With advances in veterinary medicine, many diseases that were once dangerous and often fatal are now entirely preventable. Dog and cat vaccinations are an essential part of your pet’s wellness plan, and it’s important that your pet stays current with them throughout their lives. Vaccines work by administering a tiny amount of the virus that is then suppressed by your pet’s antibodies. Should your pet ever come into contact with the same virus, their antibodies will recognize it immediately and react against the contagion. Don’t hesitate to contact our Alpena animal hospital with questions about vaccines, including when you should bring your dog and cat in to be vaccinated.

To keep your canine and feline family members healthy and happy, we recommend an annual exam by one of our veterinarians. At that visit, we can update vaccines and perform parasite screening tests. Since all our pets are individuals and experience a variety of lifestyles, we tailor vaccinations to your pet based on their age, lifestyle, and living conditions.

Core & Non-Core Vaccinations for Dogs & Cats

Pet vaccinations are split up into two categories: core and non-core. Core vaccines are those that all pets, regardless of lifestyle, should receive. Non-core vaccines are recommended based on lifestyle factors.

Core dog vaccinations:

  • Rabies
  • DAPP (distemper, adenovirus, parvovirus, parainfluenza)
  • Leptospirosis

Non-core vaccines for dogs:

  • Lyme
  • Bordetella
  • Canine Influenza

Core cat vaccinations:

  • Rabies
  • FVRCP (feline viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, panleukopenia)

Non-core vaccines for cats

  • FeLV (feline leukemia)

Vaccines for Other Small Mammals

Depending on your pet’s lifestyle, ferrets, rabbits or other small mammals may require the rabies vaccine. Additionally, ferrets may also benefit from the canine distemper vaccine (DAPP) if they are outdoors a lot and likely to come into contact with dogs.

Vaccination Timeline for Puppies and Kittens

Your pet will receive their first core vaccinations when they are still quite young. Puppies and kittens need an initial series of vaccines to boost their immunity. Typical timelines for puppies and kittens are as follows:

Puppy Recommendations:

  • Between 6-8 weeks: Vaccination for DAPP and Deworm
  • Between 9-11 weeks: Vaccination for DAPP, Bordetella, and Deworm
  • Between 12-14 weeks: Vaccination for DAPP, Leptospirosis, Lyme, and Intestinal worm test
  • Between 15-17 weeks: Vaccination for DAPP, Leptospirosis, Lyme, and Rabies

* Must have 2 vaccines past 12 weeks of age given in the appropriate time frame to be considered fully protected.

  • Annually: DAPP (1 or 3 year), Leptospirosis, Bordetella, Lyme, and Rabies (1 or 3 year)

  • Between 8-11 weeks: FVRCP, and Deworm
  • Between 12-14 weeks: FVRCP, Leukemia Vaccination, and Deworm
  • Between 15-17 weeks: FVRCP, Leukemia Vaccination, Rabies (1 year)

*Must have 2 vaccines past 12 weeks of age given in the appropriate time frame to be considered fully protected.

  • Annually: FVRCP, Leukemia Vaccination, and Rabies (1 or 3 year)

*We recommend the Leukemia vaccine for any cat that goes outside. Please schedule a consultation appointment to learn more about vaccines and how your pet can benefit.