Peterborough pet owners: your vaccination questions answered

Is your pet up to date with their vaccinations?Is your pet up to date with their vaccinations?
Is your pet up to date with their vaccinations?
Chris Bennett, community support manager at Woodgreen Pets Charity, tackles all your questions around pet vaccinations.

Vaccinations are the most important thing we can do to protect our pets from the risk of infectious diseases. Unfortunately, since there was limited access to non-essential veterinary care during lockdown, and due to the financial effects of the cost of living crisis on owners, lots of pets now don’t have the right levels of immunity and Woodgreen is seeing more cases of preventable illnesses.

If you’re unsure about what vaccinations mean for you and your pet, here are the essentials to be aware of:

Why should I vaccinate my pets?

Just like us, pets are at risk of catching infectious diseases that can range in severity – from mild symptoms to others that are life-threatening. The good news is that there are vaccines available to prevent or reduce the impact on our pets. A pet with a vaccinated immunity is more likely to have resistance to diseases that could otherwise be fatal or make them seriously ill, be expensive to treat and, in some cases, pass the disease on to humans. Preventing illness through vaccination is cheaper, easier and safer than treating symptoms and potentially compromising our pets’ health.

Which pets need vaccinating?

The pets that are most at risk are those that come into contact with other pets or explore outdoor environments – so the majority of cats, dogs and rabbits. Since the pet population in the UK is so much higher than it was a couple of years ago, they are much more likely to come into contact with other pets and risk catching something nasty. Even if your pet doesn’t go outside, it’s worth knowing that we can carry diseases indoors and transfer them to our pets.

When do pets need vaccinating?

To give pets the best chance of immunity, it’s best to vaccinate them when young. This is when they’re most vulnerable to diseases, and early vaccination helps them to build better immunity for the rest of their lives. Typically, cats and dogs are vaccinated at around eight weeks of age, and rabbits from four weeks old. Most pets will then need yearly boosters to top up their immunity. To find out the best schedule for your pet based on their species, age and vaccination history, get in touch with your vet.

How much does it cost to vaccinate pets?

The average cost of the first course of vaccinations for puppies and kittens is around £75, with annual boosters coming in slightly cheaper. We recommend contacting your vet to discuss costs, as lots of practices have payment plans that allow you to spread the cost. And, of course, vaccinations will always be considerably less money than treating a sick pet.

What if I can’t afford to vaccinate my pets?

You can be registered with more than one vet, so we recommend speaking to your local practice and shopping around for different options – be sure to ask about available payment options and preventative healthcare plans. When thinking about getting a new pet, please factor in the cost of vaccination and other preventative treatments (like flea and worming) to protect your pets, and also your wallets in the long run.

For trusted advice about all aspects of pet behaviour and wellbeing, head to