What virus do we vaccinate our pets against each year?

For most core vaccines, including those given to dogs and cats, annual vaccination is no longer considered necessary or recommended in many cases. Veterinarians and vaccine manufacturers have shifted towards a more individualized and evidence-based approach to vaccination schedules. Instead of annual vaccinations, a "triennial" or "three-year" schedule is more common for many core vaccines, which means they are given every three years.

The specific vaccines and their recommended schedules may vary depending on the region, the type of vaccine used, and the pet's individual needs. The core vaccines that are typically administered every three years or less frequently in many cases include:

1. Rabies Vaccine: The rabies vaccine may be given annually in some areas with high rabies risk, but in many places, it is administered every three years or even less frequently. Rabies vaccinations for pets are also subject to legal requirements and may vary by jurisdiction.

2. Canine Distemper Vaccine: This vaccine is often administered as a series of puppy shots and may be given every three years as a booster in adult dogs.

3. Canine Parvovirus Vaccine: Similar to the distemper vaccine, the parvovirus vaccine is typically administered as a series of puppy shots and may be given every three years in adult dogs.

4. Feline Panleukopenia Vaccine: In cats, the equivalent to the canine parvovirus vaccine is the feline panleukopenia vaccine, which is administered every three years or less frequently in most cases.

It's important to note that not all vaccines are given on an annual basis, and the schedule can vary based on the specific vaccines used, the pet's age, and their individual health needs. Additionally, many non-core vaccines, such as those for kennel cough (Bordetella) or leptospirosis, may still be given annually or as needed based on the pet's risk factors and lifestyle.

To determine the appropriate vaccination schedule for your pet, consult with your veterinarian. They can tailor a vaccination plan based on your pet's specific needs and the local disease prevalence in your area. Regular veterinary check-ups are also an excellent opportunity to discuss your pet's vaccination needs and overall health.