The Most Common Vaccinations for Your Cat and Dog

Cat getting vaccinated by vet

Core Vaccines for Your Cat and Dog

Vaccinations protect your cat or dog from illnesses that could cause serious health complications or even death. Vaccines boost your pet's immune system, preventing illness or making symptoms much less severe.

Vaccines Your Dog Needs

These core vaccinations are recommended for all dogs:

  • Rabies. Your dog can catch rabies from the bite or scratch of an infected dog, cat, bat, skunk, fox, raccoon, or another wild animal. Unfortunately, rabies is usually fatal. There are about 5,000 rabies cases in the U.S. every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Ninety percent of the cases involve wildlife. Vaccinating your dog offers a simple way to protect your furry friend from this deadly disease.
  • Combination Vaccine. This shot offers protection from four diseases that could affect your pet: distemper, adenovirus-2, parainfluenza, and parvovirus. These diseases are highly contagious, can make your pet very sick, and have a high fatality rate.

Your veterinarian may also suggest one or more non-core vaccinations. Your dog may need a non-core vaccination if a particular disease is more common in your area, or if your pet travels with you to other areas of the country or frequently spends time with other dogs. Non-core vaccinations include:

  • Bordetella (Kennel Cough). This vaccine is recommended for pets that spend time around other dogs at dog parks, boarding facilities, training classes, or dog shows.
  • Lyme Disease. A Lyme disease vaccine may be needed if you live in a part of the country where the disease is widespread.
  • Leptospirosis. Leptospirosis is spread through the urine of wild animals. Depending on the amount of time your dog spends outdoors, your veterinarian may recommend the vaccine.
  • Crotalus Atrox. The Crotalus atrox vaccine decreases your dog's risk of death if it's ever bitten by several types of rattlesnake found in California.
  • Influenza. The influenza vaccine can make canine flu symptoms less severe if your dog catches this illness. It's recommended for dogs that regularly spend time with other dogs.

Vaccines Your Cat Needs

Core vaccines for cats include:

  • Rabies. A rabies vaccine is a must even if you have an indoor cat. You never know when you're cat could slip out an open door and come in contact with a wild animal infected with the rabies virus. Even if your cat never goes outdoors, a rabid bat could find its way into your home and infect your favorite feline. A rabies vaccine offers peace of mind and is required by many municipalities.
  • Combination Vaccine. The FVRCP combination vaccine for cats provides protection against feline calicivirus, feline panleukopenia (distemper), and feline viral rhinotracheitis herpesvirus-1). All of these diseases are easily spread and cause symptoms ranging from nasal congestion to diarrhea to death.
  • Feline Leukemia (FeLV). Your cat will need a feline leukemia vaccine if it's 1 year old or younger, as younger animals are more likely to catch this disease. The FeLV vaccine is a non-core vaccine for older cats who go outdoors.

These non-core vaccines may be recommended for some cats:

  • Bordetella. Although most cats won't need the bordetella (kennel cough) vaccine, it can be a good idea if you have multiple cats in your home or your cat stays in a boarding facility occasionally.
  • Chlamydia. The chlamydia vaccine can be added to the combination vaccine or given separately. The illness, which causes conjunctivitis (pink eye) and upper respiratory infections, most often affect multi-cat households and cats that go outdoors.

Has your cat or dog been vaccinated against diseases common in our area? Contact us if your pet needs a vaccine, or you're not sure which vaccines your dog or cat has received.

Sources:

American Animal Hospital Association: Top 10 Things You Need to Know About AAHA's Canine Vaccination Guidelines

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Rabies in the U.S.

American Animal Hospital Association: Core Vaccines for Pet Cats

ASPCA: Vaccinations for Your Pet

Consumer Reports: Why It’s So Important to Vaccinate Your Dog, 9/17/18

Your First Visit is FREE

Sign up now

Office Hours

Monday:

7:30am

5:30pm

Tuesday:

7:30am

5:30pm

Wednesday:

7:30am

7:00pm

Thursday:

7:30am

5:30pm

Friday:

7:30am

5:30pm

Saturday:

7:30am

12:00pm

Sunday:

Closed

Closed

Location

Find us on the map

Testimonial

  • "Excellent caring staff. If I could give them a trillion stars I would. Your fur babies are in the best hands. The most caring compassionate staff you will ever meet!"
    Lori H
  • "i wish all the vets offices would do this!I think it is wonderful to advertise all our fur babies and how they are doing!"
    Penny G.
  • "Very caring people. I live in Clinton and it is worth the drive to them. I have been there a handful of times and the customer service has been above and beyond. Nothing but great things to say about every experience!"
    Chandra H
  • "SCAH has some of the most caring, compassionate and professional staff anywhere! They have treated our puppy dogs for the past 31 years and have treated each one with such kindness, knowledge and special care that we can't imagine going anywhere else. We have had some special issues with a few of our dogs and I feel like they not only did their utmost to give the best care, but also make sure that we as pet owners are part of the process. And when sadly, one of our fur babies has passed, they have given us such kindness and understanding that it makes a hard time much easier. Bless you all for your wonderful care to us and our doggies."
    Nancy N.
  • "A huge thank you to Colene for always making Lola’s visits relaxing 💜 Lola did great with Dr. Knutson. I’m happy that I’ve finally found a place that truly cares about the well being of my fur-baby 🐶 Their whole staff is welcoming and I never have to worry about Lola’s appointments."
    Amber K
  • "Every single person at Scott County Animal Hospital, whether it is one of the doctors, one of the techs or groomer or a front desk worker...EVERYONE treats us like family every time we have a contact with them."
    Debi E.
  • "The absolute best in the QC. Have always taken great care of our puppies and dogs throughout the years. Feels like family and always a warm welcome. Treat your pets with the best care like they are their own."
    VeronicaV.

Featured Articles

Read about interesting topics

Newsletter Signup

Sign up for more articles