Vaccinations are intended to protect pets—and even their owners—against an array of easily transmitted diseases. Designed to help keep potentially life-threatening infections at bay for your pet, regular vaccinations also play an important role beyond disease prevention. Here are three important reasons to vaccinate your pet, from our team at Premier Pet Hospital.
#1: Vaccinating your pet on a regular schedule helps protect your health
Regularly vaccinating your pet not only protects them from serious diseases, but it also protects you and your entire community. Many illnesses that are thwarted by routine vaccination are highly contagious and can even be zoonotic, meaning they can be transmitted from pets to people. Vaccinating your pet helps reduce the risk of infection transmission, particularly among vulnerable people such as young children, the elderly, or those who are immunocompromised.
Two diseases that can be transmitted from pets to people are rabies and leptospirosis. Rabies can lead to neurological issues in pets and people, and results in the death of the infected pet. If you are bitten by a rabid animal, treatment is painful and difficult. Fortunately, through strict rabies vaccination protocols, this disease is rarely seen in domestic pets.
Leptospirosis is a disease that is passed through an infected animal’s urine, and can affect people, pets, and wildlife alike. Contaminated water is the most common source of human infection, but the disease also can be spread through direct contact with urine from an infected pet or wild animal. This disease can cause kidney and liver damage, and it can be fatal if left untreated in people and pets.
With regular vaccination of your pet, you not only keep your four-legged friend safe from disease, but also everyone—person and pet—in your community.
#2: Regularly vaccinating your pet can save you money
Although scheduling—and attending—annual wellness visits for your pet may seem like a waste of money if they appear healthy, regular vaccinations will save you money in the long run. Vaccinating your pet on schedule is much more economical than treating the diseases vaccines prevent.
Two life-threatening illnesses that are almost 100% preventable with regular vaccinations are parvovirus and distemper. If your pet becomes infected, these diseases are expensive to treat, and may lead to lifelong effects that impair your pet’s quality of life.
Parvovirus is the virus that causes feline panleukopenia and canine parvovirus. In both species, this is a highly contagious disease that attacks the intestinal tract, white blood cells, and even the heart. Spread through the feces of an infected pet, parvovirus can pass easily from pet to pet if your furry pal ventures outdoors and is unvaccinated. This virus can linger in the environment for a long time, so your pet does not have to come in contact with an infected pet to become infected themselves. If left untreated, parvovirus is typically fatal, and, even with treatment, it can lead to death. Because of the severity of this disease, vaccinations for canine parvovirus and feline panleukopenia are essential for protecting your pets.
Canine distemper is a highly contagious and life-threatening disease that can cause lifelong neurological problems if your dog survives the illness. Although it is one of the most serious diseases your dog can get, it is also one of the most preventable through regular vaccination. Puppies born to an unvaccinated mother are at the highest risk, but any dog who fails to receive regular vaccinations can succumb to this disease.
#3: Routine vaccinations ensure your pet can attend day care, or be boarded or groomed
If your pet does not receive their vaccinations regularly, they will be unable to attend day care, a boarding facility, or a grooming facility. To protect the pets under their care, these facilities require all cats and dogs to be current on required vaccinations. Requirements differ from facility to facility, so check with the business before scheduling an appointment. For example, some boarding facilities may only require that your dog has had their bordetella vaccination within the past year, while others may require biannual boosters in addition to the canine influenza vaccination.
However, any time your pet will be in close contact with other pets, you should ensure they are as fully protected against disease as possible. Regularly vaccinating your pet with core and non-core vaccinations, based on their lifestyle and exposure risk, will help keep them safe from harm.
Contact our Premier Pet Hospital team to schedule your pet’s next wellness visit to ensure they remain current on life-saving vaccinations.