While medications can help our pets get better, vaccinations can help prevent your furry family member from getting sick in the first place. What’s more, some vaccine preventable illnesses can be deadly, and may not be treatable with medications.
Furthermore, medications may need to be taken repeatedly, which adds up, while a preventative vaccination may only need to be taken once a year.
Some vaccinations are known as core vaccines because they’re deemed vital as they protect against deadly or debilitating diseases.1 While core vaccines are deemed essential, non-core vaccines may be prescribed if your dog or cat is susceptible to illnesses or diseases due to their breed or a genetic predisposition they’ve inherited.
Most vaccinations are done when your pet is a puppy or kitten, followed by boosters and check-ups as needed.
They are a number of illnesses cats and kittens can be protected against. The RSPCA lists the following vaccinations:
In addition, you may be able to vaccinate your cat against other ailments, including rabies and bacterial infections like Chlamydophila Felis and Bordetella Bronchiseptica.3
Vaccinations for cats and kittens will differ depending on the type of vaccination and the vet. On top of that, initial vaccinations can be more expensive than follow up boosters. When getting multiple vaccinations at once – or within a short period – you may be paying up to a couple hundred dollars.
N.B. these figures are intended as a guide and veterinary costs will differ depending on your pet’s healthcare needs and the veterinary practice you visit. You can contact your vet to ask about vaccination costs for your cat.
That said, the price and benefits of vaccinating your kitten or cat can typically outweigh the cost of treatment should your animal fall sick. Contact your local vet to inquire about vaccination prices and which vaccinations your cat may need.
Some canine diseases and viruses can be fatal, but there are vaccinations available to help prevent some illnesses from affecting your beloved puppy or adult dog. Canine vaccines include:
Along with these common preventative treatments, there are also additional non-core dog vaccinations that may be recommended by your vet. Speak to an animal care professional for a better idea of what vaccines your dog may require.
As with cat vaccinations, the cost of immunising your puppy or dog will differ based on which type of vaccine is used, which vet you visit and whether you’re after a batch of initial vaccinations or just a booster.
According to the RSPCA, initial puppy vaccinations could cost you $170 to $250, with yearly check-up vaccinations costing approximately $90.6
N.B. the costs of dog vaccinations will vary depending on your pet’s healthcare needs and which vet administers the vaccinations. You can contact your vet to inquire about how much vaccinating your puppy or dog could cost you.
You can get insurance for dog and cat vaccines with comprehensive pet insurance – which is the highest level of cover available – if it includes the routine care add-on.
Routine care is an optional extra (though some pet insurers include it as a standard feature with their comprehensive level policies) that allows you to claim back a portion of the cost of vaccinating your pet. Other routine treatments such de-sexing, microchipping, teeth cleaning, worming and training may also be claimed through routine care cover.
The decision to vaccinate your pets is up to you, though it’s commonly recommended by veterinarians. If you have an indoor cat or dog that doesn’t leave the house, it can still potentially get sick with a preventable disease if pathogens are carried into the indoor environment. It is likely that your pet will still get some benefit out of being vaccinated.
While they both keep your pet healthy, worming and vaccination treatments work a bit differently. Vaccines are a preventative medicine used to provide immunity in pets to stop them from contracting certain illnesses. Worming treatments typically interrupt the life cycle of worms or other parasites to ensure they are eliminated or remain within tolerable, harmless levels.
As worming doesn’t confer immunity on your pet, you will typically need to administer medication regularly as a preventative measure. There are also medications available that can deal with worms if your dog already has them, as well as other illnesses and diseases.
Depending on the age of the puppy and the vaccines it’s received, the vet may recommend keeping your puppy away from other dogs until it is fully vaccinated and to allow time for the vaccination to take effect. This means the recommended time for taking your puppy to the dog park can vary, though it’s typically a couple of weeks after their final vaccination.
Generally, cats and dogs don’t take the same vaccinations, as the diseases the vaccines protect against are unique to their species.
When going to the vet for the first time, you’ll typically receive a pet health record, which vets will use to list what vaccinations your pet has received. This may be an electronic record or physical booklet.
When you adopt or buy a pet, particularly when it’s older, you should inquire from the breeder or adoption agency about what health records they have for the animal.
You may have the option of choosing a lower excess on your pet insurance. Excess payments are made when you lodge a claim, and lowering them can save you some money should you make a claim. However, lowering your excess increases your regular pet insurance premiums.
1 Vaccinating your cat. International Cat Care. 2018.
2 Vaccinating your pet. RSPCA Victoria. 2020. https://www.rspcavic.org/health-and-behaviour/vaccination
3 Vaccinating your cat. International Cat Care. 2018.
4 Costs. RSPCA New South Wales. 2020. https://www.rspcansw.org.au/what-we-do/care-for-animals/owning-a-pet/costs/
5 Vaccinating your pet. RSPCA Victoria. 2020. https://www.rspcavic.org/health-and-behaviour/vaccination
6 Costs. RSPCA New South Wales. 2020. https://www.rspcansw.org.au/what-we-do/care-for-animals/owning-a-pet/costs/