There are several preventable, infectious diseases which have the ability to make your beloved pet very sick or even kill.  Prevention is possible with regular vaccinations.  Your vet is the best person to advise you about your pet's vaccination and health requirements as it may vary, depending on their age, where you live and the health and lifestyle of your pet.


Diseases covered by vaccination in NZ include: Parvovirus, Distemper, Infectious Canine Hepatitis, Leptospirosis and Canine Cough (previously Kennel Cough).

Parvovirus and Canine Cough are the diseases kiwi dogs particularly need protection against.

The first vaccination of a puppy can be administered as early as 6 weeks of age if considered at high-risk, but are normally given at 8, 12 and 16 weeks of age. These early vaccinations are particularly important for the prevention of Parvovirus and Canine Cough.  After this, your dog will need to be vaccinated annually.

It is very important that your puppy has good “socialisation” with other dogs before they are fully protected against these dangerous diseases.  Until 10 days after your puppy has had it's 16-week vaccination, it is advisable to provide this socialisation with dogs which are healthy and fully-vaccinated, in a “safe” environment (usually this is at home). 

Your dog will need to be fully protected (at least 10 days) prior to going into a boarding kennel and will require a vaccination certificate.  Note: some boarding kennels require a Canine Cough vaccine to be given within 6 months prior to boarding, as protection does wane over 12 months.



Cats in NZ are vaccinated against the very common FLU viruses, as well as the nasty, often fatal, Feline Enteritis virus.

In addition, cats can be protected against FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus).  This virus is contracted when your cat is bitten by an infected cat so any cat with access to the outdoors is at risk.

Kittens are vaccinated at 8, 10, and 12 weeks of age, followed by a booster at 6 months. For most cats, this will be at their desexing post-op check, if your kitten was desexed earlier, please contact your vet for their recommendation. After this booster, vaccination is required annually.



Usually, pets show very little reaction to vaccination. Occasionally they may become a little ”off-colour” or have some tenderness/swelling at the vaccination site.   Dogs receiving an intranasal Canine Cough vaccine may sneeze occasionally for a few days after the vaccine.  Allergic reactions are extremely rare.

Please contact your vet if you have any concerns.  Remember the benefits of vaccinating your precious pet far outweigh any risks!


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