A cat receiving a pet vaccination in Johnston, IA


Young animals are like kids–it’s a never-ending job to keep them safe and happy. Vaccinating your pet is a relatively inexpensive but very important way to protect his or her health. In addition to preventing many life-threatening illnesses, vaccinations can prevent diseases prevalent in wildlife and those that can be passed to humans. It’s important to administer vaccinations when pets are puppies and kittens because their young immune systems are still developing and need protection to stay healthy.

While any medical treatment involves some degree of risk, in the case of vaccinations, the benefits far outweigh any potential side effects. Adverse reactions are rare and usually mild and short-term when they do occur.

Core Vaccinations for Your Dog & Cat

Which vaccines should your dogs and cats have? “Core” vaccines are those recommended—and possibly mandated by law—for most pets.

Core vaccines include:

  • Rabies (dogs and cats)
  • DA2PPV – Distemper, Hepatitis, Adenovirus 2, Parvo and Parainfluenza (dogs)
  • Leptospirosis
  • FVRCP – Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus and Panleukopenia (cats)
  • Lyme

Highly Suggested Vaccinations for Your Dog & Cat

Another non-core but sometimes needed vaccine for cats is FeLV to protect against feline leukemia. For dogs, bordetella and lyme disease boosters are recommended especially when your pet frequently goes to dog parks, boarding kennels, or any place where they are socializing with other canines.

Schedule Pet Vaccinations in Johnston, IA

It’s also important to note that even pets who live primarily indoors should be vaccinated, as they can still be exposed to a disease. Your Westfield Veterinary Hospital veterinarian can advise you which vaccinations are required or recommended for your pet based on age, health, and lifestyle. For more information about pet vaccinations or to schedule vaccines for your dog or cat, call us at (515)-986-5738 or request an appointment online.