Vaccines FAQs

Keeping your pets healthy starts early in their lives. Vaccines are an important part of pet healthcare. At Tierrasanta Veterinary Hospital in San Diego, CA, we provide personalized veterinary services, including vaccinations. Our veterinarian has gathered a few of the questions that we run into regarding pet vaccines.

Vaccines FAQs

What is a vaccine?

A vaccine is usually a single shot or a series of shots that provide protection against serious diseases. With most vaccines, a booster shot is administered at some time later on in the animal’s life.

How do vaccines work?

A vaccine is a way to stimulate the immune system to act against a particular disease without actually having to give the animal that disease. Once your pet is vaccinated, its body recognizes that this is something bad and will attack the virus in the future.

What vaccines are mandated in California?

The only vaccine that is mandatory in California is the rabies vaccine for dogs. All dogs must be vaccinated by the time they are three months old. They should wear the tag that is provided at all times. The shot will need to be renewed every year or three years depending on the vaccine administered.

What types of vaccines are there?

Vaccines for pets are divided into two categories; core vaccines and lifestyle vaccines. Core vaccines are vital to your pet’s health. Lifestyle vaccines may or may not be right for your pet depending on its lifestyle.

What are the core vaccines for dogs?

Four vaccines are considered to be core vaccines for dogs. These vaccines include canine parvovirus, distemper, canine hepatitis, and rabies.

What are the core vaccines for cats?

Core vaccines for cats include rabies, feline calicivirus, feline herpesvirus-1, feline panleukopenia, and feline leukemia. Not all veterinarians consider feline leukemia to be a core vaccine, but it is often fatal to kittens.

What are lifestyle vaccines?

Lifestyle vaccines are those that some pets need and others do not. One of these common vaccinations includes Bordetella. This vaccine prevents kennel cough and is required if your dog or cat is boarded or groomed. If your dog has play dates with other dogs, it is a good idea to get this vaccination.

Are these vaccines safe?

Simply stated, yes, and given the seriousness of most of the illnesses they are designed to prevent, they are a very good option. The vaccinations come with some side effects, but in most cases, they are relatively mild and not life-threatening.

Get Quality Veterinary Care in San Diego, CA

If you are looking for a full-service veterinary hospital in San Diego, our team at Tierrasanta Veterinary Hospital is here to help. Call our team today at 858-292-6116 or reach us through our website by using our online contact form.

Newsletter Signup

Sign up now for more articles


Find us on the map

Office Hours

Our Regular Schedule

Tierrasanta Veterinary Hospital


8:00 AM-5:00 PM


8:00 AM-5:00 PM


8:00 AM-2:00 PM


8:00 AM-5:00 PM


8:00 AM-5:00 PM


8:00 AM-2:00 PM