What Vaccines Does My Pet Need?


Your dog’s vaccination needs depend on his lifestyle. The Rabies, and DHPP, are considered your adult dog’s core vaccines, and Bordetella is recommended if you board your dog.
If you have a puppy, she/he will need three sets of DHPP vaccinations to properly protect him/her for the first year.


Definition: Rabies is a virus that may affect the brain and spinal cord of all mammals. The first Rabies vaccination should be given at 3-4 months of age, with the first booster shot given one year later.

Why Is this Important? Once Rabies is contracted, it is often fatal. Rabies is typically transferred from the bite of an infected animal. Once infected, animals begin to show overt aggression or weakness and lack of coordination. Even if your pet remains indoors and never interacts with any other animals, it is important to keep your dog up-to-date on their rabies vaccination to remain complaint with your city code.

DHPP (Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, and Parvovirus)

Definition: Commonly referred to as the “distemper vaccine,” this combination vaccine protects against the diseases mentioned in its full name: canine distemper, adenovirus, hepatitis, parainfluenza, and parvovirus. Puppies should receive a a minimum of three vaccinations of the DHPP vaccine starting at six to eight weeks of age and then at three- to four-week intervals. The final dose should be administered at 16 weeks of age, and then given every year to adult dogs.

Why Is this Important? Each of the five diseases this vaccine protects against is either lethal or highly contagious. This vaccination can protect your pet against some of the more hardy viruses they may encounter. Most groomers, dog parks, boarding facilities, and pet events will require proof of this vaccine prior to admitting participating dogs.
Parvovirus infection is a viral disease that causes severe vomiting and diarrhea because of an intestinal tract infection. The virus is passed in the feces and can remain infectious in contaminated soil for many years. Untreated infections may lead to death.

Bordetella (Kennel Cough)

Definition: Commonly referred to as “Kennel Cough”. Bordetella is an extremely contagious upper respiratory infection often caused by a bacteria called “Bordetella Bronchiseptica.” Annual boosters are recommended if your dog regularly interacts with large groups of unknown dogs. Most groomers, dog parks, boarding facilities, and pet events will require proof of this vaccine prior to admitting participating dogs.

Why Is this Important? Kennel Cough is highly contagious, but treatable if contracted. In healthy adult dogs, Bordetella typically causes no more than mild illness, but can be severe or lethal for puppies or dogs with underlying health issues. Just like with DHPP, most groomers, dog parks, boarding facilities, and pet events will require proof of this vaccine prior to admitting participating dogs.


Cats should get the rabies vaccine every year or every third year. In Texas , even indoor-only cats are required by law to be inoculated since a cat can always slip out the door, and a single exposure to an animal carrying the rabies virus would be enough. What’s more, if your cat bites someone and a report is made to public health authorities, you might have to surrender your cat to have his brain tested for rabies unless you can prove he was vaccinated.

Feline Leukemia/Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FeLV/FIV) Testing:

This testing is recommended for all cats, especially those with unknown histories. This is a blood test that checks for these infectious diseases in the cat’s blood stream. Leukemia and FIV are transmitted through bites, infected body fluids such as saliva, grooming, sexual contact and mother to offspring.
FeLV — Feline Leukemia Virus: An incurable virus causing cancer in cats such as lymphoma and leukemia. It may also cause anemia and immunodeficiencies resulting in the increased susceptibility to other infectious disease. The prognosis for cats in infected with FeLV is poor and the virus is spread in the saliva in which may contaminant a variety of different objects.

Feline FVRCPP Combination (feline distemper):

This standard annual vaccine protects against Rhinotracheitis, Calici, Chlamydia, and Panleukopenia. The first three types of virus cause upper respiratory illness. Panleukopenia is a life-threatening disease in which cats suffer severe diarrhea as well as depletion of bone marrow and white blood cells.
In general, the first FVRCPP vaccine is given at 6 to 8 weeks of life (definitely at 6 weeks if the kitten is not with its mother), and repeated every two to four weeks until the cat is 16 weeks old. After that, the FVRCPP shot is generally be given annually.

If the cat is already an adult when the vaccination program begins, standard practice is to give two vaccines one month apart and then revaccinate annually.

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