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Does PetSmart Give Pet Vaccines?

Gregory Iacono

By Gregory Iacono


PetSmart is the largest pet specialty retailer in the United States. It provides practically everything your pet could need, especially dogs and cats but other cuddly critters too. They have many in-store services under one roof, including boarding, grooming, and pet training services. PetSmart also works with local veterinarians who are on-call in case of a medical emergency involving your pet.

One question many people have about PetSmart is, does PetSmart give pet vaccines? Pet vaccines are available, but its not PetSmart or their employees who are providing the vaccinations. Instead, it’s an independently run organization known as Banfield Pet Hospital that provides all the veterinary care your pet might need, including vaccines.

You can go to PetSmart to vaccinate your pet if they have a Banfield Pet Hospital at your local PetSmart retail location. If they don’t, you will have to take your pet to a local vet for their vaccinations. Want to discover more about PetSmart, Banfield Pet Hospital, and their valuable pet services? If yes, read on!

Which Pets Can be Vaccinated at PetSmart?

Banfield only offers vaccinations to the most common pets, including dogs, cats, and ferrets. For most other animals, you would need to visit a vet who specializes in exotic animals to get your pet vaccinated. To find out if your PetSmart has one at its location, you can use Banfield’s helpful online location finder.

What Pets Need to be Vaccinated Most?

veterinarian giving injection to a cat
Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

Humans keep a lot of animals as pets, it’s true. From dogs and cats to ferrets, mice, hamsters, snakes, birds, pigs, horses, chimpanzees, and even tigers and bears, many of these animals can and should be vaccinated, especially for rabies. Rabies is a disease that affects all mammals and can be spread from one species to another, even humans.

Most people have dogs and cats as pets, and we know both need their vaccinations. For other pets, however, it’s a matter of circumstances. For example, parrots and other birds can be vaccinated for polyomavirus, but it’s not necessary in many situations. Many people own ferrets, and, in some places, they must have their ferrets vaccinated under state law.

What’s more telling, however, is that zoos worldwide are starting to vaccinate many of their animals for COVID-19, including tigers, bears, hyenas, and even great apes. If zoo animals are being vaccinated, it’s a good bet your pet could benefit from the shots also. If you’re wondering about vaccinating your pet (and it’s not a dog, cat, or ferret), your best bet would be to ask your veterinarian for their expert opinion.

Do Indoor Pets Need to be Vaccinated?

Many pet parents are under the false impression that, since their pet stays inside the house at all times, they don’t need to have their pet immunized. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth, as indoor pets can be exposed to dangerous diseases.

For example, cats, dogs, and ferrets are well-known for sneaking out of the house at any opportunity. A quick run-in with another mammal (or their poop) and your pet could come home with rabies or several other, often deadly, diseases. Bats, rats, and mice can enter your home and come in contact with your pet inside.

All it takes is a quick bit of mucous, spit, poop, or a scratch, and your precious pet could be infected. For these reasons, vaccinating your pet, even if they’re an “indoor” animal is critical.

Are Vaccinations Safe for my Pet?

dog vet injection
Image Credit: Photographee, Shutterstock

Statistically speaking, vaccinations are very safe for pets. Yes, there are risks, as with any medical procedure. However, adverse reactions to vaccines are very rare and usually mild. The truth is that billions of animals have been vaccinated since the first one in 1879, and vaccines today are better and safer.

In other words, the risk of a negative vaccine reaction is tiny, but the benefits to your pet can be huge, especially if the vaccine saves them from a deadly disease like rabies or feline leukemia.

How Do Pet Vaccinations Work?

Vaccines stimulate your pet’s body to have an immune reaction without causing the actual disease. Your pet’s immune system will then create antibodies to fight the disease the vaccine is intended to prevent.

If the actual disease, in the form of a germ, virus, or bacteria, shows up in your pet’s body, the antibodies will be ready to mobilize against the invaders and destroy them before they can cause an infection. It’s like having a perpetual army ready to do battle inside your pet’s body. As long as your pet is making antibodies, the amazing micro-warriors will be able to fight off the invading disease army.

Today, Your Pet Needs Fewer Vaccine Boosters

veterinarian with a syringe euthanizes a pet
Image By: fukume, Shutterstock

In a New York Times report about pet vaccinations, they interviewed Dr. David Emery, an assistant professor at Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Emery mentioned that many veterinarians had over-vaccinated pets in the last few decades for lack of information and current data. The good news is that vaccines are much more effective today, meaning fewer booster shots are needed. For example, many dog and cat vaccines that used to be boosted annually can now be boosted every 3 years.

Is PetSmart a Good Company?

From all of the research we’ve done, it appears that PetSmart is a forward-thinking, eco-minded company that truly loves pets and offers several services to help them and their owners. With nearly 1,700 locations in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico,

PetSmart Charities bring adoptable dogs and cats to PetSmart stores from 4,000+ animal welfare organizations. The project has helped over 10 million pets get adopted: more than any other pet-focused retail organization. With in-store veterinary care, thousands of excellent products, and caring employees, PetSmart is a great pet ally and has your pet’s best interests in mind.

Final Thoughts

Does PetSmart give pet vaccines? As we’ve seen today, technically, they do not. However, many PetSmart locations have a Banfield Pet Hospital inside their store, providing vaccinations and other professional veterinary services by trained vets and their assistants. For this reason, visiting your local PetSmart to have your pet vaccinated is possible as long as they have a Banfield Pet Hospital at their location.

We also learned that PetSmart does many wonderful things for pets and helps millions get adopted every year. We hope today’s information about PetSmart and pet vaccinations gave you the information you were looking for and the insight you needed. For pets of all shapes and sizes, PetSmart is a viable ally that will keep them happy and healthy.


Featured Image Credit: PetSmart (Anthony92931, Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0)

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