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Why is important to vaccinate your pet

Does a single vaccination protect my pet for life?

The short answer is no.

Major studies have been done to determine what the minimum period of protection is for certain vaccines in pets. As a result, some vaccines are now licensed to protect pets for up to three years against a range of diseases. Whilst immunity may endure longer for some individuals, boosters are generally advised given at the recommended revaccination intervals to help ensure those individuals, whose immunity does reduce over time, continue to be protected.

In addition, some diseases still require yearly boosters. Leptospirosis in dogs is a very serious disease that can also affect humans, and none of the available vaccines for this provides protection beyond 12 months.



Protecting the individual pet

Vet kneeling down with a dog giving advice to the owner

Protecting the individual pet

A primary objective of a vaccine is to protect the individual pet. It is worth remembering that many of the pet diseases we vaccinate against are potentially lethal or debilitating. Where pet vaccination is not widely practiced, the lives of dogs and cats are cut very short by the impact of infectious disease. Even in the UK today, canine parvovirus remains common, widespread and potentially fatal threat due to unvaccinated dogs continuing to spread the virus.



Protecting pets in the community

Group of dogs sat down on a dog walk

Protecting pets in the community

By consistently vaccinating your pet, you are also making sure that the population develops and maintains a healthy “herd Immunity”. This fundamental principle is why vaccines are so effective. This essentially means that the higher the herd immunity is, the lower the chance of contagious diseases spreading within the population. By vaccinating you benefit not only your own pet but also contribute to reducing the risk of outbreaks and the overall disease risk to all pets in the UK.



Preventative health and protecting your family

Cat and dog sat with their owner

Preventative health and protecting your family

A lot of pet owners don’t realise that some diseases that affect their pets can also be transmitted to humans. This shouldn’t discourage you from getting a pet – as there many benefits that outweigh the risks, but it is another important reason why both vaccination and parasite control are important for your pet. If your pet is protected against infectious diseases, they won’t be able to transmit the diseases to your or to you family, helping keep everyone safe.


Further information


A vet and assistant examining a dog

Titre testing

Serological titre testing involves taking a blood sample to determine the levels of antibodies...

Vets examining a cat with the owner

Immune system

Our pet's immune system is highly complex...

Woman holding her cat and a dog sat in front

Vaccination safety

Pet vaccines are tested thoroughly for both safety and efficacy before they are authorised...


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