of age and repeated every three to four weeks until the kitten is at least 4 months of age.
4. Adult cats not previously vaccinated as kittens should receive a 3-in-1 FVRCP vaccine twice three to four weeks apart.
5. For both cats and dogs, booster vaccines are typically given a year later and then every three years based on the recommendation of the veterinarian.
6. Cats and dogs must be vaccinated against rabies by four months of age and receive boosters on an annual or tri-annual basis in accordance with local law and the specific vaccine administered.
Written by Victoria Heckstall
Sources: American Hospital Association, Humane Society, American Association of Feline Practitioners, University College of Veterinary Medicine.