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!

Keeping Your Pet Safe at Parties

Are you hosting a party or family gathering at your home soon? If you own pets, it’s important to keep their well-being in mind! Use these tips from an Ellicott City, MD vet to do just that.

Stress and Anxiety

One of the major hazards of parties and gatherings for pets is one you may not have thought of: stress. When multiple guests come to your home, it can be overwhelming for your pet! This is especially likely if they’re afraid of the doorbell. Set up a pet “safe-zone” in a quiet back room just for your pet’s peace of mind.

Food and Drink Hazards

Don’t leave dangerous party foods—salty items, chocolate and candy, foods containing onions or garlic, etc.—within reach of your pet. If your event will include alcoholic beverages, use caution; alcohol and pets don’t mix! Don’t leave drinks unattended.


With the front door opening frequently as guests arrive and leave, it might be possible for your pet to dart out and escape in the commotion. It may be safest to secure them in an upstairs room, and make sure they’re always properly identified.

Talk to called your animal hospital Ellicott City, MD for more safety tips.


Vaccinations 101

Vaccination is an essential part of good health for your pet. Here, your Ellicott City, MD veterinarian gives you a crash course in vaccinations, what your pet needs, and how to get your pet the proper preventative care.

How Do Vaccines Work?

Vaccination works by introducing a small, virtually harmless strain of the disease it fights against to your pet’s system. Your pet’s body develops antibodies as a response. In this way, your pet’s system is prepared to lessen the symptoms the disease or fight it off entirely should the real thing ever come along.

What Vaccines Does My Pet Need?

Your pet needs what are called the “core” vaccinations, which include vaccines against rabies, calicivirus, distemper, and other dangerous or contagious illnesses. “Non-core” vaccines, those that may benefit some pets but aren’t necessary for every animal, may also be helpful. These includes shots against Bordetella (kennel cough) and the Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV). Ask your veterinarian for specifics on what your pet needs.

How Do I Get Started?

Make an appointment at your Ellicott City, MD animal hospital today. He or she can tell you all about the vaccines your pet needs and answer any further questions you have.