Tenafly Veterinary Center

Pet Vaccinations: What To Expect

It is common for pets to experience some or all of the following mild side effects after receiving a vaccine, usually starting within hours of the vaccination. If these side effects last for more than a day or two, or cause your pet significant discomfort, it is important for you to contact your veterinarian.

What To Look Out For

Common Side Effects:

  • Sleepy/Lethargic
  • Shaking
  • Sore/Stiff
  • Loss of appetite

Un-common Side Effects:

  • Swelling of the face
  • Non-stop itchiness
  • Persistent vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • Collapse

Homecare Information:

  • Side effects may last 24-48 hours after vaccine
  • Offer soft, warm food to encourage pets with loss of appetite
  • Benadryl can be given to alleviate symptoms

Benadryl Tablet or Capsule 25mg:

  • ½ tab for every 10lbs
  • 1 tab for every 20-30lbs
  • Give every 8-12 hours as needed


  • Small - 5 mg by mouth every 24 hours
  • Medium - 10 mg by mouth every 24 hours
  • Large - 15 mg by mouth every 24 hours
  • Home Care After Vaccinations | View pdf

*For dogs only.

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