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August 07, 2008  |  Difficulty: Easy

Your new pet’s first veterinarian visit will most likely result in a series of vaccinations.  Puppies and kittens have delicate, immature immune systems that do not fight off all the germs and viruses that they are exposed to when going for walks and even licking the floor in your own home! First shots are usually given in a series beginning at about 4 weeks and continuing about every three weeks until about 4 months of age. This series of shots protects your new pet from many deadly viruses that they are very susceptible to. Your vet will tell you what each shot is for and how it protects your pet so you make educated decisions about your pet’s treatment from now on!

Vaccination schedule for puppies
  • 8 weeks-4 months old: Parainfluenza, Leptospirosis, Distemper, Parvovirus and Hepatitis.
  • 4 months old: Rabies vaccination. Intestinal parasites, fleas and heartworm will be checked at this time.

Vaccination schedule for kittens
  • 8-weeks-4 months of age: Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calici-Chlamydia and Panleukopenia.
  • 4 months old:  Rabies vaccination. Intestinal parasites, ear mites and heartworm will be checked at this time.

Your veterinarian will be the one to educate you and should be the only one to administer all vaccinations your pet will receive. Plus, when you begin visiting your vet on a regular basis you lay the groundwork for easier, calmer vet visits when your pet is an adult.  Never skip this step in bringing home baby because you could also be sacrificing your new pet’s health later on. Vaccinations are not expensive, generally costing under $20 for the whole series.  Plus, there are many clinics that hold low-cost vaccination programs to encourage all pets to be vaccinated. Just check your yellow-pages to find a local clinic you can depend on.

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