There has been a lot of talk about vaccinations lately. People are arguing whether or not they are necessary, questioning if they harm children and adults and what happens after you are vaccinated. It’s difficult because the facts are often treated as if they’re up for debate. They are not. Vaccinations are overwhelmingly positive and extremely beneficial for our society. But how important is it to vaccinate your pet? Statistics are showing that not only are people refraining vaccinating themselves and their kids, they are choosing to keep their pets from being vaccinated as well.
While it may be up to an individual whether or not they want to be vaccinated themselves, it is irresponsible when people don’t vaccinate their children and pets who cannot choose to make that decision for themselves.
The Decline of Pet Vaccinations
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has labeled the anti-vaccination movement the top threat to global health. This may seem like an over-exaggeration, but it it’s really not. Modern medicine and the health of our society has depended upon vaccinations to mitigate diseases like measles and polio, and this is at risk when people avoid vaccinations.
The decline of vaccinations doesn’t just concern humans — now some pet owners are choosing not to vaccinate their animals either. Healthy Paws Pet Insurance has reported that the number of pet vaccinations have gone down, and they worry that this threat will continue to affect animals. Even the American Veterinary Medical Association has made a statement saying that vaccines prevent millions of animal diseases and deaths every year.
The annual report from the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals surveyed over 4,600 pet owners. The study found that about a quarter of dogs, or 2.2 million, were not vaccinated as puppies. The people said that the most common reason they did not vaccinate their dog was that it “isn’t necessary.” This couldn’t be further from the truth. Vaccinations have already prevented the spread of disease and now that is being put at risk. It may be difficult to convince people to get vaccinations, but we can start by encouraging people to vaccinate their pets.
Vaccines & Pet Insurance
Many people avoid vaccinations because of the cost. If your pet is not insured, it can become very expensive according to MoneyPug, a site used to compare pet insurance. If you have pet insurance, you may be more inclined to visit the vet which could in turn lead to healthier pets. Working Dogs such as Service Dogs, dogs that attend a doggie day care or visit a dog park or spend a lot of time outside—especially if they swim or wade in freshwater rivers or lakes—are at greater risk of infection and in greater need of immunization than dogs that spend a lot of time at home. The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) has an online Lifestyle-Based Vaccine Calculator that addresses this. Check the boxes that describe how your dog lives, and the algorithm will recommend the most important vaccines.
What is our Responsibility?
The science is clear. Vaccinations have helped us become a healthy society by preventing and curing diseases like polio, which used to be a deadly killer. When you choose not to vaccinate your pet, you are putting others in danger.