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Pet Vaccinations Increase General Health and Safety

Pet vaccinations are not a cure-all or a 100%-guaranteed solution to preventing your pet's health problems. However, they have proven themselves effective in reducing the spread and severity of certain diseases. Just as humans have benefited from polio, tetanus and smallpox vaccines, our pets are also enjoying greater protection against rabies, distemper and other illnesses thanks to vaccines. Our pet care team in Norridge understands that you may have some doubts about vaccine effectiveness and whether your pet is truly better off. We can safely say that your pet is likely to have a healthier life with this extra layer of protection. Furthermore, we do not take a cookie-cutter approach to pet vaccinations. To avoid over-vaccinating, we recommend certain vaccines only if your pet's lifestyle requires them.

How Vaccines Improve Immunity

It essentially takes two things to increase your pet's protection against disease--a vaccine, and your pet's immune system. Upon vaccination, your pet's immune system reacts by producing and sending out antibodies to combat the disease-mimicking vaccine. Vaccines are not medicine; they contain antigens made from parts of certain viruses and are designed to prompt a response from the immune system.

Gray cat lying down: pet vaccinations in Norridge
Cat climbing on dog: pet vaccinations in Norridge

The Vaccines We Recommend for Cats and Dogs

Cats and dogs should begin their first series of vaccines at about 8 weeks old. Based on local disease risks and your pet's individual lifestyle, we offer these vaccines:


  • Rabies
  • Distemper (DHPP)
  • Bordetella (kennel cough)
  • Leptospirosis
  • Canine influenza (H3N2 & H3N8 strains)
  • Lyme


  • Rabies
  • Feline Distemper (FVRCP combo vaccine)
  • Feline Leukemia

Why is it Necessary to Vaccinate?

Together, we are jointly responsible for making sure that your pet enjoys optimal health. While some pets are less likely to come into contact with certain diseases than others, the risks are still present. The rabies and distemper viruses are especially lethal, which is why we generally recommend their respective vaccines for virtually every pet. Other vaccines are given based on lifestyle factors such as age, size, travel, medical history, and environment.

Every pet will have a vaccination schedule designed to keep them in the best possible health. If you need help getting a new pet vaccinated or an adult one up to date, call (708) 457-0066 for an appointment.

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