A simples guide

What vaccinations does my pet need?

Pets come in all shapes and sizes, but they all have one thing in common – they come with a big responsibility. So whether your pet woofs or meows, or says nothing at all, as a pet owner it’s up to you to make sure they’re well cared for – which could mean ensuring they’re up to date with their jabs. But what do they need to be vaccinated against and what does it all mean when it comes to insurance? Here, we take a look at the ins and outs of vaccines for our favourite furry companions – cats and dogs.

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What vaccinations does my pet need?

It depends on what pet you have and also what your vet will recommend but here’s a guide to what you should look to vaccinate against and when:


When – vaccinate puppies at either six or eight weeks then again around two to four weeks later. They’ll then need to be vaccinated annually.

What – there are various diseases to protect your dog from such as:

  • Canine parvovirus – this is highly infectious and causes loss of appetite, fever, sickness and diarrhoea, very often fatal if not treated.
  • Leptospirosis – caused by bacteria often found in contaminated water (so watch out if your pup likes to swim or drink from stagnant water or canals). Symptoms include increased thirst, sickness, diarrhoea and if severe can result in kidney or liver failure.
  • Canine distemper – usually spread by direct contact with an infected animal (it also affects ferrets). Symptoms include fever, depression, coughing, sickness and diarrhoea and discharge from the eyes and nose.
  • Canine hepatitis – (sometimes known as canine adenovirus) spread by coming into contact with an infected dog’s fluids. Symptoms include extreme tiredness, coughing, fever, sickness and diarrhoea and tummy pain.



When – vaccinate as kittens at nine and then 12 weeks. They’ll then need to be vaccinated annually.

What – there are various diseases to protect your cat from such as:

  • Feline infectious enteritis – also known as feline distemper, this is spread by infected wee and poo from other cats. Symptoms include tiredness, loss of appetite, fever, seizures, sickness, diarrhoea and dehydration. Can be fatal in kittens whilst adult cats are more likely to survive.
  • Feline herpes – spread from eye and nose discharge from infected cats. Symptoms include fever, sneezing, eye and nose discharge and sometimes ulcers on the tongue. Some cats might not show any symptoms but be a carrier and pass it on.
  • Feline calicivirus – spread by direct contact with other cats or through the air. Symptoms are flu like with sneezing, eye and nose discharge and ulcers.
  • Feline leukaemia – spread through close contact with infected cats. Symptoms include poor fur and body condition, gum inflammation, diarrhoea and jaundice can also result in repeat infections and illness.

Does pet insurance include the cost of vaccinations?

Pet insurance doesn’t usually include the cost of routine vaccinations so they’ll have to come out of your own pocket. Costs to get your pet vaccinated will also vary depending on what your vet charges so it’s always best to discuss your pet’s needs first – remember, there’s no pet NHS and you’re ultimately responsible for looking after your canine companion or feline friend, so don't forget to check your level of cover

The average annual cost of owning a dog could set you back around £16,000 lifetime. Suddenly an accident only policy for cats and dogs costing £2.94 and £2.99 a month respectively seems a bargain by comparison**.

Does my insurer need to know about my pet’s vaccines?

Your insurer will need to know all about your pet’s medical history and having your pet routinely vaccinated will usually be part of your agreement. If you miss any required vaccines, you’ll may invalidate your policy or find a sickness claim is not paid and potentially end up seriously out of pocket.

What vaccinations does my pet need?

Getting the best deal for you and your pet

One of things most of us love about our pets, is their spontaneity. At the end of the day, their love for us is unbounded so give a little love back to your pet and start comparing the market for pet insurance – because you never know what they’ll get up to next.

** 50% of people can achieve a premium of £2.94 a month for cats and £2.99 a month for dogs based on August 2017 cheapest premiums