Vaccine FAQs

Pets and Vaccines: What You Need to Know


It’s a lot easier to prevent most illnesses than it is to treat them. Vaccinations given by a Middleville, MI, veterinarian can prevent dangerous viruses from attacking your dog or cat’s health. This can also stop them from passing something on to other pets in the household. Have any questions? Here are some of the most common ones we hear at Thornapple Veterinary Medical Center:

When Should Your Pet Be Vaccinated?

Pets should be vaccinated as soon as they’re weaned to maximize the effectiveness of the vaccine. This could be at around six weeks old, although the exact age depends on your pet’s breed, health, etc.

However, vaccines can work at any age. If you’ve adopted a grown animal or taken in a stray with an unknown medical history, bring him to your animal hospital. He may need a full round of vaccinations.

How Frequently Do Vaccines Need to be Given?

Pets typically receive an initial round of shots when they are young. Boosters may be given each year to every three years after that. Your veterinarian will let you know the exact schedule your pet will be on.

Which Vaccines Should You Get?

Michigan requires pets to receive rabies vaccinations. If you take your companion to a pet-focused business such as the groomers, they may require vaccinations for certain other illnesses as well.

Core vaccines for dogs include distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parvo, and parainfluenza. Other vaccinations like Lyme disease and Bordetella may be given depending on your pet’s lifestyle.

Cats are often given vaccinations for key diseases like enteritis and cat flu. Other vaccines may cover feline leukemia, feline immunodeficiency virus, and feline distemper.

Do Indoors Pets Need Vaccinations?

Yes, core vaccinations are needed for all pets. The viruses addressed by these vaccines are highly dangerous and contagious. Even if you are very careful with your pets, they might be able to slip outdoors for a few hours and contract a disease. Meanwhile, some illnesses are transmitted by mosquitoes and fleas. If brought into the home, these can transmit diseases to indoors-only pets.

Are Vaccinations Safe?

All medications and vaccines carry some small amount of risk, but vaccinations are generally very safe. This is especially true when compared to how ill your unvaccinated pets may become if they catch something. If you’re still concerned, talk to your veterinarian. A veterinarian will be able to give you accurate information based on your pet’s individual health history.

Your Middleville, MI, Veterinarian

Vaccines can give your pets the gift of a long, healthy life. Is it time for your dog or cat to get another shot? Contact Thornapple Veterinary Medical Center today at (269) 795-3347 to book an appointment. We’re looking forward to meeting you and your furry friend.


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Thornapple Veterinary Medical Center


7:30 am-12:30 pm

1:30 pm-7:30 pm


7:30 am-12:30 pm

1:30 pm-5:30 pm


7:30 am-12:30 pm

1:30 pm-7:30 pm


7:30 am-12:30 pm

1:30 pm-5:30 pm


7:30 am-12:30 pm

1:30 pm-5:30 pm


8:00 am-12:00 pm



Saturdays, Sundays, and Holidays 5:00 -6:00 pm Kennel pick up only