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If you’ve been a long-time pet owner like me, you may remember when they used to get vaccinated every year to keep their immunity up. Some vets may still recommend this schedule for pet owners, but with some research, you will see that annual vaccines are not necessary for most pets.
Several years ago, the AVA (American veterinary association) updated its guidelines on vaccines, recommending that cats and dogs be vaccinated every 3 years as opposed to the previous recommendation of every year.
While the new schedule may seem like a step back, it is actually based on more recent research that has shown that proper immunity from vaccines lasts longer than the previously believed 1-year timeline.
To prevent over-vaccinating your kitty, make sure your veterinarian only supports the 3-year schedule for vaccinations. Not only does this ensure that your cat is safe, but it also shows that your chosen vet keeps up on current research, studies, and recommendations from the AVA.
Another option to consider when vaccinating your pet is titer testing. Titer testing is a blood test that can be used to determine if your pet's immune system still has proper immunity from their previous vaccine.
If your pet’s titer test showed their immunity wasn’t compromised, they likely don't need to be vaccinated again. Talk to your vet about whether titer testing is a good option for your pet.
If your vet is still recommending that your pets get annual vaccines, it might be time to find a new vet. The American Veterinary Association has been recommending 3-year vaccinations for about 10 years now, and annual recommendations are outdated.
Any vet that doesn’t acknowledge this important change in recommendation is likely not continuing their education or staying on top of recent studies as they should. We are constantly learning more about our pet’s health and behavior, so pet professionals should take the responsibility of being a constant student for their patients!
Keep giving your pets the best of natural life!
April Arguin A.S., C.P.N., M.P.H