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Vets and pet owners can decide on appropriate vaccines

Devoted pet owners are always looking for the best way to keep their beloved animals healthy though preventative vaccinations. But many veterinarians are now telling owners that pet health may rely more on individual decisions than a standard of care.

Though most vets still recommend a yearly checkup to keep those puppies playful and those kittens cuddly, the number of vaccines given out to pets each year has been reduced over the past several years, CNN reports.

Dr Ashley Shelton, the assistant director of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), told the news source, "Studies are starting to show that we don't need to vaccinate them every year."

She added that "some need to be boostered more frequently, others need to be less."

According to AVMA, vaccines for rabies, distemper and parvovirus are recommended for all dogs, and every cat should be inoculated for rabies, feline leukemia and respiratory infections.

However, pet owners who have animals with unique needs, or who live in heavily wooded areas, may decide to add protections against Lyme disease and other conditions to their furry friend's regimen.

On average, American pet owners spent about $366 on veterinary expenses for their dog or cat in 2006, says the AVMA.
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