Vaccinations are a normal part of human life for most people. However, there are some pet owners who are unaware that vaccinations are equally as important for their animals. As this is something that our pets are unable to do for themselves, it is down to us to ensure that they get the protection that they need and deserve. Here’s what you need to know about the importance of pet vaccinations, including why they are so important and how to know what vaccinations your pet needs.
Vaccinations Will Prevent Your Pet From Being Affected by Certain Diseases
Unfortunately, there are many different diseases that can affect our pets, and many of them have very serious and potentially fatal consequences for them. These can be spread in a variety of ways. Some are airborne, others are passed directly between animals, some come from contact with the bodily fluids of an infected creature whilst others are transmitted through parasites like ticks and mosquitos. This makes them virtually impossible to avoid – unless your pet is appropriately vaccinated. By ensuring that your pet is up to date with their routine vaccinations, you can prevent your pet from becoming unwell, suffering unnecessarily, and requiring expensive medical treatment.
Vaccinations Can Keep Your Human Family Safe Too
Many of the diseases that can affect our pets are zoonotic, meaning that they can actually be passed between animals and humans. This means that if your pet is affected, there is a risk that they could pass the disease that they are carrying onto your family. The only way to keep both the humans and animals in your home safe is to make sure that your pet has the correct vaccinations.
You May Have a Legal Obligation to Ensure That Your Pet is Properly Vaccinated
It may surprise you to learn that if you don’t have your pet vaccinated, you could be breaking the law. Every state has its own laws when it comes to what immunizations animals are required to have, and how often they should be administered. You may be asked to provide proof that your pet is up to date with their vaccinations in line with these requirements. Failure to do so could have various consequences, ranging from a fine to incarceration. You may even have your pet removed from your home, with the risk that they could be euthanized for the safety of the public. Your vet will be able to tell you what the legal obligations are for vaccinations in your area.
What Vaccinations Does My Pet Need?
Vaccinations vary depending on the type of pet you have, their age, health, and location. It is important to be aware that when animals are very young, they will need multiple small doses of vaccine to build up their immunity gradually. For this reason, a vaccination schedule for a kitten or puppy will look very different from that of an adult animal.
Pet vaccinations are divided into two categories. Core vaccines are those which are recommended for all pets irrespective of their personal circumstances. For example, core vaccinations for dogs include canine parvovirus, distemper, canine hepatitis, and rabies. All dogs should have these regardless of where they live or how old they are. Non-core vaccinations are recommended based on the exposure risk to your pet. For example, non-core vaccinations for dogs include Bordetella and leptospirosis.
Your vet will be able to assess your pet and make a recommendation as to the vaccinations they need to fully protect their health. Your vet will also be able to create a comprehensive schedule of vaccinations that you should strictly adhere to which will ensure that your pet is properly protected against disease at all times. Being even just a few days late with vaccination could put your pet at risk, so be sure to stick to your appointments as recommended by your veterinarian.
For more information about routine pet vaccinations, or to schedule an appointment for your pet, please get in touch with our veterinary team in Ashburn, VA.