Why Vaccinations Are Vital to Your Pet’s Health

Like humans, pets are exposed to numerous diseases, parasites, and bacterial infections. Unlike us, they cannot tell us when they do not feel well which is why we have to take a proactive approach to their care. The role of a vaccine is to build your pet’s immune system up to provide the necessary defense against diseases.

Core Vaccines

Most states have basic, mandatory vaccines. These protect your pet and also any other animal or human they may come in contact with, including you, the owner.

The most common required vaccines for dogs and cats are:

Required For Dogs:

  • Canine Parvovirus
  • Distemper
  • Canine Hepatitis
  • Rabies

Please Note: Distemper and Rabies are often required by law in order to license your pet. Canine Parvovirus and Canine Hepatitis may not be required by law in your community, but are considered “core” vaccines for the good health of your pet.

Required For Cats:

  • Panleukopenia (Feline Distemper)
  • Feline Calicivirus
  • Feline Herpesvirus type I

Please Note: (Rhinotracheitis and Rabies are considered the ” Core” vaccines”, the Doctors at the Sault Animal Hospital will advise you which vaccinations are best for your pet based on age, lifestyle (Indoor vs outdoor), and other pets in the home.

Non-Core Vaccines

These vaccines are considered elective and are at the discretion of you and your veterinarian. Your veterinarian is always the best source of advice when it concerns vaccinations or any supplements for your pet. The following vaccines are usually given if your pet may be in a situation where there is a high risk for certain diseases outside his or her normal experience.

The most common required non-core vaccines for dogs and cats are:

  • Bordetella bronchiseptica
  • Borrelia burgdorferi
  • Leptospira bacteria
  • Feline leukemia virus
  • Bordetella
  • Chlamydophila felis
  • Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV)

Crossing the Border

Attention Canadian clients! When bringing your pet in from Canada, you will need to go through customs. The following URLs will take you to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), which regulates the importation of livestock, and the Center for Disease Control (CDC), which regulates the importation of dogs and cats.

It’s important to remember that a dog or cat requires a rabies vaccination to cross the border. Horses and other livestock require a health certificate (this includes birds). Exotic animals such as lizards, snakes, and turtles, may fall under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), which have their own regulations.