MA pet vaccination requirementsVet care for cats and dogs should include the vaccines required to protect them from common diseases that can be highly infectious, dangerous, and sometimes even pose a danger to humans. Massachusetts pet vaccinations are required to be given to cats and dogs at various stages of their lives, beginning when they are tiny kittens and puppies. The best way to find out about the vaccination requirements in MA, RI, or wherever you live is to visit your trusted veterinarian. At the Anchor Animal Hospital veterinary clinic in Dartmouth, we can provide a wide range of vaccinations and other preventive treatments to keep your pets and family safe.

Core Vaccines for Cats and Dogs

The primary vaccines required for pets in Massachusetts include a rabies shot, which is given between three and six months of age, as well as throughout the animal’s lifetime to protect their immunity. Core vaccines for cats include feline distemper, calicivirus, and rhinotracheitis. These are considered to be so essential because of the prevalence of the virus and the extreme threat that they pose to your cat’s life. A combination vaccine, which is known simply as FVRCP, offers protection from all three diseases. Feline Leukemia or FeLV is another deadly virus that can be spread easily in Massachusetts. It is highly recommended for pet owners to get their cats vaccinated for this disease after being tested to ensure that they do not already have it.

For dogs, in addition to the required rabies shot, other core vaccinations include canine distemper, hepatitis, and parvovirus, which are all given together in a DHPP vaccination. In addition to these three diseases, a parainfluenza vaccine is also part of the primary vaccine. At Anchor Animal Hospital, we also provide vaccination for adenovirus, Lyme disease, canine influenza, Bordatella, and Leptospirosis, a severe illness that can be passed on to humans. It is also highly recommended for both cats and dogs to test for and offer treatment to prevent a variety of parasites, including worms, heartworm, fleas, and ticks. Check with your veterinary clinic in Dartmouth to find out when your pet is due for vaccines and if your pet meets the vaccination requirements in MA.

Lifestyle Vaccinations for Cats and Dogs

While some vaccines are considered essential, others might only be given if your pet meets specific criteria. The place where you live, whether the pet is indoors or outdoors, and if they travel outside of Massachusetts can all be a factor. Your pet’s age, medical history, and local environment can also play a role as well. Some of the vaccines mentioned above fall into this category, including Leptospirosis, which often affects outdoor dogs who live in wildlife prone areas and Bortadella, which impacts pets that are often boarded, go to the dog park, or visit a groomer. Some cats might require extra lifestyle vaccinations as well, particularly those who spend part or all of their days outdoors. Speak with your veterinarian to determine the best methods of vet care for cats and dogs.

Like with anything else, there are potential side effects to consider with all vaccinations. Your pet may feel sore at the injection site or could be a bit sluggish after receiving a shot, but for the most part, you won’t notice any difference in behavior. However, learning how to watch for allergic reactions is essential for pet owners. If your pet has swelling at the injection site or if your pet has an immune-related disease, the reactions could be more severe. If you have any concerns about your pet’s behavior, the look or structure of the injection site, or anything else, contact your veterinarian right away. It is always better to be safe than sorry when vet care for cats and dogs. Because they can’t tell us how they feel, it is up to us to note any behavior changes or signs of illness.

Schedule an Appointment

If your pet is due for a check-up, or if you want to make sure they are current with all required Massachusetts pet vaccinations, give us a call at 508-996-3731. Located in Dartmouth, Massachusetts, Anchor Animal Hospital provides quality veterinary care to patients throughout the South Coast region, including Southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Call today to schedule an appointment or to speak with one of our team members about vet care for cats and dogs.