If you could do everything to make sure your pet lives a happy and healthy life, wouldn’t you try? That’s what vaccinations do for your dogs and cats – give them a greater chance of living a healthy life. But, what do vaccines really do and what kind of vaccinations are even necessary?!

We’re glad you asked because this is one of our favourite topics!

Vaccines Have Multiple Purposes

It makes sense that vaccinating your pet will help protect them against certain pathogens and parasites, but, for us, it goes beyond protecting their health alone (but that’s our primary reason, of course!).

  • Increased peace of mind
  • When Rover’s at the dog park or puppy daycare, you can be at ease knowing he’s protected if playing with other, possibly sick, dogs.

  • Protection for YOUR health
  • Our pets can get diseases, such as rabies or lyme disease that can be passed on to us. By vaccinating against these, you protect you and your family’s health as well.

  • Prevention is always cheaper than treatment
  • By taking care of your puppy or kitty’s health from the get-go, you don’t just support their future health, you support your future wallet. Yes, pet insurance can help if treatment is required, but let’s just try and avoid getting sick through prevention in the first place. Your pet (and wallet) will thank you!

  • Enjoy an active lifestyle without worry
  • Whether you take your pet hiking in the mountains, to the dog park to play with friends, or simply walk your pet around the block, you know you’ve done what you can to protect their health.

Your Pet’s Core Vaccinations

Not all four-legged furry family members require the same vaccinations. To know which vaccines are best for you pet, it’s best to speak with your vet about lifestyle, age, and location specific concerns. This way you won’t miss a beneficial vaccine, or accidentally over-vaccinate your pet. That said, here are the most common vaccines:


  • Required: Canine Parvovirus, Canine hepatitis, Distemper, Rabies,
  • Lifestyle Dependent: Bordetella (kennel cough), Canine influenza, Lyme vaccine
Cats…even if Simba is indoor only
  • Required: Paneleukopenia (feline distemper), Feline calicivirus, Rhinotracheitis, Rabies
  • Lifestyle Dependent: Feline leukemia virus
If side effects are a big concern for you, know that there are minor ones that can appear. The most common one we see in puppies and kittens is that they sleep a bit more. And really, what puppy parent couldn’t do with a bit more sleep? That said, while rare, you should monitor your pet for signs of an allergic reaction, such as vomiting, diarrhea, or swelling in the face in the first 24 hours.

If you have questions or concerns about vaccines and your pet, call us at Happy Paws Veterinary Clinic. We love helping you keep your pet healthy and happy!