Vaccinations for Cats and Dogs

If you have recently adopted or taken in a new cat or dog, you may have a few questions about the first steps you need to take to protect your newfound family member. Pet vaccinations at a veterinarian’s office should be at the top of your to-do list. Our veterinarians at Summit Dog and Cat Hospital provide vaccinations for pets in and around Summit, NJ. Let’s take a look at the role that vaccinations play when it comes to providing a happy and healthy life for your new furry friend.


Core Vaccines:

*Canine Distemper Vaccine (DHHP) This is a 5-way combination vaccine that covers canine distemper virus, canine adenovirus type 1&2, canine parainfluenza virus, and canine parvovirus.

 *Distemper virus: a contagious and serious disease caused by a virus that attacks the respiratory, gastrointestinal and nervous systems of puppies and dogs. 

 *Canine adenovirus: (type 1 & 2) a contagious virus that attacks both the liver and respiratory systems. 

 *Canine parainfluenza virus: a highly contagious respiratory virus and is one the most common pathogens of infectious tracheobronchitis. 

 *Canine parvovirus: a highly contagious and relatively common cause of acute, infectious GI illness in young dogs. For puppies, this vaccine is started as early as 6 weeks of age and is boostered every 3-4 weeks. The last vaccine must come at 16 weeks of age or older to gain full immunity. 

 *Rabies Vaccine: this is a vaccine that protects against the rabies virus  and is legally required for your pet. This vaccine can be administered as early as 12 weeks of age, however we typically administer this vaccine at 16 weeks of age or older. The first vaccination is good for 1 year, after that boosters are good for 3 years. 

Lifestyle Vaccines:

 *Bordetella Vaccine: this vaccine protects your pet against upper respiratory infection knows as "kennel cough". This vaccine is recommended for pets that interact with other dogs regularly, frequently visit boarding facilities, groomers, and dog parks. The injectable version of this vaccine initially requires 2 doses, 3-4 weeks apart, then an annual booster each year.  The intra-nasal version of this vaccine only requires 1 booster per year.

 *Bivalent Canine Influenza Vaccine: in this bivalent vaccine, it will help protect your pet against two strains of the canine flu (H3N2, H3N8). It can cause severe respiratory disease. This vaccine is recommended for pets that interact with other dogs regularly, frequently visiting boarding facilities, groomers, and dog parks. This vaccine requires 2 doses, 2-4 weeks apart, then an annual booster each year. 

 *Leptospirosis Vaccine: this vaccine protects against bacterial infection that is spread through wildlife or rodent urine. It can cause kidney failure and sometimes affects the liver as well, with clinical signs such as vomiting/diarrhea. This disease is zoonotic, meaning that the disease can be transmitted from animals to people. This vaccine require 2 doses, 3-4 weeks apart annual vaccination (single dose boosters) *Due to the endemic problem in our area and zoonotic potential, this vaccination is strongly recommended by our veterinarians* (we consider this part of our core vaccines).

 *Lyme Vaccine: this vaccine protects against Lyme disease, which is transmitted by the deer tick. Animals at an increased risk of tick exposure should use this vaccine in conjunction with year-round flea/tick prevention to protect against this tick borne diseases. This vaccine requires 2 doses, 3-4 weeks apart and annual re-vaccination (single dose boosters).  


Why Are Vaccines Important for Pets?

The first thing you need to know is that vaccinations prevent serious diseases and illnesses in your pet. Vaccinated cats and dogs are much less likely to experience a variety of illnesses, including rabies and kennel cough. The use of vaccinations for pets over the decades has saved countless animal lives.

Core and Non-Core Vaccinations

Core vaccines are the most important vaccinations that are recommended by veterinarians. For example, core vaccines for cats include those against rabies, feline panleukopenia, feline calicivirus, and feline rhinotracheitis. Core vaccines for dogs include rabies, canine hepatitis, parvovirus, and distemper.

Your pet's lifestyle will also influence the vet to recommend other vaccines as well. For example, animals that spend time outside will need more vaccinations because they are more likely to be exposed to a variety of other animals and pests.

The Safety of Vaccinations

Vaccinations are safe for your pet. The side effects and risks of these vaccines are quite low, and vaccinations can prevent several deadly diseases. Your pet can live a happier and healthier life thanks to vaccines. Our veterinarians will create a vaccination schedule that is customized to your pet’s age, health, breed, and lifestyle. These vaccinations will ensure that your furry friend stays protected from these dangerous diseases.

Get Your Pet Vaccinated in Summit, NJ

Our veterinarians at Summit Dog and Cat Hospital provide quality veterinary care for pets in and around Summit. An important part of that veterinary care is making sure your pet is protected from diseases by maintaining a proper vaccinations schedule. If you have recently welcomed a new furry family member into your home and are unsure about his vaccination status, it is time to schedule an appointment with one of our veterinarians. Call our team today at (908) 273-2200 or reach us through our website by using our online contact form.


Summit Dog & Cat Hospital


16 Morris Tpke,
Summit, NJ 07901

Office Hours

Monday - Friday

8:00 am - 12:00 pm

1:00 pm - 6:00 pm


8:00 am - 2:00 pm