Pet Vaccinations and Why They
Are Important

Vaccinations protect our pets from infectious, often deadly diseases. Since pet vaccinations are so widespread, many of the diseases that once were common are now very rarely seen. However, if fewer owners are vaccinating their pets, a resurgence can occur and affect an entire pet community. At South Loop Animal Hospital, our commitment to companion animal health drives us to offer the most current vaccines to your pet on the right schedule.

How They Work and Which Ones Your Pet Needs

Vaccines are typically injections that contain a weak sample of the disease that triggers your pet’s antibodies. If the same disease is contracted in the future, their body will recognize it and be able to fight it off much more effectively. We offer both core (essential) and non-core (lifestyle) pet vaccinations for cats and dogs.

Core Vaccines for Cats
Non-Core Vaccines for Cats:
Core Vaccines for Cats
  • Rabies protects against the deadly and highly infectious disease contracted from wild animals. 
  • FVRCP (feline viral rhinotracheitis calicivirus panleukopenia) protects from feline distemper and two different upper respiratory infections.
Non-Core Vaccines for Cats:
  • FeLV (Feline Leukemia Virus) protects against this common, highly transmissible virus. We recommend FeLV to cats who are frequently outdoors.
Pet Vaccinations in Chicago: Kitten Waving
Core Vaccines for Dogs
Non-Core Vaccines for Dogs
Core Vaccines for Dogs
  • Rabies protects against this dangerous disease that can be contracted from wild animals.
  • DAPP (distemper, adenovirus, parainfluenza, parvovirus) protects against distemper, a liver infection, a respiratory infection, and a viral illness. 
Non-Core Vaccines for Dogs
  • Leptospirosis protects against this zoonotic disease. We recommend this vaccine for dogs frequently outdoors.
  • Lyme protects against the tick-borne illness. Similarly to Lepto, we recommend it to outdoor dogs.
  • Bordetella (kennel cough) helps pets avoid this respiratory infection. Boarding facilities and groomers typically require this vaccine. 
  • Canine Influenza is suggested for dogs who frequent close-quartered environments with other dogs such as dog parks, training, boarding facilities, etc.
Pet Vaccinations in Chicago: Dog Smiling

Puppy and Kitten Series of Vaccines

When your pet is a puppy or kitten, the need to build up their immunity over through an initial series of vaccines over several weeks.  It’s often best to split them up separately so your pet is not receiving all their vaccines in one visit. Our typical timeline is as follows:

Pet Vaccinations in Chicago: Puppy Licks Kitten
Puppy Series
Kitten Series
Puppy Series
  • DAPP will begin at 6-8 weeks and continue with 3 more boosters every 3-4 weeks after the initial vaccine. Adults will receive this vaccine every 3 years after the initial series.
  • Rabies is given once between 14-16 weeks, then every 3 years.
  • Leptospirosis we give after 12 weeks with a booster 2-4 weeks later, and then annually.
  • Lyme we give once at 12 weeks, and then annually.
Kitten Series
  • FVRCP will begin at 6-8 weeks and continue with more boosters every 3-4 weeks after the initial vaccine. Adults will receive this vaccine every 3 years after this initial series.
  • Rabies is given once between 14-16 weeks, and then annually.
  • FeLV we give at 8-9 weeks with a booster 3-4 weeks later, and then annually.

If you have any questions about pet vaccinations, please reach out and ask. You can call, stop in, or schedule an appointment.


South Loop Animal Hospital

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