Pet Vaccination

Vaccination of Your Pets

Both cats and dogs need to be vaccinated in order to protect them from various viruses. It is also important to vaccinate if you are considering placing your pet into a cattery or kennel; they will not be accepted with an annual vaccination, or if you are planning on taking you pet abroad with you.

If you are considering taking on an older cat or dog, charities such as the RSPCA ensure that all vaccinations are up-to-date and make sure all pets are neutered before re-homing.

Vaccination of Dogs

It is recommended that puppies are vaccinated from six weeks of age. The first treatment involves two injections spaced two weeks apart. Every year a booster injection will be needed in order to keep your pet’s vaccination up-to-date. Your pet may become drowsy on the day of injection and sleep more for the following 24 hours.

It is important to keep an eye on your puppy to make sure they do not have any adverse reactions, such as fever, to the vaccine. As well as receiving the injections, you pet will have a general MOT during which your veterinary surgeon can advise you on regular worming (parasite treatment), controlling fleas (parasite treatment) and maintaining a balanced diet for your pet.

The initial double vaccine costs approximately £30 and the booster vaccination costs around £20.

Vaccination of Cats

Kittens should be vaccinated from nine weeks of age. As with puppies, the first treatment consists of two vaccines given three weeks apart. It is recommended that you do not allow your kitten to leave the house until a few weeks after the second injection. These vaccines will protect your kitten from viruses such as the FeLV (feline leukaemia virus).

Although there are some indications that older cats build up their own immunity against FeLV it is still better practise to take your pet for a booster injection especially if you are considering pet insurance or placing your cat into a cattery; both requiring annual boosters. Your pet may become drowsy on the day of their vaccination and sleep even more than usual(!) for the following 24 hours. During this time it is important to keep an eye on your cat to make sure they do not have any adverse reactions, such as a fever. The benefits of taking your pet for annual vaccinations is that your veterinary surgeon can also check your pet’s general well-being and advise you on procedures such as regular worming (parasite treatment), controlling fleas (parasite treatment), and maintaining a balanced diet.

The initial double vaccine costs around £26 and the annual booster is approximately £15.

Vaccination of Rabbits

All rabbits must be protected against myxomatosis and viral haemorrhagic disease (VHD). In areas where your pet may be more exposed to such viruses, a six monthly repeat of myxomatosis vaccination is recommended, but generally, an annual treatment is standard practise. The annual vaccination is usually performed in the Springtime when biting insects (which spread these viruses) become more active. There should not be any stagnant water near your rabbit’s hutch (attracting biting insects such as mosquitoes) and the hutch should be covered with mosquito and fly-proof screens (fly-strike).

The cost of the myxomatosis vaccine is around £12 and for VHD the cost is around £14.

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"My wife and I have rescued 3 cats from being kittens from a very uncertain future. On approaching various vets for quotes on jabs, we were given the sales pitch. The prices varied noticably. £40 to £50 for the initial multi jab being the lowest. Personally, I think the mark up is gross. Others were higher, probably to pay for the 5 desk assistants wages. "

Alan & Carol OBy

"These prices are out of date, as the cost of eg rabbit vaccines to the vet is as much as the cost to clients quoted in this article. There is no way any of the vaccines only cost a vet practice £3 as suggested by one comment. Also as stated there are other costs involved in supplying a veterinary service as well as time and cost of drugs."

E Conaghan

"It's important to discuss with your vet the risk / benefit for your pet. For example, a cat that never goes outdoors and never contacts any other cat does not need leukaemia vaccination. Annual vaccination is only necessary for specific diseases, where the immunity is only temporary, depending on what data are available. In the UK we vaccinate against rabies once every 3 years for Passports, abroad it's usually annually. As far as the cost of vaccination, that includes the cost of the examination and time. Most people do not understand the huge costs of providing any medical service - anyone who thinks prices are profit should check the salaries relative to equivalent professions: dentists or GPs, the hours that are worked and the service provided."


"I found this article interesting because I have been quoted different prices from two vets one was £41.74 and the other £64.47"


"Very helpful! Thank you. Is there a spray that can help reduce chances? "

Marnie age 10

"Most ethical vets agree that yearly vaccination of dogs is unecessary. Ideally they would blood test first to check the level of antibodies before vaccinating. My own vet recommends 3 yearly vaccinating since the dogs will normally have enough protection. Only the leptospirosis needs doing yearly in my rural area. Stands to reason when you think about it. Children don't need vaccinating every year do they? So why do animals? Hmm....let me think......something to do with making money perhaps??? A booster vaccine for a dog costs around £3 but the vet charges around £30. Well what a surprise."