Vaccinating your new pet, what you need to know

As soon as puppies and kittens are born, their mother’s milk should protect them from infections, providing the mother has been vaccinated herself. This protection only lasts a few weeks, so from an early age they will need regular vaccinations.

A new puppy or kitten is a great addition to any family, but it’s important to be prepared before their arrival and to make sure you have your vaccinations booked.

Below, we have highlighted frequently asked questions, to help you prepare for your routine vaccines.

Why are vaccinations important?

Vaccinations immunise your puppy or kitten from diseases, some of which can be fatal.

How do vaccinations work?

Vaccinating your puppy or kitten enables their immune system to create defenses against diseases. A vaccine contains and injects disease antigens that mildly stimulate the immune system, without infecting the pet.

Once the immune system is stimulated, it then creates antibodies to fight off the real disease, should your pet ever be exposed to it.

When should my pets be vaccinated?

Puppies can start their vaccinations from 6-8 weeks old. They will then need a second set of injections 2-4 weeks after that. After both sets of vaccinations, they will then be safe to venture outdoors and meet other dogs. After these initial vaccinations, your dog will need booster injections throughout their life to keep them protected from deadly diseases. These are often called “booster vaccinations”.

Kittens should have their first set of vaccinations at 9 weeks old and at 3 months old they should receive the second set to boost their immune system. After these vaccinations, they should also be topped up every year with booster vaccinations.

If you have any other questions about vaccinations or the health of your puppy or kitten, we recommend speaking directly to your local vet.