Pet Vaccines FAQ

Vaccinations are an incredibly important part of keeping your pet healthy. They protect against serious, sometimes fatal diseases. Here at Hickory Grove Animal Hospital in Charlotte, we often answer questions about vaccines.


What are Vaccines For?

Vaccinations protect your pet from certain common, serious diseases. They do this by stimulating the immune system so that, in the future, it recognizes the virus or bacteria and can respond faster. The stimulant is a tiny amount of dead or modified virus or bacterial particles injected into your pet.

Are Vaccines Safe and Effective?

All vaccines carry some small risk of side effects. Most side effects are mild, such as soreness at the injection site or lethargy for a day or two. Rarely, more serious side effects occur. However, the benefits of vaccinating outweigh the risks in almost all cases. You can always ask our veterinary staff to inform you of the reasons why we recommend certain vaccinations for your pet.

When Should I Vaccinate My Pet?

Pets should be vaccinated as soon as it is safe for them. Puppies and kittens receive a series of 'core' vaccines between the ages of 6 and 18 weeks, usually given 3-4 weeks apart. The rabies vaccine is given once around 12-16 weeks of age. After the final 'puppy' or 'kitten' shot at the age of 16-18 weeks, your pet will need booster shots in a year.

Some vaccinations are boostered yearly for the rest of your pet's life, while others may be given at three-year intervals. Rabies vaccine boosters are required by law for dogs, cats, and ferrets in the state of North Carolina.

If you adopt a dog or cat that is older than 16 weeks with no known vaccination history, the schedule may be different.

What Vaccines do Dogs and Cats Need?

The types of vaccines given to dogs and cats are known as 'core' and 'non-core'. Core vaccines are recommended for every animal of that species, no matter what their lifestyle. These are DHLP and Rabies for dogs, and FVRCP and Rabies for cats.

Other vaccinations are available for use if your pet is at risk of contracting the disease. For example, Lyme disease vaccines are only given in areas where Lyme disease is prevalent. Our veterinarian can help you figure out which vaccines your pet needs by discussing their lifestyle and the local risks here in the Charlotte area.

Our Animal Hospital Offers Veterinary Care and Vaccines in Charlotte

Here at Hickory Grove Animal Hospital in Charlotte, we offer preventative care and treatment for pets with all kinds of needs. Vaccines save lives, so make sure that your pet is up to date with their shots. To make an appointment with our veterinary clinic, call 704-563-5858 today!


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Read What Our Clients Say

  • "I took Jasmine here for the first time and I can't say enough good things about this animal hospital, Dr Huskey and her staff. They all went over and above helping me to diagnose my dog with lymphoma and get her treatment started."
    Michelle D.
  • "Thankful for a kind, caring, ethical group of professionals that work hard at keeping Luka and Chloe healthy! I have been very pleased with every visit and would definitely recommend the Hickory Grove Animal Hospital."
    Laura R.