Like babies and children, pets need vaccines to develop disease immunity. Many pet owners do not know that adult pets need shots, too, at different times in their lives. Regular booster vaccinations are essential to keep your furry buddy protected from illness.
Vaccines contain killed or weakened forms of viruses or bacteria. When administered, they stimulate your pet’s immune system to produce antibodies. Antibodies are unique proteins that stay in your body to fight off harmful germs.
Think of vaccines as teaching tools that provide a preview of the pathogens your pet might face. This gives their immunity time to prepare defensive antibodies in advance.
Puppies and kittens get shots to boost their immune systems against diseases. But as pets age, their immunity to certain infections may decrease. This often happens if they do not get regular boosters.
Adult boosters act like a wake-up call to stimulate antibody protection. They remind your pet’s body that this disease still poses a threat, signaling immunity to stay alert.
Your vet will recommend which adult boosters your dog or cat needs. Based on your pet's health, lifestyle, and environment, they will suggest how often to give them. Follow your vet’s advised schedule to maintain high antibody levels. Sticking to booster timelines is key for ongoing disease protection.
Adult boosters are crucial if your pet often meets other animals or spends time outdoors. Pets that go to doggy daycare or parks, barn cats, outdoor cats, and hunting pets are likelier to get sick.
Keeping up with their vaccinations protects them if they encounter an infected animal. Even indoor pets need boosters if viruses track in on shoes or clothing.
Adult dogs and cats need different core vaccines. This is because their immunity and disease susceptibility are different.
For dogs: Depending on the risk, you should boost distemper, adenovirus, parvovirus, parainfluenza, and rabies shots every one to three years. Leptospirosis also requires annual boosters.
For cats: Panleukopenia, herpesvirus, calicivirus, and rabies are lifetime core vaccines needing a booster every three years. Feline leukemia shots are vital for outdoor cats or those exposed to other felines.
Consult your vet about adjusting boosters based on your pet's lifestyle and potential exposures.
Just like human vaccines, pet shots can sometimes cause mild side effects. These include lethargy, swelling or soreness at the injection site, and a low fever for a day or two. More severe reactions are rare with modern vaccines.
Call your vet immediately if your pet vomits, has a swollen face, gets hives, or has trouble breathing. If your pet reacted to a previous vaccine, tell the vet before getting more shots. This way, the vet can offer different options if necessary.
No vaccine or medication is 100% risk-free. Stay on top of your grown-up pet's booster shots to keep them healthy and happy for a long time. It helps maintain their immunity and provides clear benefits.
With your vet, be sure your adult pet stays current on their shots. Consistent boosters reinforce your pet’s defenses against highly contagious and potentially fatal illnesses they face. Keeping immunity strong with booster shots is one of the most caring steps you can take for your pet’s health.
For more on pet vaccinations, visit Country Veterinary Clinic at our Live Oak, California office. Call (530) 491-4500 to schedule an appointment today.