Pets are living beings that live on this planet, more than that they become a part of our family. They become an integral part of our household units, and as such should be treated with the same amount of love and care. In fact, for many people, their pets become their children. And just like one would care for their newborns by getting them vaccinated to protect them from harmful illnesses, pets must be vaccinated for the same reasons.

If you are a pet owner, you may have some questions about pet vaccinations. Here is the 101 that you should know!

What are pet vaccinations?

Pet vaccinations are similar to the vaccines administered to humans. They are injections of disease-causing organisms into the pet, that help build up the pets’ resistance to the disease. Vaccines are usually produced by pharmaceutical companies and are modified to stimulate immunity building against the disease.

How do pet vaccinations work?

Like we said before, vaccines are small doses of the disease-causing bacteria or viruses that are injected into your pet dog or cat. This may seem counter-productive but is actually based on how the immune system works. When small doses of the disease are injected into pets, their bodies develop antibodies to combat the harmful substances. Vaccines are simply a way of speeding up the body’s ability to protect itself!

Are there different types of vaccinations?

In general, there are two types of vaccinations- modified live vaccines, and killed vaccines.

In a modified live vaccine, the actual live disease is injected into your pet. But this is done in small doses, and the bacteria or virus is modified to prevent it from spreading and making your pet fall sick. Your pet’s body can then create the antibodies it needs. These antibodies last anywhere between six months and a year, so most vaccines need to be taken every year.

A killed vaccine works in the same way, except the disease-causing bacteria or virus is killed before it is injected into your pet.

Does getting vaccinated mean that my pet will never fall ill?

This need not necessarily be the case. Vaccines are a very effective preventative measure, but they do not offer a complete guarantee of protection. Vaccinating your pet does not mean that they will never fall sick, but it does reduce the likelihood by a large extent. And we have all the saying- ‘Prevention is better than cure!’

What are some common vaccines that pets must have?

There a several types of vaccines that your pet may get. Some of these are anti-rabies, canine distemper (for dogs), feline distemper (for cats), parvovirus, and hepatitis. Each of these protects your pet against a specific virus that may cause them to fall sick.

Vaccinating your pet is important as it gives them a better chance at living a happy and healthy life. Vaccinations follow particular schedules. You should consult a trained veterinarian about what vaccines may be applicable for your pet, and when these vaccines should be administered.