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

Contact Us Today!

Contact us using the form or call us at 804-741-3200.

Monday:

8:00am

6:00pm

Tuesday:

8:00am

6:00pm

Wednesday:

8:00am

6:00pm

Thursday:

8:00am

6:00pm

Friday:

8:00am

6:00pm

Saturday:

8:00am

12:00pm

Sunday:

Closed

Closed

Testimonials

Read What Our Clients Say

  • "Dr. Evans was so patient and kind with our kitty "Cookie". Very caring and so helpful and answered many questions for me concerning her health. The office staff are kind, caring, and professional. The office is immaculate. I have never been to a vet where my pets and myself were treated so well. Love it and so glad to have found them. Best vet appointment ever!"
    Dorothy M.
  • "We have used the Q for over 15 years for our cats and our dogs. Dr. Mortimer is a genius at diagnosing and treating a wide array of issues, and we have relied on his skills to help our animals live to amazing ages. The staff is incredibly caring. They do everything possible to help when we call or come in with a sick animal. They truly care for our pets, and many of the staff will come out from the back to pet our dogs
    when they come in. They are so patient with shy animals like our ferally cat Stasha who needed laser treatments, and our Bagle Topsy who is afraid of her own shadow.Yes, they are not the cheapest vet in town, but they work with us on making a treatment plan we can afford, and we feel that the value and the care are well worth it. Thank you to everyone at the Q for their dedication and loving care."
    Sally M. / December 21, 2017
  • "Met with Dr. Hiser today for the first time. Everyone at the
    clinic--from the desk staff to the vet techs to the veterinarian were warm and welcoming. My dog Iris--who is often nervous around new people--was comfortable there and (I think) made a few new friends. Looking forward to a continued relationship with the clinic as my sweet girl grows up. Thanks, thanks thanks."
    Stephanie C. / June 27, 2018
  • "My three chihuahuas have been Dr. Mortimer's patients for over nine years. The expertise, love, and care demonstrated for each pet is extraordinary. The doctors and staff go the extra mile to help their patients and the parents. They are truly an amazing group that love and care for each pet. If there was a review rated outstanding, that would have been my choice!"
    Donna C. / June 10, 2018
  • "I would highly recommended QVH. All of the staff are so kind and compassionate. They are so willing to help and never mind answering any questions you may have, even if it's 100 questions they are so patient. They genuinely care and treat your pets as if they were their own. And I cannot say enough about Dr. Hiser. She is amazing. Even on her days off she would still call and check in on my dog. I am so appreciative of this place and the staff. It's a great feeling to be completely comfortable with putting your pets care in someone's else hands and trusting them to provide the best service."
    Taylor H. / August 25, 2018
  • "I have been seeing Dr. Evans for at least 20 years. Her manner, knowledge, staff and facility are exceptional. I am a health care provider myself and hold the care of my pets to the highest standards....and I have never had a second thought about the care or recommendations of Dr. Evans. I moved out of town 6 years ago....and drive 3 hours each way to see her."
    Kimberley W. / April 2, 2018
  • "Wouldn't trust my four-legged Kids to anyone else - they have guided us with all our dogs through the years. The entire staff is kind and patient with the animals (and their parents)."
    Karen K. / November 7, 2017

Featured Articles

Read about interesting topics

Newsletter Signup

Sign up for more articles