• By: Laura Lynn O’nan Education Coordinator

Vaccinating your pets

Would you like to help your furry family members live long, healthy lives? Vaccinations protect your pet from highly contagious and deadly diseases and improve your pet’s overall quality of life. Many experts believe that the invention of vaccines is one of the most important breakthroughs in animal care and safety, and has prevented disease and death in millions of animals over the last century. Along with exercise, proper nutrition, and of course, plenty of love, maintaining an appropriate vaccination program is one of the best ways to keep your companion with you for many happy years.

Vaccines are injections that help prepare the body’s immune system to fight off an invasion of disease-causing organisms. They contain antigens that are disguised as an invader to the body. Once it is introduced into the body, the immune system is stimulated to trigger different proteins and antibodies that recognize and fight against the disguised vaccine. If your furry family member does fall ill, the immune system is now able to recognize and fight off the real invader, greatly reducing the severity and duration of the infection.

Vets recommend administering core vaccines every one to three years, depending on age and vaccination history. Important core vaccines for canines include parvovirus, distemper, canine hepatitis and rabies. When it comes to your feline friends, feline viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, panleukopenia and rabies are considered essential. Bordetella is also recommended for both dogs and cats if they are exposed to a day care setting, boarding-type environment or visit places where animals are welcome to interact, such as dog parks or pet supply stores.

Although peace of mind about your loved one’s health may be priceless, from an economic perspective, routine vaccinations definitely save money in the long run. While unforeseen incidents can arise, keeping your pet on a regular vaccination schedule can help eliminate the expense of treating preventable illnesses. When is come to your pet’s health, your veterinarian will know the best protocol. Talk with them to determine a vaccination regimen that will provide the safest and best protection for your pet’s individual needs. Vaccines are just one of the many ways we protect our pets’ health, but they’re an important part so follow the schedule provided by your veterinarian and don’t let it slip. If you have any questions about vaccines and other staples of preventative care, feel free to contact the Adoption Center at 859-873-5491 or manager@woodfordhumane.org for more information.

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