It’s important to keep your pet up to date on their vaccines, whether they are a brand-new puppy or kitten or a senior dog or cat.
The necessary vaccines for your pet depend on their age and lifestyle. For dogs and cats, there are two sets of vaccines: core and non-core. Core vaccines are required by law and keep your pet safe from serious disease along with protecting other animals and humans that come into contact with your animal. Most vaccines are updated every year or every three years, depending on vaccination laws and manufacturer recommendations.
Core Vaccines for Dogs
Dogs must be up to date on these vaccinations:
- Canine Distemper
- Canine Hepatitis
Most dogs receive vaccinations when they are puppies between eight and 10 weeks old. Your veterinarian will administer vaccines every three to four weeks—puppy vaccines will typically be completed by around four months of age.
For adult dogs, vaccines are updated yearly or every three years. Depending on their lifestyle, non-core vaccines may be given to your dog, including:
- Borrelia burgdorferi
- Leptospira bacteria
- Canine influenza
We will gladly discuss the benefits and risks of these vaccines to help you make an educated decision on whether or not they are right for your pet.
Core Vaccines for Cats
Core vaccines for our kitty cat friends include:
- Feline distemper
- Feline calicivirus
- Feline herpesvirus type I (rhinotracheitis)
Along with these vaccines, all kittens must have a feline AIDS blood test and a feline leukemia virus test (FeLV).
Our veterinarians will educate you on which of the non-core vaccines may be beneficial to your cat. For kittens, vaccines aren’t administered at once—they usually start when they are around eight and 10 weeks old and are administered every three to four weeks until they are 16 weeks old. Along with these vaccines, kittens MUST have a feline AIDS blood test. For adult cats, they receive booster vaccines every one to three years.
Parasite prevention is similar to administering vaccines. For dogs and cats, the biggest issues are heartworms, fleas and ticks. To manage parasites, there are several oral and topical methods available. Since few of these methods are available over the counter, getting guidance from your veterinarian is the best way to keep your pet protected.
For heartworm, one of the most effective treatments is the ProHeart6 vaccine, which is available as an injection given every six months from Veterinary Wellness Center of Boerum Hill.
Veterinary Wellness Center of Boerum Hill offers vaccination packages that are suited for your dog or cat’s lifestyle. We always prefer appointments, but also take walk-ins.
Our vaccine packages include a full comprehensive physical exam with medical recommendations*—we offer this service to help prevent disease to as many cats or dogs in Brooklyn as possible. When you bring your pet in, please bring a fecal sample as this is included in the clinic package pricing. These samples are important since approximately 30% of household plants and garden soil have parasites that your pet can contract.
Your pet will also have a heartworm test. For dogs, it is very important that they get tested for heartworm every year—dogs should also be on a monthly heartworm preventative since heartworm disease is transmitted by mosquitoes and is fatal and expensive to treat.
For cats, heartworm disease is untreatable and difficult to diagnose, so prevention is extremely important.
*Only healthy pets will be vaccinated as determined by the veterinarian.