Young puppies and kittens are highly susceptible to infectious diseases as the natural immunity provided by their mother's milk gradually wears off. For the first few months of life, puppies and kittens should receive a series of vaccinations every 3 weeks to decrease the risk of infection and provide optimal protection against disease. It is important that they receive their last set of puppy/kitten vaccines at about 15-16 weeks of age.
Traditionally, annual vaccinations were considered normal and necessary for dogs and cats. There is increasing evidence that some vaccines may provide protection beyond one year, so we can now offer a 3 year Canine Distemper vaccine and a 3 year Canine Rabies vaccine. However, other vaccines such as Canine Influenza and Leptospirosis may fail to provide immunity for even a full year depending on exposure risks. Bordetella is also one of these vaccines and it is recommended every 6 months.
You and your veterinarian can work with together to tailor a vaccination program specifically for your pet to help maintain a lifetime of infectious disease protection.