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Understanding Common Pet Vaccinations: What You Need to Know


black cat being vaccinated

If you're a pet owner, you know how important keeping your furry friend healthy is. One integral part of that is ensuring they receive the necessary vaccinations. Among them is the 5-in-1 vaccine, which protects against various diseases that could be harmful or even deadly.


Here's what to know about this vaccine and why it's crucial for your pet's well-being.


The Importance of Vaccinating Your Pets

Some of the most common vaccines for dogs and cats include rabies, distemper, parvovirus, and feline leukemia. These vaccinations protect your pet and prevent the spread of diseases to other animals in the community.


Puppies should receive their vaccines at 6-8 weeks old, and kittens should start at around 8-9 weeks old. However, it's best to talk to your veterinarian about the appropriate vaccination schedule for your pet's age and lifestyle.


What's the 5-in-1 Vaccine?

While you can get your pets vaccinated with individual vaccines, it's often easier to combine them into one vaccine, which is why many pet parents ask about the 5-in-1 vaccine. It's a great way to cover many common cat and dog diseases.


5-in-1 Vaccine for Dogs

This vaccine, also known as the distemper vaccine for dogs or the DAPP dog vaccine, works to protect your pet from five different canine diseases, including:

  • Distemper

  • Hepatitis

  • Parvovirus

  • Parainfluenza

  • Leptospirosis

The 5-in-1 vaccine is typically administered to puppies in three doses and then boosted annually to maintain their effective immunity. Sometimes, you might see it listed as the DA2PPV, which means it targets both Adenovirus 1 and 2 (instead of just Adenovirus 1).


5-in-1 Vaccine for Puppies Schedule

Interested in vaccinating your puppy in Alberta?


Puppies can receive the first DHPP vaccine as early as six weeks old, with booster shots given every 2-4 weeks until they reach 16 weeks.


After, they'll typically receive a DHPP booster annually at their yearly checkup. They might also have a rabies booster every 1-3 years. There are special rules for rabies vaccines if you are importing a dog into Alberta, too.


5-in-1 Vaccine for Cats

The 5-in-1 vaccine for cats is often called Fevac 5. Like the dog version, it includes important vaccines to protect cats and kittens from serious illness. The inactivated vaccine guards against:

  • Feline Enteritis

  • Feline Rhinotracheitis

  • Feline Calicivirus

  • Feline Chlamydia

  • Feline Leukaemia

If you opt out of the 5-in-1 vaccine, we recommend (at the very least) vaccinating your feline friend with the FVRCP vaccine for cats, commonly known as the feline distemper vaccine.


FVRCP Vaccine for Cats

This core vaccine protects against the following:

  • Feline Panleukopenia (FPV)

  • Feline Rhinotracheitis Virus/Herpesvirus 1 (FVR/FHV-1)

  • Feline Calicivirus (FCV)

If you opt for the FVRCP vaccine, your kitten will receive a dose at 6-8 weeks, another at 10-12 weeks, another at 14-16 weeks, and a yearly booster during their annual exam.


Schedule Pet Vaccination

The 5-in-1 vaccine is a powerful and effective way to protect your pet from various diseases. However, it's not your only option.


With the guidance of one of our Highview Animal Clinic veterinarians, you can ensure your pet gets the right vaccinations for their needs.


Call us today to schedule an appointment and keep your pet's health in check.

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