Pet Health Vaccines: What You Should Know

Much discussion is taking place around vaccinations and our pets: whether we should or shouldn’t vaccinate and how often is safe. Though largely beneficial, vaccines, like any medicine, come with their own risks. At Pet Health, we encourage our pet parents to have a discussion with their veterinarian about whether vaccination benefits outweigh the risks for their pets.

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Understanding Pet Vaccination Guidelines

At Pet Health, our veterinarians base vaccination schedules on individual pets’ differing needs and the peer-reviewed scientific research cited in the 2011 American Animal Hospital Association Guidelines for Canine Vaccination and the 2013 American Association of Feline Practitioners Vaccination Advisory Panel Report. These two reports base their dog and cat vaccination recommendations on the most thorough pet vaccine research available.

Core and Non-Core VaccinesPet Vaccines

Vaccines for cats and dogs are split into two categories: core and non-core. Core vaccines include those required by law (rabies) and those deemed most likely beneficial to all pets, while non-core vaccines include those which might be administered to pets who are identified as “at-risk” for particular diseases. Some core vaccines include rabies, parvovirus, feline distemper, and canine distemper. Non-core vaccines include feline leukemia, canine influenza, and bordetella.

Vaccination Schedules

During your puppy or kitten’s first appointment with a Pet Health veterinarian, we discuss your pet’s recommended vaccination schedule. After 2 years of age, we typically start to administer boosters for core vaccines every 3 years depending on your pet’s lifestyle and environmental exposure. Although some veterinarians administer booster vaccinations annually, such frequent boosters may not be necessary for your pet, not scientifically supported, and, subsequently, not recommended by Pet Health’s veterinarians.

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Additional Pet Vaccination Considerations

To best determine your pet’s personalized vaccination protocol, we work with you and consider several factors regarding your pet, including:

  • Lifestyle: Dogs who frequent parks, pet shows, boarding facilities, or who enjoyed extended outdoor activities may be exposed to more contagious disease and might require additional vaccinations. Conversely, cats who are indoor-only pets will be exposed to fewer pathogens.
  • Age: We might recommend curtailing the administration of non-essential vaccinations for pets over the age of 8-10 in order to reduce the risk of complications.
  • Medical History: For pets with a history of adverse reactions to vaccinations or certain underlying conditions, we might recommend less frequent vaccination or even no vaccinations.
  • Environment: Las Vegas’ arid environment discourages the spread of bacterial and viral pathogens. Pets traveling to different climates may require additional vaccinations to guard against diseases and parasites common in other environments.

Vaccinations and Your Pet

Like any other medical treatment, blanket applications are not effective; vaccinations should address your pet’s specific needs. We create a vaccination protocol specific to each pet’s lifestyle, medical history, age, and geographic location. When it comes to vaccines, we strive to achieve a healthy balance in which risk never outweighs benefit. We communicate openly and work with our pet parents to develop wellness plans unique to each of their pets. If you have questions or concerns regarding your pet’s vaccination and preventative medicine plan, we encourage you to speak with a Pet Health veterinarian today.

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– Missie A.

Pet Health Hospital is a life saver. My poor cat was attacked by another cat and developed a terrible abscess on her little head. Dr. Pizzillo was the attending veterinarian who treated my BabyGir!!. She was able to get the situation under control before it became more serious. Dr. Pizzillo is compassionate and caring. She has a very calming way about her and put my worries at ease. The entire staff is very professional and welcoming. I am going to recommend Pet Health Hospital to anyone needing an excellent veterinarian. Thank you to all of you!!!!

– Jennifer C.

Pet Health has been a wonderful health care service for our baby – Gracie.  She has a very serious health issue arise – and Dr. Lewis texted on a regular basis to check on her, to see how things were progressing and to see if we needed any help.   I am very grateful for their genuine love and concern for our dog.  thank you!

– Mee F.

Love this vet! Clean and high tech! The entire staff was friendly and so loving to my dog! First time here and I have already recommended this place to all my friends! The vet even followed up with us as she said she would on the urine test.

– Adrian W.

Great place. We’ve been to many vets throughout our dogs 7 years life span. This is the best place we’ve been to so far. Dr. Renee Lewis has a great presence and our dog was surprisingly extremely calm around her (he like every other dog, don’t like vets..).

This clinic is not very pushy wanting to do ‘extra’ work to create a larger bill. 

Dr. Lewis also showed that she really cared and took her time to get to know our dog, and explaining everything after the surgery. 

I’m done with Veterinaries that only cares about profit and rush through the consultation because they’re overbooked!

The staff here are also very friendly and helpful. They made us feel welcome!

I highly recommend this place!


– Sarah W.

Pet Health Animal Hospital is simply amazing. We found Dr. B and his team shortly after adopting our first dog. Being new to the area, we were concerned with finding the right vet that cared about our dog as much as we did. Lucky enough, we walked right into the perfect vet. From overnight stays to surgeries, Dr B and his team make us feel so comfortable, put any concern at ease, and are masters of communication. There is never a question left unanswered, or an update left undelivered. The whole team knows our dogs when we walk in, and our dogs are always excited and sprinting to get into the vet to see them. I tell people all the time that my favorite part of living in Las Vegas is Pet Health Animal Hospital!

– Andrew G.

The doctors and assistants do an amazing job here. I wasn’t sure what to do with my Sasha so I brought her in fearing the worst. Dr. Jessica Pizzillo was simply the best. She was able to remove the growth the same day and at a fraction of the cost of other estimates I had received, all while putting my Sasha through the least amount of trauma possible.

The front desk staff was also very kind and understanding when it comes to stressful situations like this. Stephanie and the rest of the staff made me feel comfortable and were very professional.

– Scott H.

Absolutely incredible vet! The level of service and attention is the best I’ve ever experienced anywhere.