Importance of Vaccinating Your Pet extremely high. It is very important to vaccinate your puppy or kitten, as the vaccinations provide your pet with the protection that they need to live a happy and healthy life. Vaccinations can give you the peace of mind that you have protected your pets and boosted their immunity against common life threatening diseases.

Why do I need to vaccinate my pet?

Dogs, cats, and rabbits need to be vaccinated against diseases that can be dangerous for them.
Many of the diseases that your pet can catch will be fatal if they are not vaccinated. However, if not fatal, then your pet can be left with long-term expensive and painful medical problems . Consequently, it is much better to take preventative action and vaccinate your pet. Than it is to treat the horrific symptoms of the infections and disease that they could catch.

If you’re planning to use a dog walking service or dog boarding kennels, then you will need to show
proof that your dog is up to date on all vaccinations. Otherwise, they can refuse to provide the service for
your dog as they would pose a risk to not only their own health, but to the health of the other dogs
at the kennels or dog walker’s premise. If you plan to travel abroad with your pet, you will also need
to ensure they are fully vaccinated and have all the correct documentation, including a pet passport.
In addition to preventing transfer of these highly contagious diseases between animals, vaccinations
also protect against transmissible diseases. Such as rabies, that may also be passed from animal to
human and so pose a risk to humans.

How do vaccinations work?

Vaccinations contain weak or small amounts of the pathogen which causes the disease. When this is
injected, the pets’ immune system is stimulated and recognises the pathogen as a threat. Their
immune system can then attack the small amount of pathogen and memorise it. This means that in
future, if the immune system encounters the same disease, it recognises it and is prepared to fight it
off and prevent infection.

Vaccines work as a preventative measure, rather than a cure or treatment, and so must be injected
when your pet is healthy so that their body can respond and develop immunity, which usually takes
around 7 days.

What does my pet’s vaccination protect against?


In the UK, dogs should receive vaccinations which protect against the following:

Core Vaccinations:

  • Parvovirus – is highly contagious and its symptoms include severe vomiting and diarrhoea
  • Infectious Hepatitis – attacks the liver, kidneys, eyes and blood vessels and spreads via
    bodily fluids
  • Leptospirosis – damages vital organs including the liver and kidneys
  • Distemper – often fatal disease which affects the guys, heart, immune system, lungs, brain,
    and nervous system

Additional Vaccinations:

  • Kennel Cough – this vaccination is usually required if your dog will spend time in boarding
    kennels, doggy day care, has a dog walker, or is likely to mix with lots of other dogs in
    another way.
  • Rabies – these need to be given every 3 years if your dog will be travelling abroad


In the UK, all cats should receive vaccinations to protect them against the following:

Core Vaccinations:

  • Cat flu (Feline Herpes Virus and Calicivirus)
  • FeLV (Feline Leukaemia Virus)
  • Feline Parvovirus

Additional Vaccinations:

  • Rabies – these need to be given if your cat will be travelling abroad
  • Chlamydophila Felis – this is bacteria that causes eye infections and symptoms like cat flu,
    but is usually only administered if your cat has a pre-existing problem with the bacteria


It is just as important to vaccinate your rabbits and protect them against potentially fatal infections
and diseases as it is to vaccinate your dogs and cats.
Therefore, whether your rabbits live indoors or outdoors, they are just as susceptible to the diseases as they spread not only from wild animals, but also through other pets, insects, and clothing.

Rabbits should receive vaccinations to protect them against the following:

  • Myxomatosis
  • RHD –1 (Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease 1)
  • RHD-2 (Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease 2)

What is Myxomatosis?

Myxomatosis is a very severe disease which damages various areas of the rabbit’s body, including its
skin, liver, lungs, eyes, genitals and weakens their immune system, putting them at risk of catching
further infections. Symptoms can include swelling, weepy eyes, runny nose, skin lumps and scabs,
lethargic, difficult eating and drinking, high fever or difficulty breathing. It is nearly always fatal in
unvaccinated rabbits.

What is RHD?

RHD attacks the internal organs of the rabbit and causes internal bleeding. It is nearly always fatal if
caught by an unvaccinated rabbit. RHD-1 causes the rabbit to become very suddenly ill and becomes
fatal within 48 hours of catching it, whereas RHD-2 develops over 1 or 2 weeks before turning fatal.
Symptoms can include blood around the rabbit’s nose, mouth or bottom, lethargy, eating difficulties,
high fever, and sudden death.

When do I need to vaccinate my pet?


To receive optimum protection, you dog will need their primary vaccination course, followed by
annual boosters throughout their entire life. That is to say, the primary course of vaccines (also known as Puppy Vaccination Course) will be made up of 2-3 injections over a 2–4-week period. Puppies should
receive their primary vaccinations at between 8-10 weeks old and will be considered fully protected
a few weeks after the final injection of their primary course has been administered. Importantly, puppies should be kept away from any potential risks until this point. Therefore, It is recommended to keep your puppy inside your own home until they are fully vaccinated, and not allow them to social with new animals and people (other than those who live in your home). If you have a safe and secure garden that is clean and free from unvaccinated animals, then your puppy can use it. If you have spotted any wild
animals in your garden previously, then we do not recommend allowing your puppy into the garden
until they are fully vaccinated.


To be fully protected, your kitten will need their first vaccination at 9 weeks old, followed by their
second vaccination at 12 weeks old, and in some cases a third vaccination at 15 weeks old. Your
kitten will be fully protected approximately one month after their final injection. Likewise, your cat will then need annual boosters to maintain their protection against the common diseases found amongst


Rabbits can be given their first vaccinations from five weeks old. They will need two or more
injections each time they are vaccinated, as the Myxomatosis and RHD-1 are a combined injection,
whilst after that RHD-2 is administered separately a couple of weeks later.

Our Vaccination Services:

Here at Paws in the City, we offer complete vaccination courses for puppies, kittens, and rabbits.
Ask us about Paws Club to find out more about how you can get a discount on all your pets’

You can contact Paws in the City by calling 02045 199 857 or email at greenford@pawsinthecityx.com to speak to a vet in Greenford Quays and at ealing@pawsinthecityx.com in Dickens Yard, Ealing.

Leave a Reply