Recommended Preventative Procedures

Vaccinations are recommended for both humans and animals to prevent certain diseases. Vaccines administer material to a person or animal, usually be injection, that boosts the immune system against a particular bacteria or virus. The material is generally a dead or weakened version of the disease’s own cells. Vaccinations sometimes contain proteins as well.

In cats and dogs, vaccines should be administered for the first time as soon as you take your pet home. Some shots, like rabies shots, need to be given every year. Others can last a few years before animals need to have them administered again. A veterinarian can recommend necessary preventative procedures.

In most cases, animals need heartworm protection and flea and tick protection along with their regular recommended vaccinations and immunizations.

Learn all about recommended preventative procedures for your pet. Get information on heartworm protection, recommendations for dogs and recommendations for cats.

Heartworm Protection

Heartworm is a type of disease that affects dogs, cats and other animals. Heartworm is spread to dogs and cats through mosquitoes. Heartworm can live inside a cat or dog for many years and can eventually kill the animal.

Treatment is generally painful for animals and can involve surgery, so prevention is usually preferred. Medications like Heartguard and Frontline can help pet owners with heartworm protection.

Recommendations for Cats

In cats, there are a few core vaccinations recommended by most veterinarians and a few non-core vaccinations that are not necessary for all cats. Core vaccinations include:

  • feline calicivirus
  • feline panleukopenia (distemper)
  • feline viral rhinotracheitis
  • rabies.

Feline leukemia is also recommended as a core vaccine for cats that live outside all or part of the time.

These vaccines can be given every one to three years, depending on the preferences of the cat owner and the cat’s veterinarian. Other non-core vaccinations can be given if recommended by a vet or desired by a pet owner. Most non-core vaccines are needed only for outdoor cats. Your veterinarian can also give you advice on combination vaccines, which contain more than one vaccine in a single injection. See your veterinarian for recommended vaccinations for cats.

Recommendations for Dogs

In dogs, there are also a few core vaccinations recommended by most veterinarians. Like cats, there are also non-core recommendations that are not needed for all dogs. Core vaccinations for dogs include:

  • canine adenovirus-2 (hepatitis and respiratory disease)
  • canine parvovirus-2
  • distemper.

These vaccines can be recommended every one to three years. The length of time depends on the preferences of the veterinarian and the pet owner and the age and disease risks of the dog. Many non-core vaccinations are needed only for outdoor dogs or dogs in certain environments. Combination vaccines are also available in some cases. See your veterinarian for recommended vaccinations for dogs.