Handy Guide To Pet Vaccinations
Pet Vaccinations

Handy Guide To Pet Vaccinations

By Sam Weeks | November 9, 2020

There are many responsibilities that come with pet ownership. Your pet looks to you to provide food, exercise, socialisation and room to play. It is also your role to look after their health and wellbeing and part of this is ensuring you are up to date with their vaccination schedule.

Pets need to be vaccinated against a range of infectious diseases that can cause serious health problems — to themselves and to your wider family. Some animal diseases can be transferred to humans so keeping an up-to-date vaccination schedule is crucial for the good health of your entire household.

Depending on their age, species and environment in which your pet lives, vaccinations can occur on a yearly basis or across a longer timeframe. Having regular appointments with your vet, who can put together an appropriate vaccination schedule, is the first step in providing excellent pet care to your four-legged friend.

How does a pet vaccination work?

Pet vaccines work in much the same way as their human counterparts. The vaccine contains an agent that is similar to the disease-causing microorganism. This is injected into your pet’s body in order to stimulate the production of white blood cells and antibodies, provoking an immune response.

Your pet’s immune system will remember the disease-causing foreign body and will be able to fight it, should they come into contact with that agent again. It usually takes around seven days for a pet to develop immunity against a vaccinated disease.

What kinds of vaccinations does my pet need?

There are many factors that influence what types of vaccinations that your pet requires and how regularly they need to receive booster shots. 

To make things easier, pet vaccinations can be broadly broken down into two categories:


Core vaccinations are recommended to all dogs and cats, regardless of their age, breed, environment or circumstances. They are an essential element of pet care, protecting against life-threatening diseases that have high rates of infection. Core vaccinations in Australia include:

  • Dogs: Canine distemper, Canine parvovirus, hepatitis 
  • Cats: Herpesvirus, Feline distemper, calicivirus

Non-core vaccinations are administered depending on your location and other lifestyle factors — not all pets require non-core treatments. In Australia, non-core vaccinations generally include:


  • Dogs: Parainfluenza, Bordetella, Leptospirosis
  • Cats: Feline immunodeficiency virus, Feline leukemia virus, Chlamydia 

At what age should my pet be vaccinated?

To maximise effectiveness, it is generally recommended that puppies and kittens are not vaccinated before the age of six weeks. Upon receiving their first vaccination, animals typically receive a number of booster shots (whilst still at a young age) and then may follow a scheduled vaccination plan every 12 months afterwards.

How do I arrange for my pet to be vaccinated?

Looking for “vets near me” to get your pet vaccinated in Melbourne? Contact Vets on Call! At-home vaccination is just one of the many pet care services that we offer and your cat or dog will be in safe hands with our experienced team of qualified mobile veterinarians. Our easy 3-step booking process allows you to schedule your appointment at a time that suits you and our app allows you to maintain and access your pet’s complete health history, meaning you can be sure that they are up to date with all their vaccinations. Be sure to contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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