Reasons To Keep Your Pet's Vaccinations Up To Date

Posted on: 21 May 2021

While owning a pet can be fun and fulfilling, it comes with responsibilities too. Your pet can't make decisions about their medical care, so it's up to you to make sure they stay healthy. Here are some of the top reasons why you need to keep your pet's vaccinations up to date.

1. Pets can't tell you how they feel

Your pet can't talk, and if they're ill, you may not realize it until they feel so bad that it affects their behavior. Because of the communication barrier, pet illnesses are harder to diagnose, and your pet could be very sick before you start treatment. 

This also means that when you take your pet to a dog park or boarding kennel, the other pets there may be ill without their humans realizing it. You need to protect your pet against illnesses commonly transmitted between pets (such as parvovirus, distemper, and kennel cough) by making sure they're vaccinated.

2. It's the law

The area you live in likely has laws and regulations about pet ownership, some of which may require pet owners to keep their pets up-to-date on specific vaccinations. Rabies vaccinations, for example, are required by state law

3. Pets lead a riskier lifestyle

Your pets are much more likely to stick their nose in some mouse leavings in a corner than a human would be. Mouse leavings can carry diseases such as leptospirosis, which your vet can easily vaccinate against. Your pets are also more likely to come into close contact with wild animals. A raccoon may eat out of your cat's food dish, or your cat may catch and eat small rodents and birds, for example. All these types of wild animals can carry diseases.

4. Prevention is easier than treatment

Many pets hate getting vaccinations, and you can probably sympathize; that needle stick is no fun. But many of the conditions that vets vaccinate against are deadly, or very difficult and expensive to treat. Vaccinations can save your pet a lot of pain and suffering, and save you a lot of time, effort, and vet bills.

5. Vaccinations are often required for entry

Even if a vaccine isn't legally required for pet ownership in your area, it's likely required if you ever want to take your pet anywhere. Pet daycare, boarding kennels, dog shows (or other pet shows), and even taking your pet onboard an airplane are all situations where you're likely required to show proof of vaccinations.

These are just some of the reasons why you should stay on top of your pet's vaccination schedule and make sure they're always up-to-date on their shots. If you have difficulty remembering, ask your veterinarian to send you a reminder when your pet's shots are about to come due.

For more information about pet vaccinations, contact a local veterinary clinic, like Jones Animal Health Clinic.