Some vaccinations are considered to be essential for every pet. These are called core vaccines. For example, a core vaccine for both cats and dogs is the vaccination against rabies. Dogs must also receive the DHPP vaccine, which provides coverage for distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza, and parvovirus. For cats, FVRCP is a core vaccine that protect them from feline viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, and panleukopenia. It’s important that your pet receive these essential vaccinations in order to get the disease protection that they need.
Other vaccines may or may not be recommended for your pet based on their lifestyle and risk of exposure. These are called non-core vaccines. Some non-core pet vaccinations include kennel cough, canine influenza, and feline leukemia.
Your vet may recommend one of these if they determine it’s likely that your pet will be exposed to the disease. For example, if you regularly take your dog to the dog park or daycare, your veterinarian will likely prescribe a Bordetella vaccination to protect your pet from kennel cough. Or if your cat is an indoor/outdoor pet, it’s recommended that they receive the vaccine for feline leukemia.