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Pet vaccinations are vitally important for the health and safety of your pet. To learn more about cat vaccination and dog vaccination requirements, look through this FAQ from our veterinarian in Portland, OR.

Learn More About Dog Vaccination and Cat Vaccination Requirements

What is a dog vaccination or cat vaccination?

To bolster your pet’s immune system our veterinarian in Portland will administer shots by injecting a small amount of serum under your pet’s skin. These serums contain bits of viruses or bacteria that do not make your pet sick, but that will cause your pet’s immune system to create a host of antibodies to ward off those diseases. When your pet encounters these germs in the wild, your immunized pet should be safe from them.

What makes pet vaccinations so important?

Staying on your pet’s dog vaccination or cat vaccination schedule is an inexpensive, low-risk, high-reward way to keep your pet from suffering very common, contagious and painful diseases that could kill him or her. It also reduces the prevalence of these diseases in the general pet population, which is good for other pets in your neighborhood too.

What is a core cat or dog vaccination vs. a non-core vaccination?

Cats and dogs both suffer from different diseases, and veterinary health experts recommend that all pets receive a regular set of “core” (essential) vaccinations to fight the most prevalent, contagious and potentially deadly pathogens for their species. Our veterinarian in Portland also administers non-core dog and cat vaccination shots if your pet has a lifestyle or health condition that brings extra disease risks (e.g. a weak immune system, frequent dog park or boarding visits, traveling, a lot of camping, swimming in lakes, rivers or at the beach, etc.). Discuss your pet’s lifestyle with our veterinarian for details specific to your pet:

  • Core cat vaccination list: feline panleukopenia, feline calicivirus, feline herpesvirus, rabies.
  • Core dog vaccination list: parvo, distemper, parainfluenza, hepatitis, rabies.
  • Non-core dog vaccination examples: leptospirosis, Lyme disease, bordetella, borrelia burgdorferi
  • Non-core cat vaccination examples: bordetella, FIV, chlamydophila felis, and feline leukemia.

How soon should I have my new puppy or kitten vaccinated?

At age 8 weeks, bring your puppy or kitten in to start a course of core pet vaccinations that will go every 3-4 weeks until 20 weeks. The rabies vaccine is given at 12 weeks. Since puppies and kittens are extra vulnerable to disease, getting on this schedule is very important.

What pet vaccinations are required by Oregon law?

All states, including Oregon, require pets to have regular rabies shots. Our veterinarian in Portland provides a certificate and tag at each booster shot appointment.

How often does my pet need to be vaccinated?

This varies between vaccines. Rabies boosters usually last 3 years, but other core vaccines need to be given annually. The non-core bordetella shot lasts 6 months.

Call our veterinarian with any other questions about pet vaccinations: 503-661-1833.

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