The Importance of Vaccinations

Puppies, adult dogs, kittens, adult cats and rabbits should all be vaccinated.

Vaccinations are important because they protect your pet’s from a variety of illnesses and diseases, and in some cases potential death due to the deadliness of some of these viruses. Some of the viruses that vaccinations protect against are ones such as parvovirus. Parvovirus is deadly, especially in puppies and older dogs. It is extremely important you have your puppy vaccinated against this. Parvovirus can also live in the ground for up to 10 years, therefore it is not recommended you take your puppy out to socialise until it has had its first three rounds of vaccinations.

Vaccinations are extremely important for your animal’s health, and adult dogs and cats should be vaccinated yearly. Most boarding kennels and catteries will not admit a dog or cat to stay unless their vaccinations are up to date.

Many cat owners believe that if they have an indoor cat they do not need to vaccinate their pet. This is unsure. Many viruses are airborne and therefore your pet is still at risk.

Additionally, when you take your pet for its yearly vaccination, it is the ideal opportunity for your pet to have an annual health check-up and discuss any health issues or concerns with your veterinarian.

Vaccinations should only be administered by those trained to do so, in most states this is Veterinarians only.

Although your pet may get some side effects from their vaccinations, the benefits of vaccinating your pet far outweigh the negatives. However, the likeliness of your pet experiencing side effects from their vaccinations is highly unlikely. If you are concerned about any side effects your pet could possibly experience or have any concerns, discuss them with your local veterinarian.


The main viruses your dog should be vaccinated against are; Canine distemper, Infectious Hepatitis, Parvovirus and Canine Cough. The typical vaccination schedule for puppies is:

First vaccination: 6-8 weeks of age.

Second vaccination: 12-14 weeks of age.

Third Vaccination: 16-18 weeks of age.

Following this, your dog should be given an annual booster vaccination.


The main viruses your cat should be vaccinated against are; Feline Enteritis, Feline Respiratory Disease (Cat Flu) and Feline Immunodeficiciency Virus.

First vaccination: 6-8 weeks of age.

Second vaccination: 12-14 weeks of age.

Third Vaccination: 16-18 weeks of age.

Following this, your cat should be given an annual booster vaccination.


It may come as a surprise to some people, but rabbits can also be vaccinated. Rabbits can be vaccinated against Calici virus.

In Australia, the Calici virus is regularly released into the wild to control rabbit populations. Therefore, if you have a pet rabbit, it is important to have them vaccinated against this virus.

First Vaccination: 10-12 weeks of age (However, it can be done as early as 6 weeks of age).

Second Vaccination: 14-16 weeks of age.

After this, like cats and dogs, your rabbit can be given a yearly booster.

For more information on vaccinations, the specific vaccinations your animal requires, the frequency and the benefits, you can contact your local Veterinary Clinic and discuss these matters with one of their Veterinary Nurses or your Veterinarian.

This article first appeared in The Australia Times Pets magazine.

Published by

Claire Gordon

Claire Gordon is a freelance writer and has been published by a variety of publications.

Website: Claire Gordon

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