What You Need to Know About Vaccines for Your New Puppy or Kitten

Getting a new puppy or kitten is a joyous experience as you get to know your new family member and enjoy watching them grow into adults. One of the most important things you can do for your new companion is to get them vaccinated to keep them healthy and prevent common diseases from taking hold. Vaccines provide antibodies against serious illnesses such as parvovirus and leukemia, both known killers of dogs and cats. Following is a look at vaccinations for your new puppy or kitten and why you should bring them to the veterinarian in Bend for their shots.

Importance of Vaccines

Both cats and dogs are at risk of contracting diseases that affect their quality of life and causes premature death if they’re not vaccinated. All of these diseases are transmitted either by the mother or from infected animals in the community. That is, cats can get diseases like FIV after being deeply bitten by an infected cat or through their mother’s milk. Parvovirus and kennel cough are two canine diseases that spread when puppies or adult dogs are kept in close quarters with an infected individual. All mammals can contract rabies and can also transmit the disease to humans.

Vaccination stops the spread of these diseases and keeps everyone healthy, safe and sound. When you bring your kitten or puppy to the veterinarian in Bend, the vet will administer species-appropriate vaccines to give them a solid start in life.

Vaccines for Puppies and Kittens

Puppies and kittens should get their shots when they’re 6 to 8 weeks of age. Both species receive core vaccines that protect against the most common and dangerous diseases they can contract. The necessary vaccines for kittens and puppies are:


  • Panleukopenia AKA feline distemper
  • Feline calicivirus
  • Feline viral rhinotracheitis
  • Rabies
  • Feline chlamydiosis


  • Canine parvovirus
  • Canine hepatitis
  • Distemper
  • Rabies
  • Leptospirosis
  • Parainfluenza

Other vaccinations are available but are usually administered separate of the core vaccines. You can discuss the intended lifestyle for your pet with the vet clinic in Bend and decide which additional vaccines are appropriate. If your kitten is going to spend any time outdoors, they should also receive the feline leukemia virus.

Vaccinations for puppies include protection against diseases they’re likely to encounter while they’re outside. Vaccines for Bordetella and Leptospirosis are available, but you should discuss their efficacy with the vet to determine if they should be administered. The canine influenza vaccine is now being recommended for dogs who visit dog parks, spend time in doggy day care or spend time in kennels with unfamiliar dogs.

Following Up With Booster Shots

In order for vaccines to be most effective, you need to bring your kitten and puppy to the veterinarian in Bend for booster shots. The reason for the boosters is to support their health as the maternal antibodies leave their immune system. The initial rabies vaccine administration needs a booster shot when a pet is one year old. Cats that live indoors are less likely to need further boosters as they age, but dogs require a rabies booster every three years. Make sure to talk to the vet and ask questions about which vaccines are right for your pet outside of the core vaccination.