The Basics of Dog and Cat Vaccination

If you own a dog or cat or are considering adopting one soon, vaccination will be an essential part of your pet’s good health. Learn the basics of pet vaccination from your veterinarian Ellicott City, MD:

Core Vaccines

The core vaccines are considered essential for all pets. That’s because of the dangerous and/or contagious characteristics of the diseases they prevent; core vaccines include those that protect against distemper, parvovirus, influenza, hepatitis, rabies and more.

Non-Core Vaccines

As the name implies, non-core vaccines aren’t needed for every cat or dog. They might help some, though, based on factors like exposure risk, environment, and location, etc. The Lyme disease vaccination, for instance, is recommended for pets living in areas where disease-carrying ticks are prevalent.


Most pets can receive vaccines as early as eight weeks of age or so. From there, the initial vaccine regimen concludes at about 16 weeks. Most vaccinations then need booster shots to help them remain effective over the course of your pet’s life—these may occur on a yearly or multi-year basis.

For more information about your pet’s vaccines, contact your veterinary clinic Ellicott City, MD. We’re here to help with all of your pet-care needs!